Lauren Deal

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Brown U.

Grant number

Gr. 9527

Approve Date

October 11, 2017

Project Title

Deal, Lauren E., Brown U., Providence, RI - To aid research on 'Recuperating Argentina Mestiza: An Ethnographic Study of Language, Music, and Race in Buenos Aires, Argentina,' supervised by Dr. Paja L. Faudree

LAUREN E. DEAL, then a graduate student at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, was awarded funding in October 2017 to aid research on “Recuperating Argentina Mestiza: An Ethnographic Study of Language, Music, and Race in Buenos Aires, Argentina,” supervised by Dr. Paja L. Faudree. Argentine identity has historically been defined in terms of a racialized nationalism that positions it as exceptionally white and European. This project explores how working- and middle-class Argentines from the Buenos Aires metropolitan area understand themselves in relationship to this exceptional whiteness, and how they claim to contest it by participating in intercultural indigenous language and music programs. Fieldwork and analysis revealed underlying ideologies of coloniality and decolonization by which participants understand forces including the Argentine state, the education system, and the globalized capitalist market to proscribe and homogenize what is considered acceptably and authentically Argentine. By learning indigenous languages and musical practices, particularly Quechua and Andean panpipe music, participants understand themselves to be combatting these forces of homogenization and recuperating indigenous practices, identities, and ways of being that have been denied to them. These indigenous cultural forms then become materials for reimagining and performing a “decolonized,” less white and less European, Argentine identity. This research also follows these actors as they travel to Andean regions to learn more about the practices they study in order to document the perspectives of those communities whose cultural forms are being disseminated in the city. This study contributes to understandings of whiteness, interculturality and cultural appropriation, and coloniality/decolonization.