Ethnomusicology Lecture: Adriana Helbig, University of Pittsburgh
Adriana Helbig is assistant dean of humanities and academic integrity and associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh. She specializes in applied ethnomusicology, activism, advocacy, music and disability studies, Romani music and human rights in Eastern Europe, bluegrass and global hip hop. She will present her paper on how interviews with impoverished rural Roma women recorded by journalists, development workers and ethnographers are often punctuated by expressions of anger, sadness, fear and frustration. Their narrative styles share characteristics with laments by aurally bringing attention to suffering. Through an analysis that borrows from disability studies, poverty studies and sound studies, this presentation shows how Roma women use their voices to engage with recorded media in ways that make suffering matter. It draws on examples recorded in impoverished settlements along the western borders with the European Union and analyzes how such performative acts engage with broader uses of music and sound within Roma rights discourses in post-Soviet society.