Professor Alexandra Vazquez Examines Cuban Music in her New Book, "Listening in Detail"
Alexandra T. Vazquez, an assistant professor of English and African American studies, has published her first book entitled, "Listening in Detail: Performances of Cuban Music (Refiguring American Music)" through Duke University Press.
Listening in Detail is an original and impassioned take on the intellectual and sensory bounty of Cuban music as it circulates between the island, the United States, and other locations. It is also a powerful critique of efforts to define "Cuban music" for ethnographic examination or market consumption. Contending that the music is not a knowable entity but a spectrum of dynamic practices that elude definition, Alexandra T. Vazquez models a new way of writing about music and the meanings assigned to it. "Listening in detail" is a method invested in opening up, rather than pinning down, experiences of Cuban music. Critiques of imperialism, nationalism, race, and gender emerge in fragments and moments, and in gestures and sounds through Vazquez's engagement with Alfredo Rodríguez's album Cuba Linda (1996), the seventy-year career of the vocalist Graciela Pérez, the signature grunt of the "Mambo King" Dámaso Pérez Prado, Cuban music documentaries of the 1960s, and late-twentieth-century concert ephemera.
Professor Vazquez’s research and teaching interests focus on performance studies, U.S. Latina/o Studies, popular music, cultures of the African diaspora, transnational feminist theory, and Latina/o American literature and criticism, with an emphasis on the Hispanophone Caribbean. She is also author of several articles including “How Can I Refuse?” The Journal of Popular Music Studies Vol. 23, no. 2 (June 2011). Vazquez is currently working on a new book entitled La Lupe: Queen of Latin Soul, which is co-edited with Ela Troyano, and is also under contract with Duke University Press.
In 2010-2011, Vazquez received a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship. Before coming to Princeton, she was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Program in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University and lecturer at the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at New York University. Professor Vazquez received her Ph.D. from the Department of Performance Studies at New York University.
Professor Vazquez will be teaching two courses this fall: Cultures of the Afro-Diaspora (AAS 412/ENG 425/LAO 412) and Forms of Literature: Introduction to U.S. Latina/o Literature (ENG 402/AAS 408/LAO 402).