The Sounds of Post-Inauguration Protests: Memory, Circulation, Innovation

Start Date: November 08 2017 - 12:30 PM

End Date: November 08 2017 - 02:00 PM

Audience: Student, Faculty and Staff

Category: Performing Arts and Film

Location: Kurzweil Recital Hall-H 144


The surge of protests that have followed the election of Donald Trump has inspired thousands of residents, many of them new to activism, to join. Music and sound are important means to engage these protesters, build solidarity among them, and keep them going. These chants and singalongs usually follow the tenets of participatory music—simple and repetitive enough so that anyone can join in. As such, most songs and chants are familiar classics, which not only help to maximize participation but also harken back to other struggles, such as the Civil Rights Movement, the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999, the Wisconsin protests of 2011, and Occupy Wall Street. While most innovation is incremental, with chants or songs being fitted with a few new words, several new chants have filled the soundscape. This presentation is a preliminary account of the sounds of these protests, outlining the paths of historic reference, innovation, and global circulation. It also discusses the inherent musicality of protest chants and their role in shaping the soundscape of the protest.

Noriko Manabe is Associate Professor of Music Studies at Temple University. She received her PhD in music from CUNY Graduate Center and previously taught at Brooklyn College and John Jay College, as well as Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania. Her work centers on music and social movements and popular music, particularly in Japan and Latin America. Her first book, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music After Fukushima (Oxford 2015) won the John Whitney Hall Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies and Honorable Mention for the Alan Merriam Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology. She is currently working on her second monograph, Revolution Remixed: Intertextuality in Protest Music, and co-edited volumes, Nuclear Music (with Jessica Schwartz) and Oxford Handbook of Protest Music (with Eric Drott), all under contract with Oxford University Press. She is series editor for 33-1/3 Japan, a book series on Japanese popular music at Bloomsbury, which is publishing books on the vocaloid Hatsune Miku, the music of the anime Cowboy Bebop, idol pop, and Shibuya-kei music. Her articles on Japanese rap, hip-hop DJs, online radio, the music business, wartime children’s songs, and Cuban music have appeared in Ethnomusicology, Popular Music, Asian Music, Asia-Pacific Journal, Oxford Handbook of Children’s Musical Cultures, Oxford Handbook of Mobile Music Studies, among other volumes. More information about her activities can be found at<>.


Contact Name: Mirna Lekic

Contact Phone: 718.281.5026

Contact Email:

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