TROPICALISM AND THE STRUGGLE FOR LEGITIMACY: A HISTORY OF THE STEELBAND MOVEMENT IN AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES
” Steel bands have steadily gained popularity in the United States, particularly in educational institutions like colleges and universities. The dissemination of pan has occurred from teacher to student, and in turn, by these same students becoming teachers. As pan has spread, distinctive “American” interpretations, sounds, performance practices, and cultural usages have emerged in colleges and universities, and across greater U.S. society. This dissertation is a history of the steel band movement in the United States focusing on colleges and universities, and the particular contributions and lineage of one of that movement’s principal figures, Ellie Mannette. As an instrument maker, tuner, composer, performer, pedagogue, Trinidadian culture-bearer, and international ambassador of the steelpan, Mannette has left lasting contributions on the U.S. pan movement, particularly within educational institutions. Moreover, this study examines the transnational identities and portrayals of pan, including those relating to stereotypical and anti- stereotypical imagery and symbolism connected to “tropical” and “island” cultures. This dissertation explores how the legitimacy of pan is alternately supported and rejected within, and by, an American musical culture of higher education that has traditionally positioned the Western art music tradition and its associated institutions at the zenith of musical culture. Quote of ‘Abstract’ from the Full Text.