Assistant professor of anthropology, artist, and cultural critic
Alex E. Chávez is an ethnographer, composer, musician, and assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. His research explores Latino expressive culture in everyday life as manifested through language, expressive culture, and sound. His work also bridges scholarship and creative expression as a means to explore how performance intersects with larger cultural concerns surrounding mobility, racialized personhood, and the intimacies that bind everyday life across physical and cultural borders. In this regard, he has consistently crossed the boundary between performer and ethnographer in both Mexico and the United States.
He is the author of Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration, and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño (Duke University Press, forthcoming Fall 2017). He is also lead producer of a Smithsonian Folkways recording of huapango arribeño featuring Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra da Xichú included in the world-renowned Tradiciones music series, which was released in Fall 2016.
His work appears in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Latino Studies, Latin American Music Review, Southern Cultures, and Música Oral del Sur. He has recorded and toured with his own music projects, composed documentary scores (most recently Emmy Award-winning Where Soldiers Come From, Dir. Heather Courtney, 2011), and collaborated with various artists including Charanga Cakewalk/Lila Downs, Martin Perna of the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, in addition to members of the Grammy Award winning Quetzal, Grammy Award winning Grupo Fantasma, and Latin Grammy Award nominated Sones de México.