Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On 'Sonic Affinities and Reggaeton Nationalism'

Marisol LeBrón's essay "'Con un Flow Natural': Sonic Affinities and Reggaeton Nationalism" was just published in the latest issue of Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory. I saw her present an earlier version at EMP and she is definitely expanding Reggaeton Studies into exciting and critical directions!

Here's the article's abstract:

Reggaeton's success in the international music scene has incited heated debates about the genre's genealogy. The dominant framework for discussing reggaeton's origin often relies on and reifies nation-based claims to the genre, overlooking how reggaeton resists being fixed to any single locale. In this paper I discuss the emergence of the reggaeton subgenre bhangraton (a mix of bhangra pop and reggaeton) and point to some of the ways that it challenged nationalist claims to reggaeton. Reggaetonera and Hindi-vocalist Deevani [pictured below], in particular, complicates claims about racial, ethnic, and sonic purity that circulate within reggaeton by highlighting how race, gender, and affinity are performed and felt and by calling attention to the genre's multiple circuits outside the nation.