NORIKO MANABE

I am an Assistant Professor of Musicology in the Department of Music at Princeton University, where I am also associated faculty in the Department of East Asian Studies, Program in Latin American Studies, and Program in American Studies. 

My work centers on three broad concerns: 1) how music expresses social and political conditions in contemporary Japan; 2) how language influences musical text setting, and how choices in text setting and musical style impact meaning, particularly in popular music and Latin music; and 3) how technology and the music industry influences musicians’ and listeners’ behavior. I received a Ph.D. from CUNY Graduate Center with concentrations in both ethnomusicology and music theory, and my methods pair ethnography with musical analysis. My work also draws from concepts in political science, sociology, urban studies, literary studies, linguistics, media studies, and anthropology.

My publications have addressed music and the Japanese antinuclear movement; the impact of the Japanese language on rap; the aesthetics of hip-hop DJs; the differences in the online radio markets in the United States and Japan; propaganda in Japanese children’ssongs; and the interaction of text and music in the songs of Cubansinger-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez. My articles have appeared in Ethnomusicology, Popular Music, Asian Music, Latin American Music Review, Transcultural Music Review, two Oxford Handbooks, and several edited volumes.

My monograph, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Music and the Antinuclear Movement in Japan Post-Fukushima Daiichi (under contract with Oxford University Press, forthcoming), addresses the role of musicians in (self-)censored environments and the ways they convey their political messages through music in four different performance spaces—cyberspace, demonstrations, festivals, and recordings. It won the Book Subvention Award from the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Diversity Committee in 2013. My article on antinuclear demonstrations, which is related to this book, won the Waterman Prize from the Popular Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology.

My second monograph, The Revolution Remixed: A Typology of Intertextuality in Protest Songs (under contract with Oxford, forthcoming), constructs a classification of intertextuality as it pertains to protest songs and analyzes cases drawn from the Japanese antinuclear movement. In addition, I am working on a monograph on the development of nationalistic symbols and text setting in Japanese children’s songs from the Meiji Era to the Allied Occupation, and another on identity and aesthetics across three transnational popular music scenes in Japan: hip-hop, reggae/dancehall, and electronic dance music.

My research has been funded by the NEH Fellowship for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan, Kluge Fellowship, the Japan Foundation Fellowship, the SSRC/JSPS Fellowship, Princeton, and CUNY. My sponsors abroad have included the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) and Tokyo University of the Arts. In addition to Japan, I have conducted archival research and fieldwork in Cuba, Spain, Mexico, and Indonesia.

I play keyboards, sing, and write songs for Wayside Shrines, a collective of Princeton-area musicians performing original songs to lyrics by Paul Muldoon. Our album, Word on the Street, is available at the Princeton Record Exchange and Amazon.com. Information on the band's performances and other activities are posted on our Facebook page and Twitter.  

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