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Paola IovenE 
East Asian Languages & Civilizations
with Michael K. Bourdaghs and Kaley Mason, editors
Sound Alignments:
Popular Music in Asia's Cold Wars
Duke University Press, June 2021



In Sound Alignments, a transnational group of scholars explores the myriad forms of popular music that circulated across Asia during the Cold War. Challenging the conventional alignments and periodizations of Western cultural histories of the Cold War, they trace the routes of popular music, examining how it took on new meanings and significance as it traveled across Asia, from India to Indonesia, Hong Kong to South Korea, China to Japan. From studies of how popular musical styles from the Americas and Europe were adapted to meet local exigencies to how socialist-bloc and nonaligned Cold War organizations facilitated the circulation of popular music throughout the region, the contributors outline how music forged and challenged alliances, revolutions, and countercultures. As reviewer Andrew F. Jones notes, “Giving readers a happily cacophonous remapping of the sounds of the Cold War, Sound Alignments is an intellectually stimulating and multidimensional contribution to the study of twentieth-century popular music and the global culture of the Cold War.” Co-edited and introduced by faculty affiliate Paola Iovene, this forthcoming volume includes contributions from faculty affiliates Nisha Kommattam (Comparative Literature) and Anna Schultz (Music).

Read the introduction to Sound Alignments here!

“With this vital addition to the growing literature in global music studies, the contributors to Sound Alignments reveal the vernacular cosmopolitanism of Asian popular music as a crucial dimension of Cold War cultural politics, nationalist policies, and internationalist rhetorics. An essential mapping of sonic history and musical mediation.”
David Novak,
author of Japanoise: Music at the
Edge of Circulation



Paola Iovene is a scholar of twentieth and twenty-first Chinese literature and film, with additional interests in Chinese opera film, translation, and media studies. She is the author of Tales of Future Past: Literature and Anticipation in Contemporary China (2014), which traces how feelings about the future have shaped literary institutions, genres, and texts in socialist and post-socialist China. Iovene is Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. 

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