SOUNDS OF OUR TOWN
The Representing Reggaeton project, led by Lauren Chalk, explores the heritage spaces and practices related to the Afro-Caribbean popular music genre, reggaeton. Deriving from Black communities and traditions, the rhythms of this music are sonic legacies of cultural interactions and historical processes across the Caribbean and Americas. Reggaeton, however, is typically excluded from traditional definitions of cultural heritage.
The Representing Reggaeton project explores the heritage of reggaeton as told by voices of the genre’s communities of practice – including those which have been historically overlooked, socially marginalised and culturally silenced by traditional spaces and institutions. Through interviews and conversations with stakeholders and fans, the project explores how reggaeton is represented through museums, archives and galleries (whether online or physical, institutional or grassroots) and how stakeholders – who may not necessarily consider themselves heritage practitioners – have responded to the genre and its histories through podcasting, social media and artwork.
One of the key outputs of this project is the ‘Representing Reggaeton’ podcast on Spotify. Each episode features interviews or conversations with people involved in heritage spaces or practices related reggaeton.
To find out more about this project, you can visit the project's official website or follow along on Instagram.
Three Minute Thesis submission
This video provides a brief summary of the Representing Reggaeton project.
Baker, G., 2011. Buena Vista in the Club: rap, reggaetón, and revolution in Havana. Duke University Press.
Cepeda, M.E., 2009. Media and the Musical Imagination: Comparative Discourses of Belonging in “Nuestro Himno” and “Reggaeton Latino”. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 16(5), pp. 548–572.
Dinzey-Flores, Z.Z., 2008. De la disco al caserío: Urban Spatial Aesthetics and Policy to the Beat of Reggaetón. Centro Journal, 20(2), pp. 35–69.
Domino Rudolph, J., 2011. Pidieron cacao: Latinidad and black identity in the reggaetón of Don Omar. Centro Journal, 23(1).
Eid, F., Greco, M.E., Kasperski, J., Martin, A. and Mujkanović, E., 2016. How to Make a Global Dance Hit: Balancing the Exotic with the Familiar in ‘Danza Kuduro’ by Lucenzo featuring Don Omar. Song Interpretation in 21st-Century Pop Music, p. 231.
Giovannetti, J.L., 2003. Popular Music and Culture in Puerto Rico. In Musical Migrations (pp. 81–98). Palgrave Macmillan.
Goldman, D.E., 2017. Walk like a woman, talk like a man: Ivy Queen’s troubling of gender. Latino Studies, 15(4), pp. 439–457.
Hernandez, T., 2007. The Birth of Reggaeton. Black Renaissance, 7(3), p. 79.
LeBrón, M., 2011. “Con un Flow Natural”: Sonic affinities and reggaeton nationalism. Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, 21(2), pp. 219–233.
Marshall, W., 2008. Dem Bow, Dembow, Dembo: Translation and Transnation in Reggaeton. Lied und populäre Kultur/Song and Popular Culture, 53, pp. 131–151.
Rivera, M.M., 2019. Just Sexual Games and Twenty-Four-Hour Parties?. Anti-Fandom: Dislike and Hate in the Digital Age, p. 184.
Rivera, R.Z, Marshall, W and Hernandez, D. 2009. Reggaeton: Refiguring American Music. Duke University Press.
Rivera, R.Z., 2008. Reggaeton, gender, blogging and pedagogy. Latino Studies, 6(3), pp. 327–338.
Rivera, R.Z. 2008. Will the “real” Puerto Rican culture please stand up? Thoughts on cultural nationalism. In None of the above: Puerto Ricans in the global era (pp. 217–231). Palgrave Macmillan.
Rivera-Rideau, P.R., 2011. “Tropical Mix”: Afro-Latino Space and Notch's Reggaetón. Popular Music and Society, 34(02), pp. 221–235.
Rivera-Rideau, P.R., 2013. From Carolina to Loíza: race, place and Puerto Rican racial democracy. Identities, 20(5), pp. 616–632.
Rivera-Rideau, P.R., 2013. ‘Cocolos Modernos’: Salsa, Reggaetón, and Puerto Rico's Cultural Politics of Blackness. Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, 8(1), pp. 1–19.
Rivera-Rideau, R. 2015. Remixing Reggaeton: the Cultural Politics of Race in Puerto Rico. Duke University Press.
Rivera-Rideau, P.R., 2018. “If I Were You” Tego Calderón’s Diasporic Interventions. Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, 22(1 (55)), pp. 55–69.
Rivera-Rideau, P.R. and Torres-Leschnik, J., 2019. "The Colors and Flavors of My Puerto Rico": Mapping “Despacito”’s Crossovers. Journal of Popular Music, 31(1), pp. 87–108
Rivera-Servera, R.H., 2011. Dancing Reggaetón with Cowboy Boots. In Transnational Encounters: Music and Performance at the US-Mexico Border. Oxford University Press.
Samponaro, P., 2009. “Oye mi canto”(“Listen to My Song”): The History and Politics of Reggaeton. Popular Music and Society, 32(4), pp. 489–506.
I acknowledge the support of The Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research and the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science – and the HDR programme, in particular, for supporting my research. A special thanks to my supervisors, Professor Sarah Baker and Dr Robert Mason, who are guiding me through this PhD journey – and to the reggaetonerxs who agreed to be interviewed for this project: thank you for sharing your experiences and expertise with me.