Diasporic communities and negotiated identities : trauma, recovery, and the search for the Armenian musical voice / by Sylvia Alajaji.
This dissertation examines the role of music in reflecting and confronting various historical and political realities since the 1915 genocide that claimed the lives of approximately one million Armenians living in present-day Turkey and resulted in the dispersion of survivors throughout the world. The study of music in the Armenian diaspora offers many opportunities for the exploration of music's role in the establishment of cultural identity. I propose that since the late 19th-century, the definition of Armenian music has continually changed, reflecting the realities presented by years of occupation, the genocide and its aftermath, and the consequences of the state of conflict over the very existence of that event. The study of iconic musical figures and movements in the Armenian diaspora reveals how music has been used to accommodate and/or direct shifting senses of self—shifts that correspond to “incubational” (Gramsci's term) moments of time. This dissertation speaks to the complex relationships between diasporic and geographical Armenia, diasporic Armenian communities and their various host cultures, and the diasporic communities themselves. In many ways, each manifestation of diasporic Armenian culture owes as much to an identification with the host community as to, conversely, a reaction against it as well.
Record last modified: 2018-05-18 16:20:00
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