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Musicologist awarded fellowship to study Cuban dance

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Alejandro Madrid

Alejandro Madrid will study relations between Cuba and Mexico by focusing on a dance genre with African and European influences.

Musicologist and cultural theorist Alejandro L. Madrid has received a Collaborative Research Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.

The fellowships provide support to teams of scholars to collaborate intensively on a single project. The project is one of six selected for the collaborative humanities research program, which is supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The $110,000 award will allow Madrid, associate professor of Latin American and Latino studies, to spend next year completing his latest research project focusing on transnational relations between Cuba and Mexico through a cultural study of the danzón, a dance of Cuban origin that combines European and African elements.

Working with Robin Moore of the University of Texas at Austin, Madrid will conduct final fieldwork on the danzón in Cuba, Mexico, and New Orleans and finish writing a book about the dance genre's transnational history, influences, and contemporary practice.

Much of Madrid's research involves the connection between modernity, tradition, globalization and identity in music and expressive culture from Mexico, the U.S.-Mexico border and the Caribbean coast.

In 2010, Madrid won the International Association for the Study of Popular Music's Woody Guthrie Book Award for Nor-Tec Rifa! Electronic Dance Music from Tijuana to the World. The award honors the best book about popular music studies in the English language.

His first book, Sounds of the Modern Nation: Music, Culture, and Ideas in Post-Revolutionary Mexico, earned the 2005 Casa de las Americas International Musicology Award.


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