Listening to Salsa: Gender, Latin Popular Music, and Puerto Rican Cultures / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $5.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 79%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $5.00   
  • New (6) from $16.29   
  • Used (5) from $5.00   


For Anglos, the pulsing beats of salsa, merengue, and bolero are a compelling expression of Latino/a culture, but few outsiders comprehend the music's implications in larger social terms. Frances R. Aparicio places this music in context by combining the approaches of musicology and sociology with literary, cultural, Latino, and women's studies. She offers a detailed genealogy of Afro-Caribbean music in Puerto Rico, comparing it to selected Puerto Rican literary texts, then looks both at how Latinos/as in the US have used salsa to reaffirm their cultural identities and how Anglos have eroticized and depoliticized it in their adaptations.

Aparicio's detailed examination of lyrics shows how these songs articulate issues of gender, desire, and conflict, and her interviews with Latinas/os reveal how they listen to salsa and the meanings they find in it. What results is a comprehensive view "that deploys both musical and literary texts as equally significant cultural voices in exploring larger questions about the power of discourse, gender relations, intercultural desire, race, ethnicity, and class."

"Insightful study of Afro-Caribbean salsa music among Puerto Ricans relates different meanings in salsa lyrics to issues of gender, race, class, and national identities, both in Puerto Rico and Latino communities in the US. Aparicio, a literary critic, uses a postmodern approach to analyze diverse musical texts"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Two new books on popular music present contrasting approaches to the diverse world of Hispanic music. Aparicio's (Spanish and American culture, Univ. of Michigan) work, aimed at an academic audience, deals with salsa and Puerto Rican culture in a feminist context. McGowan, targeting a general audience, presents a comprehensive history of popular music in Brazil. Aparicio analyzes salsa, boleros, and other popular musical forms in terms of cultural issues (race, gender, class), drawing on her own experiences, and those of typical listeners, to explore these issues. Readers may find their views on salsa altered by reading this book. A recommended choice for academic Hispanic studies collections and for music collections with a strong Hispanic emphasis. McGowan and Pessanha here update their original edition (Billboard Bks., 1991), bringing their extensive experience writing on Brazilian popular music for Billboard and other magazines to this extensive survey covering local jazz and rock as well as better-known forms. The accessible writing style and lavish use of illustrations help achieve the authors' goal of inspiring interest in this music. Updates cover recent music and musicians, provide more social analysis, and expand the discography to 1000 titles, adding much to the original edition. The best work on the topic, this is recommended for both academic and public library music collections.James E. Ross, WLN, Seattle
From the Publisher
"Deftly explores the cultural politics of Puerto Rican music, revealing how salsa illuminates the complexities of class, race, and gender identity among Puerto Ricans at home and in the continental United States."—ISAM Newsletter
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819563088
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1998
  • Series: Music Culture
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

FRANCES R. APARICIO is director of the Latina and Latino Studies Program and professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Her books include Listening to Salsa (Wesleyan, 1998) and critical anthologies such as Tropicalizations (1997), Musical Migrations (2003), and Hibridismos culturales (2006). Her English translation of Cesar Miguel Rondon’s The Book of Salsa was published in 2008. She is the founding member of the Latinos in Chicago and the Midwest Book Series with the University of Illinois Press. She is also co-editor with Suzanne Bost of the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature and is currently writing a book on Latinidad and Intralatino subjects in Chicago.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
A Literary Prelude
A White Lady Called the Danza
A Sensual Mulatta Called the Plena
Desiring the Racial Other: Rosario Ferré’s Feminist
Reconstructions of Danza and Plena
A Postmodern Preface
Situating Salsa
Ideological Negotiations: Between Hegemony and Resistance
Cultural (Mis)Translations and Crossover Nightmares
Theoretical Pretexts: Listening (as) Woman
Woman as Absence: Hetero(homo)sexual Desire in the Bolero
Patriarchal Synecdoches: Of Women’s Butts and Feminist Rebuttals
Singing the Gender Wars
Singing Female Subjectivities
Listening to the Listeners: An Introduction
Así Son: Construction Woman
Así Somos: Rewriting Patriarchy
Index of Songs and Recordings
General Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)