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Celeste Day Moore
Hamilton College (Clinton, NY 13323-1295)
Soundscapes of Liberation: African-American Music and the Circuits of the Twentieth-Century Atlantic World

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the transatlantic networks of production, distribution, and performance that led to the rise of African-American music as a globally recognized sign of power and protest after World War II.

My proposed project traces the transatlantic networks of musical production, distribution, and performance that converged in the Francophone world to make African-American music a global signifier of power and protest after World War II. In the context of increasing US power and a declining French empire, African-American music simultaneously represented the threat of American hegemony and the powerful dissent of a minority population. These divergent associations, I argue, were made possible by a cohort of Atlantic intermediaries, whose fluency in French and familiarity with African-American culture gave them privileged positions from which to translate, disseminate, and racially encode this musical tradition. By tracing their efforts to promote and politicize African-American music, this manuscript not only offers a new perspective on postwar African-American history but also uncovers the commercial, political, and diasporic infrastructure of the twentieth-century Atlantic World.

Project fields:
African American History; African American Studies; American Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2019 – 9/30/2019