Published: April 29, 2021

Wednesday, May 5 at 4:30pm MDT
Register for the ZOOM Meeting here

Part of the Sound and Noise in Asia Speaker Series.

In this paper I trace a lineage of conditions generalizable as “racial melancholia” (including “diasporic melancholia” and “postcolonial melancholia”) in order to focus on the relationship between melancholia and mania. What I term “melancholic mania” describes performative, public, world-making cultural productions, those ephemeral pop-up spaces that gather groups in colorful and loud displays of jubilation. Through an examination of numerous Asian diasporic postcolonial discos, I examine how diasporic melancholia is aestheticized, made audible, visible and performed through dance and how the private grief of melancholia is transferred into a publicly politicized grievance through performance.  

Roshanak Kheshti is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and affiliate faculty in the Critical Gender Studies Program at the University of California, San Diego and Associate Editor of the Journal of Popular Music Studies. She is the author of Modernity’s Ear: Listening to Race and Gender in World Music (NYU Press, 2015) and Switched-on Bach (Bloomsbury Academic, 33 1/3, 2019). She is currently completing her third book, tentatively titled “We See with the Skin: Zora Neale Hurston’s Synesthetic Hermeneutics” as well as a performance piece “Veil Manifesto” (with Sara Mameni).  Her scholarship has appeared in the Radical History Review, American Quarterly, Current Musicology, Feminist Media Histories, Hypatia, Feminist Studies, GLQ, Theater Survey, and Sounding Out!