Jerome Camal’s research focuses on music of the African diaspora, principally music of the Francophone Caribbean and jazz. His dissertation, entitled “From Gwoka Modènn to Jazz Ka: Music, Nationalism, and Creolization in Guadeloupe,” explores how gwoka, an African-derived drum music, has been deployed and transformed to express changing political ideologies and national identities. Combining ethnographic and archival data with musical analysis, it proposes that contemporary Caribbean artists use creolization to create a post-nationalist space that responds to both local nationalist orthodoxies and to neocolonialist pressures. This creative space allows these artists to join transnational networks without compromising their national identities.
Prof. Camal received his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 2011. In conjunction with his study of musicology and ethnomusicology, he also earned a certificate in American Culture Studies. A dedicated jazz saxophonist, Camal was awarded a B.M. in jazz studies from Webster University and a M.M. in jazz performance from the University of New Orleans where he studied under Terence Blanchard and Ed Petersen.
Prof. Camal has presented his work at a number of international conferences, including the annual meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the American Studies Association. He is the author of “Creolizing Jazz, Jazzing the Tout-monde: Jazz, Gwoka, and the Poetics of Relation” in American Creoles, edited by Celia Britton and Martin Munro (Liverpool University Press, 2012) and of an essay on the intersection of music, tourism, and postcolonialist nationalism forthcoming in Sun, Sound, and Sand: Reflections on Music Touristics in the circum-Caribbean, edited by Timothy Rommen and Daniel Neely (Oxford University Press).