Yana Stainova: "Sonorous Worlds: Musical Enchantment in Venezuela"
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Yana Stainova, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at McMaster University, is interested in art, urban poverty, social inequality, migration, and the lived experience of violence in Latin America. Her research explores how people summon music practices to pursue visions of social justice in the face of political turmoil and barriers to immigration.
Abstract: Why have millions of Venezuelan youth and their families chosen to invest their desires in classical music? In this talk, I will discuss my new book "Sonorous Worlds: Musical Enchantment in Venezuela," based on 16 months of ethnographic research with musicians from Venezuela's classical music program El Sistema. The state-funded initiative provides free classical music education and instruments to almost a million young people all over the country. The book looks at how these young people engage with what I call "enchantment," that is, how through musical practices they create worlds that escape, rupture, and critique dominant structures of power. My focus on artistic practice and enchantment allows me to theorize the successes and failures of political projects through the lens of the everyday transformations in people's lives.
Presented in association with the Department of Cultural Anthropology, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Lecture Series in Musicology.