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Race, Migration, & Indigeneity

The inter- and multidisciplinary field of Race, Migration, & Indigeneity considers the ways in which race interweaves with historical and contemporary formations of identity

Korea Remixed (Spring '22)

Inspired by and for the semester-long celebration of Korea Remixed, here is a playlist of forward-thinking sounds from Korean artists. K-Pop is a global phenomenon full of great artists and music, but there are many other sonic movements within the atmosphere of Korean music, and this playlist is an attempt to highlight musicians working in other genres and styles outside of the mainstream.

If you'd like to learn more about contemporary Korean music, explore some of the resources that helped inform this playlist below:

To enjoy musical selections from our archival holdings, pop over to this playlist of historical recordings provided by the Archives of Traditional Music (IU login required).

We've also highlighted a number of films, works of contemporary literature, scholarly texts on media studies, and podcasts from Korean and Korean-American thinkers and creators. You'll find these lists by clicking on the relevant tabs, in this section.




Korean American Perspectives  (The Council of Korean Americans)
CKA launched the Korean American Perspectives podcast series with the purpose of exploring complex issues that shape the Korean American community and sharing inspirational life stories of Korean American leaders. In our past two seasons, we have highlighted key topics such as healthcare, civic engagement, and cultural identity, and have interviewed interesting figures from diverse backgrounds and fields within our community.

Feeling Asian  (Youngmi Mayer & Brian Park)
A podcast where two Asians talk about their feelings. After a lifetime of holding in their emotions (shoutout to Korean moms!), comedians Youngmi Mayer and Brian Park are ready to let them all out. Each week, Youngmi and Brian dive into topics that range from sex/dating to umm...not sex/dating stuff, and invite their interesting friends along the way. Who knew catharsis could look so Asian?

Awaken and Align  (Laura Chung)
Awaken and align the podcast provides you with guidance and support to help you awaken and align to your truth. Laura Chung, the host, realized through her own journey that living the life of your dreams means living in alignment with your highest self and activating your limitless potential.

The Sounds of Black History Month

In recognition and celebration of Black History Month in February, we have created a series of curated playlists designed to celebrate the voices, innovations, and influence of black artists and musicians across music history. 

The first in our series of playlists, titled “Masterpiece,” explores a variety of genres and musical movements traditionally recognized as being driven by black artistry and innovation, genres that provide a space for the voices of black artists to be heard and celebrated. This playlist focuses on key figures in pop, jazz, soul, funk, r&b, and hip hop, spanning from the mid-20th century to the present day.

In addition to this more general playlist, we also created three other playlists that offer deep dives into genres where black voices and influence are often obscured or overlooked: including rock music, celebrating black pioneers in punk, metal, and other rock music movements; folk and country, where black contributions to the evolution of folk and country music into popular culture is centered; and electronic, where we highlight key black contributors to the evolution of electronic music in all its many sub-genres.

Provided in tandem with these playlists are library and freely available resources to aid in the further exploration and celebration of black contributions to contemporary popular music and culture. 

Resources for Further Exploration

Archives of African American Music and Culture (AAAMC at IU) - repository of materials covering a range of African American musical idioms and cultural expressions from the post-World War II era

Black Grooves - music review site hosted by the Archives of African American Music & Culture (AAAMC) at Indiana University

The Black Music History Library - a living collection of books, articles, documentaries, series, podcasts and more about the Black origins of traditional and popular music dating from the 18th century to present day.

Beyond the Playlist

As with many of these national commemorations, one month is never enough time to fully honor and celebrate the history and culture of marginalized communities, let alone heal the legacies (and ongoing reality) of harm they've experienced. We recognize that there is much more to be done, that racism and anti-blackness can't be eliminated simply through the creation of resource guides, and that the work of realizing justice won't soon be over. But nevertheless, we keep trying, contributing how we can and building upon the efforts of those who came before us, and we continue to learn from and with one another.

If you'd like to engage more deeply with Black History Month, the IU Libraries Arts & Humanities department has created a number of interrelated resources and features to provide more holistic coverage of this remembering. You'll find those, below:

And for all things Black culture, you can never go wrong with the resources, services, and collections of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Library.

Additionally, throughout the '21 spring semester, our department is hosting an ongoing Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge. This program encourage participants to engage with items from our collections that will facilitate and deepen their awareness of a variety of social justice issues, and features a number of titles relevant to Black History Month. If you'd like to join us, take a look at the Challenge Guide.

For the other three playlists in our Black History Month feature we will focus on the voices and innovations of black artists in genres where they are often overlooked, or excluded. To start, we present here a curated list of Rock musicians and bands from the genre’s inception to the present day. Here, we illustrate and outline a handful of the black artists who drove the genre forward, keeping it fresh into the new decade, from rock, to punk, to metal, and back again.

Playlist Resources & Further Reading

Continuing in our celebration of contributions and innovations by black artists to genres wherein their voices are often forgotten or overlooked, we present a curated playlist of black songs that have influenced and driven the sounds of folk and country music for over a hundred years.

Playlist Resources & Further Reading

Our final playlist in our Black History Month series explores the contributions and innovations made by black musicians in the rapidly evolving electronic music genre. While much debate exists over the true beginnings of music made entirely with electronic instruments, one thing that is certain is black artists have been at the forefront of exploring the capabilities of electronic compositions, pushing the types of music that can be created entirely with synthetic instruments to new heights with each decade.

Playlist Resources & Further Reading

Indigenous Heritage & History Month - Indigenous Peoples' Playlist

In recognition of this month's celebration of indigenous history and culture, we present this curated playlist of Indigenous artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. Collected here are artists representing their heritage and identity in musical stylings varying from traditional to contemporary, spanning a spectrum of hip hop, metal, country, and experimental. Listen and explore a sampling of the vast contributions to modern American music by Indigenous peoples.

This list only serves as a diving point into the vast contributions to American and international popular music made by Indigenous artists. Join us in celebrating and exploring these genre defining (and defying) artists. Below the playlist, you'll find a comprehensive discussion of the context and history of the music we've highlighted, as well as a selection of resources for further reading on Indigenous music.

Beyond the Playlist

If you'd like to engage more deeply with the experience of Indigenous people within the context of Turtle Island, we've also curated a list of books, movies, databases, and podcasts to support further curiosity and learning. You can also find that list by clicking on the Indigenous Heritage & History Month box on the left-hand side of this page, in the navigation menu.

Additionally, as part of this celebration and remembering, there is also an introduction to Two-Spirit identity and the LGBTQIA Indigenous experience on the Gender Studies Research Guide and an overview of Indigenous Philosophy on the Philosophy Research Guide.

Our playlist moves throughout various points in North American musical history, with artists dating back to the early 20th century. In the early decades of jazz, Mildred Bailey (Cour de’Alene) emerged as a household name. Bailey started her singing career at 17 and went on to perform genre staples of the jazz giants of her time. In the late 1920s, blues music was being recorded and released to great popularity, and among the artists of this blues explosion was Charlie Patton (Choctaw). Hailed as the father of Delta Blues, Patton, of mixed (Black, white, and Indigenous) ancestry, pioneered the driving rhythms and impassioned vocals that became representative of blues music in the delta region and would lay the foundational groundwork for rock n roll musicians to come. 

Moving into the 1960s, Indigenous artists had an undeniable impact on popular music despite a lack of commercial success. Buffy Sainte-Marie, born on the Piapot 75 reserve and adopted by a Mi’kmaq family as an infant, gained notoriety in the New York folk scene for her impassioned and fiercely political compositions and performances. She penned hit anthems of the 1960s counterculture scene, including “Unknown Soldier” and “Cod’ine,” though she is seldom given credit where it is due. Further south along the east coast, rock n roll pioneer Link Wray (Cherokee and Shawnee) emerged with the single “Rumble” in 1958. Wray, born in North Carolina,, would change rock n roll forever with his signature heavy and distorted guitar tones, paving the way for punk and metal musicians to follow. Collected here is an example of Wray’s country and Americana roots from his self-titled 1971 album, a pioneering work of the home-recording movement that would carry into the 21st century. 

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Indigenous artists had a profound influence on popular American genres. Often forgotten in the shadow of his contemporaries like Eric Clapton and George Harrison, Jesse Ed Davis (Comanche, Seminole, Muskogee, and Kiowa) was a highly acclaimed guitar player. Born in Oklahoma, Davis played with hugely popular artists of his time, featuring alongside names like John Lennon, Taj Mahal, Jackson Browne, and Leonard Cohen. On the west coast, brothers Pat and Candido Vasquez-Vegas (Yaqui, Shoshone, and Mexican) formed the all Native American rock group Redbone. The brothers penned radio-rock staples for the 1970s with hits like “The Witch Queen of New Orleans” and the ever-lasting “Come and Get Your Love.” Across the nation at this time, acts were popping up on reservations and in indigenous communities, exemplified here by the band Sugluk with their song “Ajuinnarasuarsunga,” a fusion of rock n roll song structure and first nations language. 

Moving into the 1980s, singer-songwriter Archie James Cavanaugh (Tlingit) released his yacht rock classic “Black and White Raven.” Born in Alaska, Cavanaugh traveled the west coast assembling a band that included members of Redbone to release his often overlooked album, its fusion of disco and soft rock represented here on “Take it Easy.” In country music, First Nations culture is frequently referenced but seldom represented justly. This was not the case in the music of Buddy Red Bow (Lakota). Red Bow dedicated his career to singing of the plight of Indigenous peoples and the injustices wrought by white colonists. The music of Indigenous artists was also significant in rising genres of the decade like new age. Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida and Onondaga) would become an influential figure in this genre and would go on to set the record for Native American Music Awards won by a single artist. 

Moving into the 21st century to the present, Indigenous artists still hold an influential place in modern American genres, driving them forward with ingenuity and expert artistry. Artist Martha Redbone continues in the tradition of rhythm n blues and soul music, fusing these sounds with traditional indigenous music drawn from her heritage of Choctaw, Cherokee, and African American. Artist Samantha Crain melds folk rock, indie rock, and americana with indigenous influence reflective of her Choctaw heritage. Inuk artist Beatrice Deer makes indie rock that is consistently inventive and exciting, earning her the Best Inut/Cultural Album award for her 2005 effort “Just Bea.” In the vein of indie rock, Silver Jackson makes music in numerous groups, performing under this name as well as his Tlingit name.  Groups like Cemican and Nechochwen fuse First Nations history and political outcry over unjust treatment of Indigenous peoples with the harsh and aggressive sounds of metal, driving the genre forward still in the 21st century. Doom metal group Divide and Dissolve (Black, Tsalagi, Maori) fuse classical music with doom metal and lyrical outcry over injustices wrought against indigenous peoples to create uniquely political music for the 21st century. Artist Black Belt Eagle Scout furthers the mix of traditional indigenous influence with alternative rock, creating post rock informed by her Swinomish heritage. Artist Tanya Tagaq (Inuk) create music unlike anything heard before, fusing traditional throat singing with ambient soundscapes derived from noise and drone music. In hip hop, First Nations artists bring exciting changes and new voices to the cultural forefront, as is the case with Angel Haze (Cherokee), who raps of their experiences as an individual identifying as pansexual and agender in the hip hop world, as well as celebrating their mixed Indigenous heritage. Groups like A Tribe Called Red fuse electronic genres like dubstep and house with hip hop and traditional First Nations music to create a sound wholly their own in the massive EDM music market.