Listening for Modern Latin America: Identity and Representation in Concert Music, 1920–1940


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




Latin American concert music from the years 1920–1940 was part of a broad cultural and aesthetic project, one in which different voices vied to shape the artistic direction of the region. This dissertation discusses landmark compositions of the period from Mexico and Brazil, addressing how these musical works conveyed multiple meanings to different audiences in national and international settings. Through historical contextualization and close readings, it demonstrates how these composers’ musical responses to cultural shifts could be ambivalent or contradictory. In a region where cultural and political agents alike strove for international recognition in an increasingly global community, these works provide a telling lens into the stakes, limitations, and opportunities for such recognition.