Rumba and the vocal performance of Cuban femininity : a call for new forms of interdisciplinary research
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This project brings together distinct areas of scholarship — rumba, the voice, and gender — that have never influenced one another strongly, and suggests similar comparisons and modes of analysis within other Afro-diasporic genres. My paper discusses existing literature on rumba, gender performativity, the voice, and timbre. It then uses these literatures in analysis of a performance by Celeste Mendoza and argues that rumba provides an exemplary site for the study of Cuban gender roles. My primary purpose is to suggest new avenues of research and to provide a sketch of what such analysis might look like, rather than undertaking a detailed case study. Discussion of Celeste Mendoza thus represents a starting point for research that I hope will be done in the future.