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  • Acknowledgments  xi
    Introduction: American Border/Lands  1
    1. Aurality and the Long American Century  34
    2. Companions of the Calling  62
    3. Verses and Flows at the Dawn of Neoliberal Mexico  130
    4. Regional Sounds: Mexican Texas and the Semiotics of Citizenship  198
    5. From Potosi to Tennessee: Clandestine Desires and the Poetic Border  232
    6. Huapango sin Fronteras: Mapping What Matters and Other Paths  278
    Conclusion: They Dreamed of Bridges  316
    Epilogue: "Born in the U.S.A."  327
    Appendix A: Musical Transcriptions  331
    Appendix B: Improvised Saludados  349
    Notes  361
    References  387
    Index  411
  • "I am almost left at a loss for words, except: wow. Alex E. Chávez's writing is vivid, rich, and sensuous, and the command of voicing as he switches between perspectives and crosses theoretical, ethnographical, and analytical divides is effortless and constantly clarifying. One hears the sound of a major ethnographic voice emerging here. Sounds of Crossing is one of the best musical ethnographies I've read in years, and it will surely rank with the very best books in its category of this or any generation." — Aaron A. Fox, author of, Real Country: Music and Language in Working-Class Culture

    "In this masterful ethnography, Alex E. Chávez focuses on huapango arribeño, its performance, its circulation, and its consumption, to explore the everyday politics of Mexican migrant life in the United States. Evoking the border crossing of décimas and zapateados huapangueros, Chávez's beautiful writing continuously challenges the boundaries between storytelling, theory, and real life to offer a dispassionate glimpse into the emotional paradoxes that inform the making of Mexican American spaces and subjectivities in twenty-first-century America." — Alejandro L. Madrid, author of, Nor-tec Rifa! Electronic Dance Music from Tijuana to the World

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  • Description

    In Sounds of Crossing Alex E. Chávez explores the contemporary politics of Mexican migrant cultural expression manifest in the sounds and poetics of huapango arribeño, a musical genre originating from north-central Mexico. Following the resonance of huapango's improvisational performance within the lives of audiences, musicians, and himself—from New Year's festivities in the highlands of Guanajuato, Mexico, to backyard get-togethers along the back roads of central Texas—Chávez shows how Mexicans living on both sides of the border use expressive culture to construct meaningful communities amid the United States’ often vitriolic immigration politics. Through Chávez's writing, we gain an intimate look at the experience of migration and how huapango carries the voices of those in Mexico, those undertaking the dangerous trek across the border, and those living in the United States. Illuminating how huapango arribeño’s performance refigures the sociopolitical and economic terms of migration through aesthetic means, Chávez adds fresh and compelling insights into the ways transnational music-making is at the center of everyday Mexican migrant life.

    About The Author(s)

    Alex E. Chávez is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame and produced the album Serrano de Corazón by Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú.
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