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Siv B. Lie

Siv Lie Headshot

Assistant Professor, Ethnomusicology
Musicology & Ethnomusicology

(301) 314-2007

3110B The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
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Education

Ph.D., Music, New York University

Research Expertise

Citizenship
Musicology & Ethnomusicology
Race/Ethnicity
Semiotics

Siv B. Lie (“seev bee lee”; she/her) is interested in relationships between cultural production, race and politics. Her research in ethnomusicology and linguistic anthropology examines how Romani (“Gypsy”) groups use music and language to advance their own sociopolitical and economic interests. Her current book project, "Django Generations: Hearing Ethnorace, Citizenship, and Jazz Manouche in France," shows how music and language shape ethnoracial and national belonging among French Manouche populations. Through ethnographic, performance-based and archival research methods, her work takes an interdisciplinary approach to exploring the politics of expressive practices and the commodification of culture. She has published in Ethnomusicology, The Journal of the American Musicological Society, Popular Music and Society, Ethnic and Racial Studies and Jazz and Culture. Lie is co-founder and principal coordinator of the Initiative for Romani Music at New York University, an organization that brings together scholars, artists and community members to raise awareness about Romani musics and cultures. She is also a curator of the music section of RomArchive, the first digital archive of Romani arts and cultures led in large part by Roma. She earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Music at New York University and is also a violinist, violist and vocalist in a variety of genres.

More information about Lie, including a list of publications, is available on www.sivblie.com. You can also find her on Twitter (@sivblie).

Lie’s teaching aligns closely with her research interests. She is committed to helping students develop critical viewpoints on the intersections between music, identity, language and politics. She also trains students to pursue ethically-grounded ethnographic research.

In addition to her primary appointment in the School of Music at UMD, Lie is affiliate assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology; affiliate faculty in the School of Theater, Dance, and Performances Studies; affiliate faculty in the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity; and affiliate faculty at the Center for Global Migration Studies.

Courses

Recent Courses Include:

MUSC220/ANTH298B: Selected Musical Cultures of the World

MUSC260: Music as Global Culture

MUSC438M: Sounds of the Mediterranean

MUSC438R: Roma in Europe

MUSC633: Field Methods in Ethnomusicology

MUSC679L/ANTH688L: Music and Language

Publications

Django Generations: Hearing Ethnorace, Citizenship, and Jazz Manouche in France

Assistant Professor Siv B. Lie's book is the first full-length ethnographic study of French jazz to be published in English.

School of Music

Lead: Siv B. Lie
Dates:

Published in October 2021 with the University of Chicago Press, Django Generations: Hearing Ethnorace, Citizenship, and Jazz Manouche in France shows how relationships between racial identities, jazz, and national belonging become entangled in France.

Jazz manouche—a genre known best for its energetic, guitar-centric swing tunes—is among France’s most celebrated musical practices of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It centers on the recorded work of famed guitarist Django Reinhardt and is named for the ethnoracial subgroup of Romanies (also known, often pejoratively, as “Gypsies”) to which Reinhardt belonged. French Manouches are publicly lauded as bearers of this jazz tradition, and many take pleasure and pride in the practice while at the same time facing pervasive discrimination. Jazz manouche uncovers a contradiction at the heart of France’s assimilationist republican ideals: the music is portrayed as quintessentially French even as Manouches themselves endure treatment as racial others.

In this book, Siv B. Lie explores how this music is used to construct divergent ethnoracial and national identities in a context where discussions of race are otherwise censured. Weaving together ethnographic and historical analysis, Lie shows that jazz manouche becomes a source of profound ambivalence as it generates ethnoracial difference and socioeconomic exclusion. As the first full-length ethnographic study of French jazz to be published in English, this book enriches anthropological, ethnomusicological, and historical scholarship on global jazz, race and ethnicity, and citizenship while showing how music can be an important but insufficient tool in struggles for racial and economic justice.

Visit the book's multimedia companion website.

Music That Tears You Apart: Jazz Manouche and the Qualia of Ethnorace

Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology Siv B. Lie published an article in the journal Ethnomusicology.

School of Music

Lead: Siv B. Lie
Dates:

Through talk and performance, participants in the genre of jazz manouche articulate Manouche (French Romani/“Gypsy”) ethnoracial identities. This article takes a semiotic approach to exploring how ethnoracial differences are perceived sonically and reified through language about jazz manouche guitar technique. By analyzing interlocutors' sensory descriptors such as power, rawness, and even the feeling of ethnoracial identity itself, this article reveals continuities between individual sonic perceptions of race and ethnicity and broader semiotic ideologies about race and ethnicity. These discourses can serve or compromise Manouche interests as they naturalize ideas about social difference.

Ethnomusicology Faculty Member Delivers Paper on the Racialization of Romanies

Siv B. Lie (ethnomusicology) delivered a paper at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in Boston on November 1.

School of Music

Lead: Siv B. Lie
Dates:

Siv B. Lie (ethnomusicology) delivered a paper at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in Boston on November 1. The paper, titled "Django in Paris: Curating Patrimony, Acoustic Territory, and Ethnoracial Marginality," explored the racialization of Romanies in a museum exhibition and was part of a panel called "The Guitar in History." She also participated in a roundtable titled "Ambivalent Populisms: Musical Politics and Policy in Contemporary Europe" at the annual meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology on November 7. Her contribution, "Cultural Activism's Living Legacies," explored the musical and activist history of a pro-Romani nonprofit in France.

Genre, Ethnoracial Alterity, and the Genesis of Jazz Manouche

Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology Siv B. Lie published an article in the the Journal of the American Musicological Society.

School of Music

Lead: Siv B. Lie
Dates:

Based on the music of legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt, jazz manouche is a popular genre that emerged during the late twentieth century. This article examines the historical development of jazz manouche in relation to ideologies about ethnoracial identity in France. Jazz manouche is strongly associated with French Manouches, the subgroup of Romanies (“Gypsies”) to which Reinhardt belonged. In the decades following Reinhardt's death in 1953, some Manouches adopted his music as a community practice. Simultaneously, critics, promoters, and activists extolled the putative ethnoracial character of this music, giving rise to the “jazz manouche” label as a cornerstone of both socially conscious and profit-generating strategies. Drawing on analysis of published criticism, archival research, and interviews, I argue that ethnoracial and generic categories can develop symbiotically, each informing and reflecting ideologies about cultural identity and its sonic expressions. Jazz manouche grew out of essentializing notions about Manouche identity, while Manouches have been racialized through reductive narratives about jazz manouche. In this case, an investigation of genre formation can inform understandings of ethnoracial identity and national belonging.

Jazz Manouche

Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology Siv B. Lie contributes to Grove Music Online.

School of Music

Lead: Siv B. Lie
Dates: -

Siv B. Lie and Benjamin Givan collaborated to create the entry on "Jazz Manouche" for Grove Music Online.  

Talk

Ethnomusicology Faculty Member Delivers Paper on the Racialization of Romanies

Siv B. Lie (ethnomusicology) delivered a paper at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in Boston on November 1.

School of Music

Lead: Siv B. Lie
Dates:

Siv B. Lie (ethnomusicology) delivered a paper at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society in Boston on November 1. The paper, titled "Django in Paris: Curating Patrimony, Acoustic Territory, and Ethnoracial Marginality," explored the racialization of Romanies in a museum exhibition and was part of a panel called "The Guitar in History." She also participated in a roundtable titled "Ambivalent Populisms: Musical Politics and Policy in Contemporary Europe" at the annual meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology on November 7. Her contribution, "Cultural Activism's Living Legacies," explored the musical and activist history of a pro-Romani nonprofit in France.