The Carter G. Woodson Institute, U.Va.

The Carter G. Woodson Institute

for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia

Stewart

My dissertation Being Maroon: Music, Memory and Power in Articulations of Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Jamaican Maroonage examines the use of music as a marker of identity and an implement of power. Drawing from extensive field research with the Leeward and Windward Jamaican Maroon communities, I argue that cultural specialists possess varying degrees of authority. They use this authority to: authenticate performance practices, set the parameters for what constitutes acceptable cultural representation, passively and actively express approval of or dissatisfaction with community leadership, grant or deny access to cultural knowledge, and challenge persisting unequal power dynamics between themselves and the scholarly community. Additionally, I analyze the Jamaican Maroon cultural presence as firmly situated at the center of national public discourse, and how that presence is sometimes used in ways that are ideologically opposed to Maroons themselves. This dissertation offers fresh insights into Jamaican Maroon cultural traditions—specifically the music and its performance—by examining the social and political contexts in which they exist, and the human interactions that make them possible and complex.

First Name: 
Tracey
Position: 
Pre-Doctoral Fellow (Music)
Photo: 
Classification: 
Institution: 
University of Virginia
Dissertation Title: 
"Being Maroon: Music, Memory and Power in Articulations of Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Jamaican Maroonage"