Award-winner highlights music at Mexican border

Alejandro Madrid, associate professor of Latin American and Latino studies, UIC

Alejandro Madrid

Musicologist and cultural theorist Alejandro Madrid received the Ruth A. Solie Award from the American Musicological Society for his latest book, Transnational Encounters: Music and Performance at the U.S.-Mexico Border (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Madrid, associate professor of Latin American and Latino studies, studies the connections among modernity, tradition, globalization and identity in music and expressive culture from Mexico, the U.S.-Mexico border and the circum-Caribbean.

Transnational Encounters is a series of essays that examine indigenous, popular and alternative musical practices to challenge perceptions of the border as a homogeneous cultural area.

His previous honors include a 2011 Collaborative Research Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. The fellowship enabled him to spend a year completing research on transnational relations between Cuba, Mexico and the U.S. through a cultural study of the danzón, a dance of Cuban origin that combines European and African elements.

In 2010, Madrid won the Woody Guthrie Book Award from the International Association for the Study of Popular Music’s for  his book 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 Américas International Musicology Award.

The American Musicological Society gives the annual Solie Award to a collection of musicological essays in any language and in any country.

The prize committee includes scholars from Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Northeastern University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Alberta.

The committee praised Madrid’s anthology as “a dynamic example of new geographical and cultural realms of musical scholarship.”

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