Jazz-Blues for the Humanities

jazz_bluesThis group will be comprised of scholars involved in the ever-growing body of research on jazz, blues, and rock music as they relate to the humanities.

As scholars we are interested in a myriad of themes pertaining to black music as manifested in the humanities:

  • Jazz in the orient
  • Jazz and democracy
  • Blues and the formation of border cultures
  • Improvisation
  • Jazz as it relates to modernism

A major concern that unites our scholarship is that of the context of jazz and the blues. Scholars as varied as Albert Murray, Ralph Ellison, Stanley Crouch, Paul Gilroy, and Henry Louis Gates have pointed to jazz and the blues as having emerged from the sharing of cultures throughout the Black Atlantic.

As a research group, we hope to get close to answering the following question: What is it in black music that enables it to serve as the unifying thread in such diverse phenomena as artistic improvisation, cultural and political shifts in Latin America or in Asia, the British Invasion, European and Latin American modernisms, Cold War-era politics, Civil Rights, and democracy?

For further information, please contact Gregory Stallings (Spanish and Portuguese).