Elizabeth Bynum

BA University of Chicago, 2015 Music, Minor in Linguistics

As a joint degree student in Ethnomusicology and Cultural Anthropology, I am interested in the relationship between conservation of physical spaces and species and conservation of musical practice, specifically in Mexico. In my undergraduate senior thesis, I conducted fieldwork at the Gnaoua and World Music Festival in Essaouira, Morocco. Through that project, I asked how festival organizers reimagine Morocco’s relationship with other regions in Africa and connect Gnaoua music to its sub-Saharan roots. I considered how the government-funded festival incorporates the previously marginalized practice of Gnaoua into the national patrimony and a wider conversation on transnationalism and diasporic connections. I recently completed archival work at the Centro Nacional de Documentación e Información Musical in Mexico City and am working on a project that considers the link between post revolutionary documentation of folkloric music and contemporary processes of cultural inscription in a neoliberal context.