SHIPROCK, N.M. - They started out from hamlets deep in the Navajo Nation, driving hours on washboard roads. When the Saturday night crowd finally arrived at Redd's, the parking lot swelled with pickup trucks. Clad in Wrangler jeans and cowboy boots, they danced under the dim lights to bands playing outlaw country classics by singers such as Waylon Jennings.
Kristina M. Jacobsen, associate professor of Ethnomusicology and Anthropology (Ethnology) at The University of New Mexico, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnomusicology. Jacobsen holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University. "This grant allows me to live in Sardinia, Italy, for one year to do ethnographic fieldwork for my next book project.
2/28/2020, Associazione Sas Enas, Bortigali, "Sovranitá nella Nazione Navajo: Vita
Contemporanea, Musica, e Lingua," 19.00, Biblioteca Comunale, Bortigali, Sardegna
2/17/2020, New York University, Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), "Songwriting as
Ethnographic Practice: Case Studies from Sardinia and the Navajo Nation"
12/05/2019, University of Pavia (Cremona, Italy), "Raccontare attraverso le canzoni: dove la
composizione di canzoni incontra la ricerca etnografica" (lecture and concert), Aula
Magna, Dipartimento di Musicologia e Beni Culturali, Università degli Studi di Pavia
Corso, Garibaldi n. 178, 26100 Cremona, 16.30. Open to the public.
11/27/2019, University of Cagliari (Cagliari, Sardinia), Formal Fulbright Research
Presentation (lecture and concert), Aula Magna, Facolta' degli Studi Umanistici,
Cagliari, 17.30-19.30. Open to the public. Presentation will be in Italian.
10/25, University of Sassari (Sassari, Sardinia), "Ethnographic Songwriting and
Collaborative Research on the Navajo Nation," guest lecture of the class, "Storia della
Musica," Dipartimento di Scienze Umanistiche e Sociali, Aula Joyce, via Roma 151,
Open to the public. Presentation will be in Italian.
12/05, University of Pavia (Cremona), "Raccontare attraverso le canzoni: dove la
composizione di canzoni incontra la ricerca etnografica," guest lecture and
performance for the lecture series "Dal Locale al Globale," Dipartimento di Musicologia
e Beni Culturali, Aula Magna, H 16.30. Open to the public. Presentation will be in
When I was 17, I worked as a summer park ranger at Canyon de Chelly National Monument, a park on tribal trust land on the Navajo reservation in northeastern Arizona. One evening, my supervisor invited me to a dance.
Interview with television station on The Sound of Navajo Country (2017), "Sardegna Uno," July 31 2017 (starts at 6:45)
Interview with journalist Nike Gagliardi on Ethnography and Songwriting in Sardegna (Italy), July 2017
The Sound of Navajo Country
Her teaching, research, and scholarship focus on music and language, anthropology of the voice, politics of authenticity, indigeneity and belonging, music of Native North America and the Appalachian mountains, race and musical genre, indigenous language revitalization and working class expressive cultures. Recent articles include “Radmilla’s Voice: Music Genre, Blood Quantum and Belonging on the Navajo Nation” (Cultural Anthropology, 2014) and “Rita(hhh): Placemaking and Country Music on the Navajo Nation” (Ethnomusicology, 2009).
Based on 2 ½ years of singing and playing with Navajo county western bands, her book, The Sound of Navajo Country: Country Music and the Politics of Language and Diné Belonging (2017), examines ideas of authenticity, nostalgia and cultural intimacy as they circulate in and through live performances of classic country music on today’s Navajo (Diné) Nation (for a brief interview about her research, watch this video by videographer Ivan Weiss).
Kristina is also an active singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. To learn more about her music, visit: kristinajacobsenmusic.com
Originally from western Massachusetts, Kristina now makes her home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.