“The influence of Melody upon man in the wild state of nature”: Enslaved Parishioners, Anglican Violence, and Racialized Listening in a Jamaica Parish (2021)
My response to Katherine McKittrick's plenary lecture at the Society for American Music's 2021 online conference.
This is the script for the paper I wrote for the panel "Race, Music, and Slavery in the British Colonial Caribbean: Research Beyond Recovery," at the American Musicological Society's 2020 annual conference. In this paper I consider what enslaved women dancing and making music depicted in images made by white British visitors may reveal about the under-examined musical lives of enslaved Black women.
I collaborated with my dear friend and colleague David Chavannes to create this manifesto. David is a Philadelphia based creator of words, sound worlds, and music. In David's words: "We wanted to make something that could help to change the aspects of teaching music surveys that so alienated and frustrated us. For us, this meant starting with pedagogical practices. So, this manifesto emerged from a place of frustration and pain but also deep care and passion—how can we create learning environments that, to use Paulo Freire’s formulation, help to make us more fully human?"
I wrote this essay as a final piece for a course taught at the University of Pennsylvania by Jim Sykes called "Comparative Ontologies." It is a personal, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, exploration of the ontological turn and the limits of ontological thinking about race.
A reflection on FKA twigs and Nabil's video for Two Weeks that follows the unfolding of this one-shot film.