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  • Acknowledgments  ix

    Introduction. Hearing Empire—Imperial Listening / Ronald Radano and Tejumola Olaniyan  1

    Part I. Technologies of Circulation

    1. Decolonizing the Ear: The Transcolonial Reverberations of Vernacular Phonograph Music / Michael Denning  25

    2. Smoking Hot: Cigarettes, Jazz, and the Production of Global Imaginaries in Interwar Shanghai / Nan Enstad  45

    3. Circuit Listening: Grace Chang and the Dawn of the Chinese 1960s / Andrew F. Jones  66

    Part II. Audible Displacements

    4. The Aesthetics of Allá: Listening Like a Sonidero / Josh Kun  95

    5. Sound Legacy: Elsie Houston / Micol Seigel  116

    6. Imperial Aurality: Jazz, the Archive, and U.S. Empire / Jairo Moreno  135

    7. Where They Came From: Reracializing Music in the Empire of Silence / Philip V. Bohlman  161

    Part III. Cultural Policies and Politics in the Sound Market

    8. Di Eagle and di Bear: Who Gets to Tell the Story of the Cold War? / Penny Von Eschen  187

    9. Currents of Revolutionary Confluence: A View from Cuba's Hip Hop Festival / Marc Perry  209

    10. Tango as Intangible Cultural Heritage: Development, Diversity, and the Values of Music in Buenos Aires / Morgan James Luker  225

    11. Musical Economies of the Elusive Metropolis / Gavin Steingo  246

    Part IV. Anticolonialism

    12. The Sound of Anticolonialism / Brent Hayes Edwards  269

    13. Rap, Race, Revolution: Post-9/11 Brown and a Hip Hop Critique of Empire / Nitasha Sharma  292

    14. Echo and Anthem: Representing Sound, Music, and Difference in Two Colonial Modern Novels / Amanda Weidman  314

    15. Tonality as a Colonizing Force in Africa / Kofi Agawu  334

    Discography  357

    Bibliography  361

    Contributors  391

    Index  397
  • Kofi Agawu

    Philip Bohlman

    Michael Denning

    Brent Hayes Edwards

    Nan Enstad

    Andrew F. Jones

    Morgan James Luker

    Jairo Moreno

    Marc D. Perry

    Micol Seigel

    Nitasha Tamar Sharma

    Gavin Steingo

    Penny Von Eschen

    Amanda J. Weidman

  • "'Empire,' for most of these authors, is not restrained to political empires. Instead, it entails a broad understanding of declining national sovereignty, modern capitalism, and multinational enterprises, all reflected by and in sound. That gaze alone makes this a dynamic and interesting book for historians to consult."


  • "'Empire,' for most of these authors, is not restrained to political empires. Instead, it entails a broad understanding of declining national sovereignty, modern capitalism, and multinational enterprises, all reflected by and in sound. That gaze alone makes this a dynamic and interesting book for historians to consult."

  • "Audible Empire is an important, substantive, and significant volume containing essays that display a theoretical sophistication about an important range of musical, social, and political issues. In addressing the ways in which the production, distribution, and consumption of public music can illuminate the history of empire and other transnational practices, structures, and institutions, Audible Empire introduces new ways of thinking about music as a social force." — George Lipsitz, coauthor of The Fierce Urgency of Now: Improvisation, Rights, and the Ethics of Co-Creation

    "This significant volume does major intellectual and pedagogical work, helping to clarify just what Fanon meant by 'epistemological violence' and Foucault by the 'invisible but known' character of what has been left out of music scholarship. Containing terrifically original pieces of deep scholarship, Audible Empire promotes searching and expansive thinking that will advance critical musicology."
    — Steven Feld, author of Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra: Five Musical Years in Ghana

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  • Description

    Audible Empire rethinks the processes and mechanisms of empire and shows how musical practice has been crucial to its spread around the globe. Music is a means of comprehending empire as an audible formation, and the contributors highlight how it has been circulated, consumed, and understood through imperial logics. These fifteen interdisciplinary essays cover large swaths of genre, time, politics, and geography, and include topics such as the affective relationship between jazz and cigarettes in interwar China; the sonic landscape of the U.S.– Mexico border; the critiques of post-9/11 U.S. empire by desi rappers; and the role of tonality in the colonization of Africa. Whether focusing on Argentine tango, theorizing anticolonialist sound, or examining the music industry of postapartheid South Africa, the contributors show how the audible has been a central component in the creation of imperialist notions of reason, modernity, and culture. In doing so, they allow us to hear how empire is both made and challenged.

    Contributors: Kofi Agawu, Philip V. Bohlman. Michael Denning, Brent Hayes Edwards, Nan Enstad, Andrew Jones, Josh Kun, Morgan Luker, Jairo Moreno, Tejumola Olaniyan, Marc Perry, Ronald Radano, Nitasha Sharma, Micol Seigel, Gavin Steingo, Penny Von Eschen, Amanda Weidman.

    About The Author(s)

    Ronald Radano is Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the author of Lying up a Nation: Race and Black Music
    Tejumola Olaniyan is Louise Durham Mead Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the author of Arrest the Music! Fela and His Rebel Art and Politics.
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