I am excited to dedicate this coming academic year to making progress on my dissertation, which analyzes the popular song and religious cultures of the Basque and Béarnais communities in southwest France during the 1789 Revolution and its aftermath. During my research year in this region of France, I explored local reactions to the religious repressions of the Revolutionary era, how popular devotional practices reemerged in the early nineteenth century, and how religion is still such an integral factor in building minority identities in France today. I argue that the study of popular music practices can help us gain a more intimate perception of these devotional shifts and legacies, and I will greatly appreciate the different perspectives of Martin Marty Center fellows from outside my own discipline of Music. With the support of this diverse community of scholars at the MMC, I hope to improve my ability to convey the significance of such a rich musical and religious history to a wider audience. I look forward to the thoughtful exchanges the MMC will surely foster, as we work towards deeper understanding and clarity on our variety of fascinating projects.
Maria Josefa Velasco