Great review in 'Journal of Popular Music Studies'

The Journal of Popular Music Studies has published a great review of Sonjah Stanley Niaah’s recent title DanceHall. The book examines the cultural significance of dancehall, a genre of popular Jamaican music. Stanley Niaah looks at the history of Dancehall music and offers the first in-depth look at the performance spaces, lifestyle and meanings that have come out of this art form.

The review is not available online, but here is some of what Stacy J. Lettman had to say:

Sonjah Stanley Niaah’s DanceHall: From Slave Ship to Ghetto offers a new approach to theorizing performance geography and presents a compelling body of research conducted over an eight-year period, from 1999 to 2007. As a theoretical framework, the book fuses together concepts from geography, sociology, and cultural studies as it explores the physical space of the dancehall, the types of events that are staged there, and the rituals that are maintained and that are linked to the experiences and practices of ghetto life—practices that can be traced back to the plantation and to the slave ship. The book offers an ambitious and exhaustive interdisciplinary study of dancehall’s performative spaces in Kingston and the wider Jamaica, spaces which are understood as not only local but also transnational, occupying/inhabiting intersecting spaces within the performative culture of the African diaspora. As the author notes, her work is a necessary intervention in a scholarly discourse that has tended to focus on dancehall’s “excesses and obsessions rather than sociocultural, spatial and historically contextualized readings” (xvi).

-- Stacy J. Lettman, Journal of Popular Music Studies

To find out more about the book, visit the UOP website: http://www.press.uottawa.ca/book/dancehall

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