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Modernity'S EarListening to Race and Gender in World Music$
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Roshanak Kheshti

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9781479867011

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479867011.001.0001

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Racial Noise, Hybridity, and Miscegenation in World Music

Racial Noise, Hybridity, and Miscegenation in World Music

(p.82) 4 Racial Noise, Hybridity, and Miscegenation in World Music
Modernity'S Ear

Roshanak Kheshti

NYU Press

Chapter 4 critically reads the ethos of cross-cultural collaboration promoted by this culture industry through the trope of musical hybridity. By theorizing the links between hybridity and miscegenation and their relationship to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, this chapter interrogates the heterosexual imperative at work in musical tropes of cross-fertilization and chronicles the gendered division of sonic labor. It begins by surveying work on music and cultural mixing (e.g., syncretism, hybridity, fusion) insisting upon an analysis of the sexual implications at the heart of these metaphors and interrogating their heterologic as a holdover of eugenicist practices of “artificial selection.” The chapter explores the discursive linkages uniting music, genetics, and adaptability in order to further map the resignification of the ear as an erotic orifice, one that has perhaps a greater capacity to adapt the listener to a rapidly changing anthropocene in which change has outpaced biological evolutionary time.

Keywords:   hybridity, miscegenation, Charles Darwin, eugenics, artificial selection, David Goodman Croly, Jacques Derrida, oto-erotic, racial noise, Jacques Attali

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