Join us for our 6th Annual Downtown Series, this year focusing on “Soundscapes: Music, Place, and Identity.”
Music has long been a place of polyculturality, the blending of cultures. Tyina Steptoe will examine the complexities of cultural blending at work in gospel, rhythm & blues, rock & roll, and pop music, including discussions of race, gender, and queerness. Using examples from Little Richard to Selena and Beyoncé, she will illuminate how and where polycultural music emerges and how these sounds can shape the social and economic landscapes of communities of color.
Tyina Steptoe is an associate professor in the UA Department of History. Her 2016 book Houston Bound: Culture and Color in a Jim Crow City examines the complexities of race and migration in Jim Crow-era Houston through music, tracing the emergence of blues, jazz, and the hybrid genres that arose when migrants shared social space. Steptoe has since applied this research in a blog post on music icon (and Houston native) Beyoncé.