The 50th BEAM meeting will be held at Humboldt University’s Department of Musicology, Am Kupfergraben 5, Room 501, at 6 PM.
Prof. Dr. Ananya Kabir (King’s College London) will investigate “Transoceanic creolisation and the music and dance of Goa”.
Portuguese Goa was at the centre of a web of music and dance that stretched across the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. For centuries, this web connected the Goan people with expressive culture enjoyed by their counterparts in Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Angola, Sri Lanka, the Malaccas, and, of course, Portugal. Into this transoceanic inheritance also flowed songs, dances, and stories deriving from Goa’s position in the Deccan peninsula in Southern India, and on the Konkan coastline. What kind of an imagination arose from this unique cross-cultural transfusion, and what can it tell us about Goa then and now?
In answer, I turn to Rápsodia Iberia-Indiana, a collection of ‘Hispanic, Portuguese, and Goan songs and dances’, composed by Carlos Eugenio Ferreira of Margao, South Goa, and published as a booklet of musical scores from the Goan publishing house Rangel in 1929. I read the oeuvre of the eclectic, erudite, and maverick Ferreira, preserved in the personal archives of the Ferreira family, as the tip of an iceberg: Portuguese Goa’s centuries-old music and dance history that encompasses villancicos, motets, contradanças, polkas, mazurkas, and waltzes, as much as the local genres of mandos, dulpods, and dekhnis. This complex material is presented in the talk as evidence of a transoceanic creolisation of mentalités. Opening thus the door to possible ‘Creole Indias’, the talk will conclude with some glimpses of their fate in the postcolonial present.
Ananya Jahanara Kabir is Professor of English Literature at King’s College London. She researches the intersection of the written text with other forms of cultural expression within acts of collective memorialization and forgetting. Through an ERC Advanced Grant (2013-2018), she led an interdisciplinary investigation into African-heritage social dance and music across language worlds. She is spending 2019 at the Freie Universität, Berlin, as a recipient of the Humboldt Forschungspreis (Humboldt Prize. The author of Territory of Desire: Representing the Valley of Kashmir (2009) and Partition’s Post-Amnesias: 1947, 1971, and Modern South Asia (2013), she is currently writing ‘Alegropolitics: connecting on the Afromodern Dance Floor.’ Her new research projects explore further the concepts of transoceanic creolization through cultural production across the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds.