Tes Slominski: “'Bearing' Tradition: Reproductive Metaphors and Ethnic Nationalism in Irish Traditional Music"


Location: Webinar Format

Rsz Tesslominski Book Jacket Photo 5 1

Ethnic nationalist movements often rationalize their violences and exclusions by invoking the need to protect land, home, and family. When the idea of “the nation” depends on the reproduction of both “Irish” humans and “traditional” sounds, gender, sexuality, and race are vitally important. What effects has ethnic nationalism had on women, LGBTQ+ musicians, and musicians of color in Irish traditional music? How, in turn, have Irish traditional music discourses and practices reinforced ethnic nationalist mindsets? In this talk, Dr. Tes Slominski examines the gendered, sexed, and raced implications of metaphors of “tradition bearing” and “lineage” within Irish traditional music.

Dr. Slominski is a music and sound scholar and a fiddle player in the Irish tradition. She founded the still-thriving Blue Ridge Irish Music School in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1999, and taught ethnomusicology at Beloit College from 2012 until 2019. Currently, she is Co-Editor-in-Chief, Grove Music Online Gender/Sexuality Revision, Oxford University Press. Her recent book is Trad Nation: Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Irish Traditional Music (Wesleyan University Press, 2020).

Respondent and Moderator: Dr. Aileen Dillane, Senior Lecturer, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. During the Fall 2017 semester, Dr. Dillane was the Herbert Allen & Donald R. Keough Visiting Faculty Fellow and the Moore & Livingston Faculty Fellow at the Keough-Naughton Institute.

Co-sponsored by Notre Dame's Gender Studies Program




Photo credit: Sherry Olander