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Media, Sound, and Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Alejandra Bronfman, Andrew Grant Wood

Publication Year: 2012

This edited volume presents an original analysis of the role of sound in Latin American and Caribbean societies, from the late nineteenth century to the present. The contributors examine the importance of sound in the purveyance of power, gender roles, race, community, religion, and populism. They also demonstrate how sound is essential to the formation of citizenship and nationalism.

Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press

Series: Pitt Latin American Series

Title Page

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Copyright, Dedication

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Introduction: Media, Sound, and Culture

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pp. ix-xvi

Is the world for seeing and believing, as E lvis P resley once put it, or for hearing, as Jacques Attali’s provocative statement alleges? Of course, a narrow choice between seeing and hearing is unnecessary, since our prevailing epistemological paradigm allows for a wide range of sensory information...

I. Embodied Sounds and theSounds of Memory

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1. Recovering Voices: The Popular Music Ear in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Brazil

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pp. 3-17

Since its very beginning, recording has been closely related to writing. From a representation of sounds with marks or written letters, the term phonograph easily came to represent an imaginary machine that could record sounds and, later, Thomas Edison’s invention. The slippage in meaning is based on a fundamental...

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Radio Transvestism and the Gendered Soundscape in Buenos Aires, 1930s–1940s

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pp. 18-34

In early 1932, a small item appeared in Argentina’s first popular radio magazine Antena. Carrying the headline “A woman singing what is meant for a man is ugly, but a man acting like a little woman is intolerable,” the article was the opening shot in a campaign against what we might call...

II. The Media of Politics

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3. How to Do Things with Waves: United States Radio and Latin America in the Times of the Good Neighbor

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pp. 37-54

In their pioneering study The Psychology of Radio, Gordon W. Allport and Hadley Cantril venture that radio had profound effects on audiences: radio encouraged people to “think and feel alike.” “More than any other medium of communication,” they suggest, radio “is capable of forming a crowd...

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4. Weapons of the Geek: Romantic Narratives, Sonic Technologies, and Tinkerers in 1930s Santiago, Cuba

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pp. 55-70

In 1923, a columnist in Santiago de Cuba’s La Independencia applauded the achievements of a sound medium, the telegraph, noting that “with its magic touch it has eliminated the isolation and loneliness in the middle of the sea and in deserted places.” With emphasis on the isolation felt in a small...

5. Music, Media Spectacle, and the Idea of Democracy: The Case of DJ Kermit’s “Góber”

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pp. 71-84

III. The Sonics of Public Spaces

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6. Alba: Musical Temporality in the Carnival of Oruro, Bolivia

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pp. 87-102

The city of Oruro lies on the edge of an extensive steppe, at the foot often successive hills, in the northern part of the department of the same name, which is located in the highlands of western Bolivia. The city was founded on November 6, 1606, with the name Villa Real de San Felipe de...

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7. Such a Noise!: Fireworks and the Soundscapes of Two Veracruz Festivals

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pp. 103-121

After moving from Montreal to K alamazoo, Michigan, my family and I heartily embraced the use of firecrackers in the late 1960s and early 1970s as we anticipated the U.S. national Fourth of July holiday. The process began...

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Postscript: Sound Representation: Nation, Translation, Memory

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pp. 122-126

There is a space between the essential ephemerality of a sonic utterance and the process through which it is preserved and transmitted to others that has been taken up under the name of sound studies, an emergent category of scholarship to which this volume generously contributes and expands....


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pp. 127-162


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pp. 163-165


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pp. 167-169

E-ISBN-13: 9780822977957
E-ISBN-10: 0822977958
Print-ISBN-13: 9780822961871
Print-ISBN-10: 0822961873

Page Count: 160
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Pitt Latin American Series
Series Editor Byline: John Charles Chasteen and Catherine M. Conaghan, Editors See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 805418933
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Media, Sound, and Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Subject Headings

  • Mass media and culture -- Latin America.
  • Mass media and culture -- Caribbean Area.
  • Sound in mass media.
  • Radio broadcasting -- Latin America.
  • Radio broadcasting -- Caribbean Area.
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