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Sophia Enriquez | CSMC 22-23

February 24, 2023 @ 4:15 pm

Sophia Enriquez

“The Fandango & the Nuevo South: Mapping Mexican Migration & a New Mountain Music”

What Perla Guerrero identifies as the newest iteration of the “New South”, the framework of the Nuevo South reflects how Latinx communities continue to expand and transform the economic, political, and cultural landscape of U.S South. Yet there is still little work that seriously centers the music and celebratory practices of Latinx communities in the South as ways to understand this transformation. This talk asks: what does the Nuevo South sound like? What role do music, food, and dance practices play in animating Latinx communities in the U.S. South, and how do these practices help us make sense of the shifting regional politics of place, race, and migration? Drawing on scholarship of the Nuevo South from Latinx studies, ethnomusicology, and folklore studies, this talk explores the significance of the fandango—a community music celebration of the son jarocho folk tradition from Veracruz, Mexico—as a meaningful site of community building and transformation in the Nuevo South. Telling new stories of belonging while also gesturing toward a forgotten Mexican southern past, the fandango becomes a way for us to consider a new musical way of knowing in the South—of mountain music(s) as a critical connective tissue of migrant histories, routes, and futures.

Sophia M. Enríquez (she/her) works at the intersections of Latino and Appalachian music, migration, and regional culture. She is an Assistant Professor of music at Duke University where she also teaches in the Program for Latino/a Studies in the Global South. Sophia earned her PhD in ethnomusicology at Ohio State University as well as graduate certificates in folklore and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies.

Sophia’s dissertation titled “Canciones de Los Apalaches: Latinx Music, Migration, and Belonging in Appalachia” is the first full-length study of Latino creative practices in the Appalachian region. She is currently working on a book project that expands this work and shows how longstanding narratives of Appalachia as a monolith have obscured the movement of Latino people to and through the region over the past century. She asks how Latino communities in Appalachia have both maintained and re-imagined cultural practices surrounding music, dance, and food in ways that make sense of their political and social circumstances while also expressing a particular relationship to place. Building disciplinary relationships across Latinx studies, Appalachian studies, folklore, and ethnomusicology, Sophia’s work sheds light on the complexities of the shifting U.S. cultural landscape in Appalachia and the South and offers new perspectives on Latino community, migration, and belonging through music.

Sophia is passionate about community-engaged scholarship and has worked on a number of public folklore projects across the Appalachian region with the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and ONLO (Oral Narratives of Latinos in Ohio) initiative. She is also a practitioner of both Mexican and Appalachian folk musics. Sophia has performed as part of a female folk trio, the Good Time Girls, in Columbus, Ohio, and regularly performs with the Lua Project, a Mexican-Appalachian fusion band in Charlottesville, Virginia. She also recently co-founded Son de Carolina, a Durham, NC-based collective dedicated to the study of the Mexican folk music tradition son jarocho, with Alexandra Landeros.


This lecture is part of the 2022-2023 Carolina Symposia in Music and Culture lecture series.


February 24, 2023
4:15 pm
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Person Hall
181 E Cameron Ave
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States
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