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Sonorous Worlds: Musical Enchantment in Venezuela

Yana Stainova, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, McMaster University

October 5, 2022 · 12:00 pm1:20 pm · 216 Aaron Burr Hall

Program in Latin American Studies

Why have thousands of Venezuelan youth and their families chosen to invest their desires in classical music? In this talk, Yana Stainova will discuss her new book Sonorous Worlds: Musical Enchantment in Venezuela, based on 16 months of ethnographic research with musicians from Venezuela’s classical music program El Sistema. The state-funded initiative provides free classical music education and instruments to almost a million young people all over the country. The book looks at how these young people engage with what she calls “enchantment,” that is, how through musical practices they create worlds that escape, rupture, and critique dominant structures of power. Stainova’s focus on artistic practice and enchantment allows her to theorize the successes and failures of political projects through the lens of the everyday transformations in people’s lives.

Yana Stainova is an interdisciplinary scholar interested in art, migration, and the lived experience of violence in Latin America. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Brown University, and is currently assistant professor of anthropology at McMaster University.

João Biehl, Chair of Anthropology, Princeton University


Open to Princeton students and faculty, and specially invited guests. A “to-go” lunch will be provided at the conclusion of the event.

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