Archive for November, 2009

Flamenco Rhythms

The Immortal Carmen Amaya

This blog charts the road to a book I have in the making, Flamenco Rhythms: People, Place, Performance. It will disclose the rough underbelly of a research project as it evolves, with all its lows and highs. I don’t mean to divest myself here of the many moments of uncertainty that plague a researcher, nor do I plan to lay out the inevitable angst of a writer. Instead, what I hope to do is to record and share the glimpses and insights into flamenco as lived practice in a variety of forums and contexts.

Not many books have been written about flamenco in English. Those that exist have largely been written by anthropologists, such as William Washabaugh and Timothy Mitchell, whose wonderfulFlamenco: Deep Song (1994) is a landmark work. I think all flamenco aficionados should read this book, if only to engage with the history of flamenco and also to revel in the wonderfully innovatory dynamic that it uncovers in flamenco. Of course, there are many more books in Spanish, especially by Gerhard Steingress and many others. Few, though, approach it from a perspective of cultural studies, through filters of interdisciplinarity. This is more or less the aim of my book: to place flamenco at the forefront of cultural reinvention, and so to trace the routes it forges through economic, political, ideological and even mythological fields.

The great thing about researching a topic that is in the here and now, changing as we attempt to fix it, is that there is a lot to do and see, to take note of. I’ll be taking my notes of flamenco here on this blog.

November 12, 2009 Posted Under: General   Read More