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CLAS Research Highlights 2017

EduardHerreraResearchHighlightEduardo Herrera
Assistant Professor of Music
Mason Gross

In local Argentine soccer matches one can find anywhere between two hundred to fifty thousand people chanting together, accompanied by large ensembles of percussion and brass instruments. Research on this mode of musical production has focused on the genealogy of the melodies and the discursive analysis of chant lyrics with or without an ethnographic component. However, they have left unexplored how these chants, as sign-vehicles, become meaningful beyond text and beyond genealogy. Thanks in part to a CLAS Small Grant Fund, I had the opportunity to do field work research with fans of several teams, exploring the specific potentials that participatory moving and sounding-in-synchrony brings into this collective experience. I argue that public mass participatory singing allows fans to actively partake in a performative social space that establishes a non-hegemonic shared system of meaning.  This system, under a logic locally known as aguante (endurance), frames locally rooted interpretations of heteronormative, patriarchal, homophobic, and sometimes violent values and actions in a positive manner, in ways that might not be voiced by single individuals.

 

 

Wanda Quintanilla v1Wanda Quintanilla
(currently LAS Honors Student 2017)

My name is Wanda Quintanilla-Duran and I am finishing up my major within the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at Rutgers. CLAS has influenced my life academically and personally. From the moment I expressed interest in Latin America, Prof. Camilla Stevens patiently helped me explore all the options so that I was able to pursue and obtain a major in Latin American Studies. I began by taking “Latinos and Migration,” a class taught by Dr. Ulla Berg. This class shaped my way of seeing and understanding myself as a Honduran migrant in the U.S and it shaped my way of analyzing all migratory processes as complex phenomena that “needs” to be studied.  I am currently writing an Honor’s Thesis in Latin American Studies directed by Dr. Ulla Berg. My thesis examines the experience of Honduran migrants currently residing in South Jersey (Atlantic County). I am interested in seeing how travel form–that is, whether they arrived with visas or crossed the US-Mexico border without authorization–affects the Honduran migrants’ current experiences of settlement in the United States and their relationship with the homeland. It was precisely in the Latin American Studies major that I learned to feel valued not only as a student and a person, but also as one who is able to contribute to the production of knowledge. I have enjoyed every single class in the department, not only because of the content, but also because I have not yet encountered a better pedagogy elsewhere in the University. Each professor has left a mark in my heart and in my mind. Next year, I am attending Ohio State University to obtain a Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics. Although I am not pursuing a degree in area studies, it was my experience in Latin American Studies that made me realize the importance of focusing my linguistic and ethnographic research on Latin American and US Latino populations.

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