GWSS represents at the American Studies Association's Annual 2016 Meeting in Denver, Colorado, 11/17-11/20/2016

Iris Viveros (panel co-organizer) and Michelle Habell-Pallan will present on the panel "Sounds Like Home: Mapping Chicana/Mexicana/Indigena Epistemologies in Sonic Spaces," on Saturday, November 19, 2016.

Out of numerous submissions, this panel was awarded ADA's Sound Studies Caucus Sponsorship.


This interdisciplinary dialogue/roundtable/conversation brings together scholars and scholar-artists guided by women of color feminism to explore the ways music and sound transforms the concept of home and belonging as land or place-based, as it responds to historical legacies of colonial logics: community displacement and social alienation. Scholars of Punk, Fandango, Acoustic Spoken Word, 80s musical soundtracks, and Banda Sinaloense will dialogue around the way in which “we are always returning home again” through music and spoken word. Notably, this roundtable marks a moment in the formation of Chicana Feminist Music Scholarship, one that has understood its imbrication with spoken word forms and communities. Ultimately the roundtable’s question of the possibility of “returning home” stages a collective listening to this music scholarship, to theorizing Women of Color feminism via music together, and to propose and pursue new directions in music scholarship. 

Through such women of color feminist concepts such as Anzaldua’s embodied theory, intersectionality, and “ the flashback” we move this conversation to sonic space where listening grounds our methods.

Yoking music/sound to text/-/stories, the focus of our conversation is two-fold: (1) to present/map a vast, diverse, and expansive soundscape of Chicana/Mexicana/Indigena music, musical styles, and genres and (2) to mobilize Women of Color feminist theory in popular music scholarship questions to discuss include: How does Women of Color feminist theory enrich our interpretations of Chicana music and performance? What would happen if we posed a different way to write about punk, banda, spoken word, and new wave through the lens of Women of Color feminism? 

Some scholars in this roundtable embark in a dialogue with Indigenous and transnational feminist scholarship to demonstrate the extent to which polyrhythmic participatory-based music practices hold sociopolitical realities and decolonial practices, in which, western modes of intellectualization are contested by means of embodied modes of knowledge production and experience. Other scholars, theorize Gloria Anzaldua’s notion of “carrying home on my back” to think about the intersectionalities of feminist-home making strategies for women singers, and musicians who live diasporic lives. The goal of this roundtable is to capture the sounds of home through a very dynamic and interactive format. In closing, panelists will encourage the audience to participate in a collective demonstration of Chicana music making strategies that center Chicana epistemologies. 

We propose a roundtable/performative dialogue format that stages a dialogue between participants and the audience about the way music and sound transforms our understandings of home. During the first 40 minutes, roundtable participant will present 6 minute flash presentations that share information about our projects and our experiences as music scholars, and then open the floor to a discussion that is wide-ranging yet grounded in the material practices of sound, music, feminism, and home. In order to convey the embodied ways Chicana feminist epistemologies of home are communicated, presentations will also include performances.