Theses Doctoral

Reinterpreting the Global, Rearticulating the Local: Nueva Música Colombiana, Networks, Circulation, and Affect

Calle, Simón

This dissertation analyses identity formation through music among contemporary Colombian musicians. The work focuses on the emergence of musical fusions in Bogotá, which participant musicians and Colombian media have called "nueva música Colombiana" (new Colombian music). The term describes the work of bands that assimilate and transform North-American music genres such as jazz, rock, and hip-hop, and blend them with music historically associated with Afro-Colombian communities such as cumbia and currulao, to produce several popular and experimental musical styles. In the last decade, these new fusions have begun circulating outside Bogotá, becoming the distinctive sound of young Colombia domestically and internationally. The dissertation focuses on questions of musical circulation, affect, and taste as a means for articulating difference, working on the self, and generating attachments others and therefore social bonds and communities. This dissertation considers musical fusion from an ontological perspective influenced by actor-network, non-representational, and assemblage theory. Such theories consider a fluid social world, which emerges from the web of associations between heterogeneous human and material entities. The dissertation traces the actions, interactions, and mediations between places, people, institutions, and recordings that enable the emergence of new Colombian music. In considering those associations, it places close attention to the affective relationships between people and music. In that sense, instead of thinking on relatively fixed and consistent relationships between music, place, and identity, built upon discursive or imagined ties, the work considers each of these concepts as a network of relations enmeshed with each other and in consistent re-articulation.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for Calle_columbia_0054D_11039.pdf Calle_columbia_0054D_11039.pdf application/x-pdf 5.31 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Ochoa, Ana M.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 15, 2012