Stephanie Neda Sadre-Orafai Humanities
Vectors of Cultural Development in Trinidad and Tobago: Commodification and Self-Identification in the Rapso Movement
Stephanie’s project will explore the connection between consumption and self-identification within the rapso community of Trinidad and Tobago. Since the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Trinidadian musical form of rapso has been a vehicle for social change and cultural activism; however, to date, it has received almost no scholarly attention. In order to test her hypothesis that rapso offers a grassroots alternative to the colonial legacy of externally imposed identity, Stephanie will conduct field-research in Trinidad this summer, using participant-observation methods and formal and informal interviewing techniques with artists, audience members, record label representatives and government officials. She will also visit the West Indiana Collection at the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad in order to study secondary source materials not available in the United States. The results of her research will be presented as her Anthropology Senior Honors Thesis.