works in progress

What’s new?

1. The idea of apogee and decline of cathedral music in Chile during the 19th Century (article under peer review)

Valeska Cabrera, as corresponding author, and I are making some finishing touch on this draft. It basically consists in demonstrating how an important period of Chilean music during the 19th Century was deemed as decadent and inferior by the expert historiography. Nevertheless, its judgements were influenced more by contextual aspects, such as the dichotomy clerical/anticlerical,  than based on musicological facts. Many of the evidence utlized to conduct this research are part of Valeska’s PhD dissertation. This research was funded by ‘Fondo de la Música, 2017’ (Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage. Republic of Chile).

Abstract. Samuel Claro Valdés established the idea of a so-called 19th-century apogee and decline of cathedral music in Chile. From his point of view, religious musicians represented the decline of music performed at the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral, while secular masters represented a period of apogee there. Through evidence-based research, this article shows that his historical narrative is not founded on the basis of hard facts related to musical performance. The basis for our critique is an in-depth study of the professional life and historical context of Manuel Arrieta—a figure allegedly responsible, in Claro Valdés’s interpretations, for the cathedral’s musical decline.

2. Bringing culture back in: Latin American populism in historical perspective (article co-authored with Ricardo Ayala, in preparation)

Abstract. Culture as a causal factor has been generally neglected by mainstream studies on Latin American populism, decreasing the explanatory potential of these studies. To help fill this gap, this article presents theoretical arguments related to the cultural construction of a singular ethos in Latin America during colonial times. In this regard, the main concern of this article is to inquire about the role of culture in elucidating populism. Culture can be viewed as a long-term cause, among different other causes, which has a demonstrable effect on populism. In order to support this assertion, the authors provide essential theoretical distinctions and empirical evidence for addressing how distinctive, but contradictory, elements of such an ethos, created in the past, can affect current social phenomena like populism.

3. Declining structures: Inquiring into macro-social causes of Latin American populism (article in preparation)

Abstract. Studies on populism are currently dominated by approaches based on discourse-content analyses, with structuralist theories on Latin American populism having been largely abandoned by scholarly literature. Nevertheless, in times of discourse-content hegemony, it is still worth considering the explanatory potential that structural elements have for elucidating populism. To bring this about, this article draws out essential causal elements of some classical structuralist theories and integrates them into a more general explanatory model of Latin American populism. Such an abstracted model is, in turn, tested in two Latin American cases, specifically early 20th Century Peru and Venezuela at the end of the same century. It should be stressed that both cases were clearly not the empirical bases of the classical theories which are discussed. The assessment of these cases contributes to inductively fine-tuning and improving this theoretical model, as well as providing a more robust explanation of Latin American populism.