UIC musicologist wins national award for edited volume

Musicologist and cultural theorist Alejandro L. Madrid has received the Ruth A. Solie Award from the American Musicological Society for his latest book, “Transnational Encounters: Music and Performance at the U.S.-Mexico Border” (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Madrid, associate professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at UIC, examines indigenous, popular, and alternative musical practices in a series of essays to challenge perceptions of the border as a homogeneous cultural area.

Much of Madrid’s research has involved the connections among modernity, tradition, globalization, and identity in music and expressive culture from Mexico, the U.S.-Mexico border, and the circum-Caribbean.

His previous honors include a 2011 Collaborative Research Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies to spend a year completing research on transnational relations between Cuba, Mexico, and the U.S. through a cultural study of the danzón, a dance of Cuban origin that combines European and African elements.

In 2010, Madrid won the International Association for the Study of Popular Music’s Woody Guthrie Book Award for “Nor-Tec Rifa! Electronic Dance Music from Tijuana to the World.” The award honors the best book about popular music studies in the English language.

His first book, “Sounds of the Modern Nation: Music, Culture, and Ideas in Post-Revolutionary Mexico,” earned the 2005 Casa de las Américas International Musicology Award.

The American Musicological Society gives the Ruth A. Solie Award annually to honor a collection of musicological essays in any language and in any country. The prize committee included scholars from Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Northeastern University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Alberta. The committee wrote that Madrid’s anthology “is a dynamic example of new geographical and cultural realms of musical scholarship.”

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