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María Elena Cepeda

María Elena Cepeda is Associate Professor of Latina/o Studies at Williams College. Her research and teaching focus on the intersection of gender and ethno-racial identity in transnational Latina/o media and popular culture, media audiences, and personal aesthetics. Cepeda is the author of Musical ImagiNation: U.S.-Colombian Identity and the “Latin Music Boom” and co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Latina/o Media.

“An Indecent Proposal: Latino Masculinity and the Audience in Latina/o Music Video”
The presentation "An Indecent Proposal: Latino Masculinity and the Audience in Latina/o Music Video" engages the interlocking questions of Latino masculinity, representation, and the audience in the music video "Propuesta Indecente" ("Indecent Proposal") (2013) by U.S.-Dominican performer Romeo Santos. Drawing on textual analysis and focus group data gathered from college-age fans of popular music, Cepeda and Rosales highlight the dynamics of both hegemonic and subordinate Latino masculinities in the video, and audience reactions to these raced, gendered constructs. This research specifically emphasizes the often contradictory content of "Propuesta Indecente" as well as the dissonant nature of audience interpretations of it at the level of lyrics, visuals, and sound. 

“Sentimiento Vocal to Fan Voces”
The interdisciplinary presentations on this panel approach the concept of musical voices in Latina/o popular music from the perspective of Media and Cultural Studies.  The panelists' methodologies, which range from textual/sonic analysis to focus groups to online audience studies, highlight their broad and diverse conceptualizations of musical voices.  Posited as a site of fan as well as performer agency, each presentation investigates the unique manner in which the voice complicates our understanding of Latina/o identity (or Latinidad) through the lenses of ethno-racial identity, gender, language, and nation.  Ultimately, the presentations on this panel challenge the parameters of "voice" in U.S. popular music, seeking instead to shift our focus to the transnational, transcultural voces that define popular musical performance and consumption for millions across the hemisphere.


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