Pandemic Music at the Margins: Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Community Media

¡Maldito Coronavirus! - Mapping Latin American Musical Responses to the Pandemic Moment - Daniel Margolies

Daniel Margolies [+-]
Virginia Wesleyan University
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Daniel Margolies is Professor and Chair of the History Department at Virginia Wesleyan University. He is the author of Henry Watterson and the New South: The Politics of Empire, Free Trade, and Globalization (University Press of Kentucky, 2006) and Spaces of Law in American Foreign Relations: Extradition and Extraterritoriality in the Borderlands and Beyond, 1877-1898 (University of Georgia Press, 2011); editor of Companion to Harry S. Truman (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) and co-editor (with Umut Özsu, Maïa Pal, and Ntina Tzouvala) of The Extraterritoriality of Law: History, Theory, Politics (Politics of Transnational Law) (Routledge, 2019). Margolies has written numerous history articles on a wide array of subjects as well as interdisciplinary studies of Mexican migrant music and articles and essays on cultural sustainability and other aspects of Texas-Mexican conjunto music. His article “Latino Migrant Music and Identity in the Borderlands of the New South,” was awarded the 2010 Carl Bode Award for Outstanding Article in the Journal of American Culture in 2009 by the American Culture Association. Margolies has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Sogang University in Seoul, Korea, a Faculty Fellow at the American Center for Mongolian Studies in Ulaanbaatar, and twice a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California-Berkeley. He is founder and Artistic Director of the Festival of Texas Fiddling, which features son huasteco and Tejano music, and is an advising consultant to the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center for the annual Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio. More information is at
J.A. Strub [+-]
University of Texas, Austin
J.A. Strub is a dissertator in ethnomusicology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on questions of community pedagogy and participatory culture in música huasteca. J.A's writings on music, foodways, urban studies and participatory democracy have been featured in the Atlantic, CityLab, the Nation, Edible Queens, Democracy Journal, StarChefs Magazine, and publications by the Roosevelt Institute, the Russel Sage Foundation, and the Walt Whitman Forum on Culture. He has presented at various conferences including the Fourth International Conference on Participatory Budgeting, Frontiers of Democracy 2016, El 13ro Encuentro de Son Jarocho, Son Huasteco, Huapango, Fandango, y Trovada, and the virtual Sounds of the Pandemic Conference. Strub has been awarded grants by the Rainwater Foundation, the Bruno Salazar Network, the William H. Macaulay Opportunities Fund, and the Goldsmith Foundation. He is a development consultant for Mexico Beyond Mariachi, a teaching arts and traditional music research organization based in New York City, and is the founder of the Foro de Cultura Huapanguera en Texas, a showcase of huapango music, regional gastronomy, and scholarship on the culture of migration. Strub is an avid listener and active performer of traditional and vernacular Latin American musics, including son jarocho, son huasteco, vallenato, salsa and timba.


This chapter focuses on the ways in which marginalized communities and DIY archivists are working together to present unique, localized, and underrepresented perspectives on pandemic life through social technology. It highlights how the large volume of música del coronavirus performed in Nahuatl, Quechua, K’iche, Maya, and other native languages serves as an extension of linguistic sovereignty and performed indigeneity as a response to the pandemic. It also considers examples of coronavirus music from the remote Afro-Colombian communities of the Pacific region like El Charco in Nariño province, demonstrating how a distinct matriarchal musical culture has produced unique responses to the pandemic rooted in unique racial and gender identities. This chapter demonstrates the ways in which DIY archivists who operate within these marginalized communities have utilized social technologies to expand access to the global mediasphere and disseminate a subaltern perspective on pandemic culture. It focuses on community-oriented YouTube channels such as Mexico-based GaVBroadcast and Colombia-based El Maguireño and draws from interviews with administrators, content creators, and featured artists to demonstrate how social technology has been used to amplify marginalized voices at a time of global crisis.

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Margolies, Daniel; Strub, J.A.. Pandemic Music at the Margins: Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Community Media. ¡Maldito Coronavirus! - Mapping Latin American Musical Responses to the Pandemic Moment. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Sep 2023. ISBN 9781000000000. Date accessed: 27 Nov 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.43042. Sep 2023

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