One Planet Under a Groove: Media Privatization, Digital Technologies, and the Transnational Albanian Music Industry

Event Location: 
Louis A. Simpson Int'l Bldg, Room 161
Event Detail: 

One Planet Under a Groove: Media Privatization, Digital Technologies, and the Transnational Albanian Music Industry

Jane Sugarman, City University of New York
Thursday, February 23, 2017
4:30 P.M.  •  Louis A. Simpson Int'l Bldg, Room 161

Following the closing of Albanian-controlled state media in Kosovo by the Milosevic government in July 1990, Albanians in Kosovo, Macedonia, and Albania cobbled together a new, private music industry that soon encompassed multiple homeland and diaspora sites. Their efforts were very much facilitated by innovations in digital technologies, which have continued to shape developments in the industry up to the present. While initially national—and even nationalist—in its sound and imagery, the Albanian industry has become increasingly transnational and trans-ethnic in its sound, its daily operations, and its audiences. Contemporary "Albanian music" is not so much a range of historically informed genres as it is a construct and marketing category. Sugarman will examine the development of this industry in its relationship to technological affordances, just at the moment that it has begun to interface in surprising ways with the larger Anglophone industry.
 
Jane C. Sugarman is professor of Music at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she directs the program in ethnomusicology.  She is the author of Engendering Song:  Singing and Subjectivity at Prespa Albanian Weddings (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1997), as well as numerous articles on music and dance in and from southeastern Europe as they relate to gender and sexuality, nation, diaspora, and conflict zones.  Her current book project examines a half-century of mediated Albanian musics from the former Yugoslavia and their role in imagining "modern" Albanian identities.

 

Event Type: 
Standard Event
Event Date: 
Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 4:30pm