Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society Organization Logo Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society


Black Sound Listening Lab: Afro-Asian Island Intimacies

03.09.2021 07:00 PM – 03.09.2021 08:30 PM

Event Summary

Tao Leigh Goffe, The Only Good System Is a Soundsystem, Kingston, Jamaica, 2019.

The Caribbean islands are marked by what Lisa Lowe calls the “intimacies of four continents,” a nexus of settler colonization and dispossession, enslavement and indenture, migration and diaspora, which has entangled the histories of the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe. At this “Black Sound Listening Lab,” the second in a series organized by The Contours of Black Citizenship in a Global Context project at the Neubauer Collegium, we explored how threads of these knotted histories have shaped the Caribbean’s sonic landscape. How can we attune ourselves to the influences of Chinese migrants on quintessentially “Black” sounds like country, mento, calypso, dancehall, reggae, reggaeton, and hip-hop? Literary theorist, cultural historian, and DJ Tao Leigh Goffe was in conversation with ethnomusicologist Jessica Baker as we listened to strains of Afro-Asian sonic intimacies in the Caribbean.

This event was co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, and the Caribbean Studies Incubator.


Tao Leigh Goffe


Jessica Baker