Laurent Dubois | Regulator Bookshop | Page: Readings & Signings | Indy Week
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Laurent Dubois 

When: Thu., March 24, 7 p.m. 2016



Poor ol' banjo. It gets a bad rap—perhaps more than any other instrument—for its associations with sinister Deliverance-style hill people and cloying, huckster country tunes. Despite the commonplace misunderstanding of the banjo as a twangy troublemaker wielded by white folks, it has roots in Africa, its early incarnations built with gourds for bodies and wooden necks. As the public perception of it might suggest, the instrument has a long, complicated relationship with race, too. Laurent DuBois, a scholar of history at Duke, uncovers the transatlantic history of those five strings in The Banjo: America's African Instrument, the latest volume in an eclectic but social justice-focused bibliography that also encompasses Haitian history and the World Cup.

Allison Hussey


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