Global Gypsy: Romani Music, Representation and Appropriation
- Friday, October 12, 2012
- 107 Old Cabell Hall
In the last twenty years the popularity of Balkan Gypsy music has exploded, becoming a staple at world music festivals and dance clubs in the United States and Western Europe. At the same time, thousands of East European Roma have emigrated westward due todeteriorating living conditions, and entrenched stereotypes of thievery have arisen amidst deportations andharassment. In this heightened atmosphere of xenophobia, Roma, as Europe’s largest minority and its quintessential “other,” face the paradox that they are
revered for their music yet reviled as people. Balkan Gypsy music is simultaneously a commodity, a trope of multiculturalism, and a potentin-group symbol in cosmopolitan contexts.
Carol Silverman is Professor and Head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oregon.Focusing on the Balkans, her research investigates the relationships among culture, music, politics, ethnicity, ritual, and gender. She draws from the disciplines of cultural anthropology, folklore, and ethnomusicology, and her ethnographic perspective encompasses her own role as a performer. Her book, Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora (Oxford, 2012) analyzes how Roma have forged a nuanced identity in Macedonia and Bulgaria and in re-diasporic spaces in North America. Her research has been supported by NEH, IREX, ACLS, Fulbright, and Guggenheim.