Rebecca Hope Dirksen

Mar 17, 2021

After the Dance, the Drums Are Heavy

Carnival, Politics, and Musical Engagement in Haiti

Oxford University Press 2020

After the Dance, the Drums Are Heavy: Carnival, Politics, and Musical Engagement in Haiti (Oxford University Press, 2020) is a study of carnival, politics, and the musical engagement of ordinary citizens and celebrity musicians in contemporary Haiti. Drawing on more than a decade and a half of ethnographic research, Rebecca Dirksen presents an in-depth consideration of politically and socially engaged music and what these expressions mean for the Haitian population in the face of challenging political and economic circumstances. The book centers the voices of Haitian musicians and regular citizens by extensively sharing interviews and detailed analyses of musical performance in the context of contemporary events well beyond the musical realm.

Dr. Rebecca Dirksen is an ethnomusicologist working across the spectrum of musical genres in Haiti and its diaspora. Her research concerns cultural approaches to development, crisis, and disaster; sacred ecologies, diverse environmentalisms, and ecomusicology; and applied/engaged/activist scholarship. She is a professor in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University Bloomington and a founding member of the Diverse Environmentalisms Research Team (DERT).

Dr. Isabel Machado serves as reviews editor for the Oral History Journal and is guest editing a forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Festival Studies on the “Materiality of Festivities.”

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Isabel Machado is Research Associate with the SARChI Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture hosted by the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture at the University of Johannesburg.
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