Elizabeth Bynum

Second Year Joint Graduate Student in Ethnomusicology and Anthropology
Room 103, Lerner Music Building

As an incoming PhD student, I am interested in questions of transnationalism, diaspora, tourism, and cultural commodification in Latin America and North Africa. In 2014, I conducted fieldwork for my undergraduate senior thesis 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 diaspora. This project shaped my continued interest in festivals as cultural and political events, and as I look forward to future fieldwork, I plan to explore similar questions in Latin America, specifically Mexico and Cuba.