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“The Banjo in Atlantic History to 1900”: A Lecture by James Webb, 3/29/06

March 29, 2006IASEvents0

Dr. James Webb, Department of History, Colby College, will present a lecture on the banjo in the Atlantic world. Americanists generally treat the banjo as an American instrument with African roots. “The Banjo in Atlantic History to 1900” discusses the broader history of the banjo into the late nineteenth century, including its careers in the South Atlantic basin and in Europe, and its nineteenth-century introduction to southern Africa. The banjo was a creolized instrument whose musics blended African and European cultural forms and, by the middle of the nineteenth century, expressed racial and class meanings. In the United States, the banjo began in the nineteenth century largely as a rural instrument of enslaved African Americans and Africans. By the end of the nineteenth century, it was largely an instrument played by whites. Elsewhere in the Atlantic basin, the banjo and its musics expressed other racial and ethnic identities. Lunch will be served beginning at 12:15; the lecture will begin at 12:30. Cosponsored by The Department of History, The Institute for Global Studies, and The MacArthur Program.

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