Social Voices

The Cultural Politics of Singers around the Globe
Author: Edited by Levi S. Gibbs
Singers generating cultural identity from K-Pop to Beverly Sills
Cloth – $110
Paper – $30
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 09/05/2023
Cloth: 09/05/2023
Buy the Book Request Desk/Examination Copy Request Review Copy Request Rights or Permissions Request Alternate Format Preview

About the Book

Around the world and across time, singers and their songs stand at the crossroads of differing politics and perspectives. Levi S. Gibbs edits a collection built around the idea of listening as a political act that produces meaning. Contributors explore a wide range of issues by examining artists like Romani icon Esma Redžepova, Indian legend Lata Mangeshkar, and pop superstar Teresa Teng. Topics include gendered performances and the negotiation of race and class identities; the class-related contradictions exposed by the divide between highbrow and pop culture; links between narratives of overcoming struggle and the distinction between privileged and marginalized identities; singers’ ability to adapt to shifting notions of history, borders, gender, and memory in order to connect with listeners; how the meanings we read into a singer’s life and art build on one another; and technology’s ability to challenge our ideas about what constitutes music.

Cutting-edge and original, Social Voices reveals how singers and their songs equip us to process social change and divergent opinions

Contributors: Christina D. Abreu, Michael K. Bourdaghs, Kwame Dawes, Nancy Guy, Ruth Hellier, John Lie, Treva B. Lindsey, Eric Lott, Katherine Meizel, Carol A. Muller, Natalie Sarrazin, Anthony Seeger, Carol Silverman, Andrew Simon, Jeff Todd Titon, and Elijah Wald

* Publication of this book was supported by Dartmouth College.

About the Author

Levi S. Gibbs is an associate professor of Asian societies, cultures, and languages at Dartmouth College. He is the author of Song King: Connecting People, Places, and Past in Contemporary China and the editor of Faces of Tradition in Chinese Performing Arts.


"Social Voices recognizes the tremendous power of song to unify in ways that go far beyond the song itself, and to make connections that no other art form can." --Choice


Social Voices resounds with memorable, personal, and prophetic stories of how singers shape our worlds. An expansive, versatile, and mind-opening volume.”--William Cheng, author of Queering the Field: Sounding Out Ethnomusicology