Saturday, February 26, 2011

Misc. notes on creolization ... 'tricksters in the borderlands'

Tricksters thrive in the borderlands.
-- Ulf Hannerz, ”Fluxos, fronteiras, híbridos: palavras-chave da antropologia transnacional” 1997).

Paul Rutten. "Global sounds and local brews: Musical developments and music industry in Europe." Soundscapes - journal on media culture July 1999.


This essay touches on the role of today's music in societies and cultures in
Europe. It deals with the question of the development of the popular music
contemporary Europe and tries to step over the simplifying notion of
"Americanization" by introducing the concept of "creolization" in
discussions on
musical developments.

* * *
The Swedish
anthropologist Ulf Hannerz (1992) has introduced a concept which is very helpful
in understanding the
processes described above: creolization. It is helpful
in understanding the
interaction of music cultures within the European
context as well as elsewhere.
The concept is developed in linguistics and
anthropology. A creole culture is a
culture which developed out of an
interaction process of two or more different
cultures in such a way that the
new culture better serves as meaning system to
sustain communal life in the
context in which it developed, then the cultures
from which it has been
constructed. Creolization points to the processes that
underlie the
development of a creole culture.

Bio of Rutten (?) at webpage for 8th International Nonfiction Conference in Amsterdam:
Paul Rutten has worked as a part-time professor at Leiden University, heading the MA programme Book and Digital Media Studies. He specializes in the consequences of digitization for media and publishing, concentrating among other things on the book publishing industry and scholarly communication. Part of his research, on behalf of OAPEN, a project funded by the EU Content Plus programme, focuses on the future of monograph publishing in the humanities and social sciences. Since 2010 he has been visiting professor in Creative Industries and Innovation at Antwerp University. For the past three years he has also operated as an independent researcher, working for private and public clients on issues such as digitization, cross media and creative industries. Before joining Leiden University he was visiting professor in Cultural Industries at Erasmus University, senior researcher and consultant at TNO and professor in Media and Entertainment Industries at INHOLLAND University for Professional Education in Haarlem.
futures - killarney - creolization - 17de mai? -

Journal of American Folklore
Volume 116, Number 459, Winter 2003
Special Issue: Creolization
Special Editors: Robert Baron and Ana C. Cara
This issue of the Journal of American Folkore is dedicated to the memory of Daniel J. Crowley (1921-1998).

Jim Leseman "The Creolization of Migrant Music "
Published 30 October 2009. PDF at ... Exceprt

By the on-going blending of cultural knowledge, new products emerge, originally derived from two or more cultures. This on-going process is called ‘hybridization’ or ‘creolization’ (Hannerz, 1992, p. 239–246). A well-known example of cuisine creolization is apparent in our own country. Most Dutch citizens know the dish that comprises of macaroni pasta, tiny cubes of ham, grated cheese and a large quantity of tomato sauce, or, even worse, tomato ketchup. A foreigner wouldn’t call this dish Dutch, since the lack of potatoes, vegetables and meat, neatly separated from each other. An Italian wouldn’t call it Italian too, because of the large amount of sauce and, moreover, they never use macaroni as a type of pasta for supper1. Now, the question emerges whether this form of creolization is also applicable to the domain of music, and how this hybridization evolves.

3. The creolization of music

When applying the above theorem of cultural creolization to the domain of music, we have to take in account that one can call almost all music from the past a form of creolization. For instance, pop music is evolved from a large number of different styles throughout the years—blues, bluegrass, country, jazz and skiffle, early rock and roll, and we can go on for a while. So, although this is a form of creolization, it is also to a very high degree popularized and Westernized, leading to a uniform product that is more or less everywhere. The same could be said about world music: this terrain of music is almost as big as popular music. Therefore, in this paper, I’m looking at two genres that are more easily distinguishable, namely reggae and bhangra music. Furthermore, these creolizations of music also play an important role in the identity of migrants. Mainstream popular music clearly has not much involvement with voyagers, migrants and their identity. ...

Leseman studied sociology, is now Project Manager and Coordinator [of] Data Collection at Gfk Daphne.

Richard Cullen Rath "Drums and Power: Ways of Creolizing Music in Coastal South Carolina and Georgia." Forthcoming in a book by Texas A&M Press.

Excerpt from intro and thesis statement: "This essay ... explicates a theoretical base for the process of cultural creolization, drawing on the link between language and culture. It then examines how Africans and their descendants in the South Carolina-Georgia low country took advantage of musical creolization in their struggles for self-directed rather than other-directed lives during the eighteenth century." Excerpts:

How does creolization work? It is a way of forming a "native" identity in a situation where there is no natal society. The process takes place in the descendants of forcibly displaced immigrant populations when the immigrants were drawn from more than one source. First-generation immigrants, the ones forcibly displaced, undergo pidginization, a more tenuous and provisional process of negotiating linguistic and cultural practices in the face of multiple native identities. Children are often born into these groups, in a situation where there is no consensual identity. These children take an unstable polyglot cultural inheritance and create stable creole identities from it. If and when natural increase overtakes forced immigration as the chief means of sustaining the population, then the process of creolization affects the whole society, changing it from a heterogenous group to a creole culture. Creole languages and cultures are most often associated with a legacy of slavery, which produced the harsh and disruptive conditions necessary for their formation.

To be useful as a concept, creolization needs to be distinguished from other ways of mixing, creating, and maintaining cultural identities. In addition to distinguishing pidginization from creolization, the demographics of forced labor, mixed origin, displacement, natural increase, racism, and inequality also serve to distinguish creolization from other related forms of cultural fashioning like syncretism, hybridity, transfer, borrowing, retention, or translation. Ignoring the special circumstances of creolization renders it analytically redundant as a term.
aLSO available in Assata Shakur Forum website. Shakur is a former Black Panther activist now in exile in Cuba, perhaps best known as Tupac Shakur's stepfather's sister.

Erna Brodber, "Where Are All the Others?" in Caribbean creolization: reflections on the cultural dynamics of language ed. Kathleen M. Balutansky Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1998) ... in Google Books. "... reflections on this process trace the evolution of a dynamic regional literature and identity out of materials displaced amid the movement of colonial empires and nationalistic and economic upheavals." She talks about Irish and African influences in Barbados, as reflected in her family, career and observations in U.S. [need to get on interlibrary loan]

Robin Cohen. "Creolization and Cultural Globalization: The Soft Sounds of Fugitive Power" 25-page paper under copyright (2007 and not updated). Links to the Creole Social and Cultural Studies creolization website at the University of Warwick, where Cohen taught before moving to Oxford.

... Robin Cohen and [postdoctoral fellow] Paola Toninato will investigate the
social scientific value of the concepts of creolization (and similar concepts
like hybridity, métissage and syncretism) in Brazil, the South Atlantic/Indian
oceans, the Caribbean, West Africa (notably Cape Verde), the USA and the UK. The
research will be multi-disciplinary – particularly using sociology and social
history as core disciplines, with social anthropology, linguistics and area
studies providing necessary insights. Portuguese, Dutch/Afrikaans, French,
Spanish, English and Creole sources will be used. This research programme will
be the first major comparative study of creolization and mixed identity.

This website will keep track of the programme as it develops. It also
serves as a point of reference for all those engaged in Creole Studies,
particularly (but not exclusively) those working on contemporary cultural,
sociological and anthropological aspects of creolization. Under Creole Popular
Culture you will find material on languages, festivals, food, music &
dancing and religion. Under Creolization Concepts you will find pages, some
still under construction, listing the key theoretical ideas on creolization and
related concepts. In our Bibliography a general bibliography of recent items on
creolization will be provided. This section also contains some featured book
reviews. Finally, the section on Key Figures will provide short biographies of
the major writers, historical figures, artists, musicians and academics in the
field of Creole Studies.

Linked to the website is a 28-minute sound file of Robin Cohen’s interview on Creolization for BBC Radio 4.

Ulf Hannerz. Bio of Hannerz at on Stockholm university website.

FLOWS, BOUNDARIES AND HYBRIDS: KEYWORDS IN TRANSNATIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY. Published in Portuguese as ”Fluxos, fronteiras, híbridos: palavras-chave da antropologia transnacional”, Mana (Rio de Janeiro), 3(1): 7-39, 1997. Accessed today at ...

... a concluding comment. I began with three keywords of an emergent
transnational anthropology, but I have ended up touching on rather more of them, out of the
present and the past: acculturation, the frontier, the marginal man, diffusion... This is a
vocabulary which spans the twentieth century and even a little more, and which also connects
continents. At the same time, however, it brings globalization down to earth, and can help
show its human face. It suggests that the world is not necessarily becoming all the same. There
is struggle but also play. Tricksters thrive in the borderlands. ...
I especially like that last sentence.

Cf. créolité and créolisation Édouard Glissant Wikipedia Édouard Glissant (September 21, 1928 – February 3, 2011)[1] was a French writer, poet and literary critic. He is widely recognised as one of the most influential figures in Caribbean thought and cultural commentary. "He is notable for his attempt to trace parallels between the history and culture of the Creole Caribbean and those of Latin America and the plantation culture of the American south, most obviously in his study of William Faulkner. Generally speaking, his thinking seeks to interrogate notions of centre, origin and linearity, embodied in his distinction between atavistic and composite cultures, which has influenced subsequent Martinican writers' trumpeting of hybridity as the bedrock of Caribbean identity and their "creolised" approach to textuality. As such he is both a key (though underrated) figure in postcolonial literature and criticism ..."

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