IHC Pre-Doctoral Fellow: Barbara L. Taylor

Barbara L. Taylor is a Doctoral Candidate in Music. Her dissertation is titled The Ghosts of Banjos Past: The Early Banjo Revival and Remapping America’s Racial Terrain.

Diverse cultural activists are contesting conventional knowledge of early banjo history as they construct a subversive reading of “America’s Instrument” that repositions blackness as intrinsic to Americanness.  I analyze this emerging counter-narrative in the historical context of  of the emergence of both black music-making and the three core social ideations of cultural mixture: exclusion, assimilation, and plurality. I argue that this history, along with the endemic folk romatnicism and post-WWII liberation movements, comprise the nexus in which the Early Banjo revival has coalesced.

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