Deborah Vargas

Deborah Vargas is Associate Professor in the Department of Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her first book Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music: The Limits of La Onda is forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press. Vargas has contributed oral histories of several singers she has researched for the Smithsonian Institution Latino Music Oral History Project.



"Feminist and Queer Studies of Race in Sound"

This roundtable convenes two fields of scholarly inquiry—critical race studies and feminist theory/queer studies—to explore the following interrelated questions: How does sound construct racialized and gendered meaning and/or prompt processes of racial subjection? How might various hermeneutics of sound enrich and/or expand current ethnic and gender studies approaches to the study of racial formation? And, building upon the theoretical insights and methodological apertures deployed within our individual research, how might we collectively forge a feminist, queer analytic for the study of racialized sound and sonic processes of racialization?

The roundtable will counterpose varied definitions that sound can assume—from musical texts and practices, to soundscapes, to an instrument of topography. Particular emphasis will be given to how the material landscape of the city and the metaphorical imaginary of the urban mediate, reflect, and shape sonic geographies of race and racial formation.