Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationNew Mexico, Albuquerque, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9950
Approve DateOctober 24, 2019
Project TitleJacobsen, Kristina (New Mexico, Albuquerque, U. ofUniversity of Cágliari, Sardinia, Italy) "Sing Me Back Home: Songwriting, Language Reclamation and Italian Colonialism in Sardinia"
Sing Me Back Home: Songwriting, Language Reclamation and Italian Colonialism in Sardinia explores how Sardinians from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, Italy, negotiate their colonial past and “postcolonial” present through performances of original songs. This ethnographic study uses co-writing songs with Sardinian interlocutors as a window into how ideologies of colonial power are taken up, resisted, or creatively interpreted. I employ an innovative methodological approach of musical participant-observation, contributing both theoretically and methodologically to the fields of cultural and linguistic anthropology by examining language stigma and language reclamation as this is evidenced through language use in social life. I reveal how American music becomes a site of transduction (Silverstein 2003) where, through the process of songwriting, recording and performance, the energy from one genre of music and lingua-culture is harnessed to indexically signal another world much closer to home, validating Sardinian language and “traditional” music in new ways. As Davis (2017) and Adkins (2013) have noted, language shift does not occur in a sociopolitical vacuum: speech and song offer unique windows into the daily interplay between the “continente” (colonizer) and “la Sardigna” (colony) and how the legacy of living with multiple colonialisms is expressed in stories, both spoken and sung.