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Panelists to focus on Brazilian slave chants, Nov. 17

"Chattering Songs," a panel discussion on the collection of slave chants ("jongos") recorded by professor emeritus Stanley Stein in Brazil 60 years ago, is planned for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, in 10 East Pyne.

During the late 1940s, Stein was in the Paraíba Valley in Brazil, investigating the decline of the coffee plantations and the resulting deterioration of the entire system that had guaranteed the Brazilian elite's wealth during the 19th century. While doing his fieldwork, he recorded former slaves singing jongos.

This brief recorded material recently has been turned into a CD, not yet available commercially. Over time, the field of black slavery studies in Brazil has been progressively expanding its perspectives, recovering, through the investigation of new sources, the effective participation of slaves and former slaves in the social and cultural history of Brazil.

The "Chattering Songs" panel will offer the opportunity to listen and reflect on the jongos. The panel will encourage the discussion of the significance of oral traditions in the formation of collective cultural perspectives, as well as the importance and complexity of collecting such oral material.

Discussants will include: Stein; Princeton faculty members Arcadio Diaz-Quiñones, Michael Stone and Colin Palmer; and Silvia Lara and Robert Slenes of the University of Campinas, Brazil.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures, Department of History, Program in African-American Studies, Program in Latin American Studies and Davis Center for Historical Studies.

Contact: Tom Bartus (609) 258-3601

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