Tampa Bay Harper Lecture with Michael Dietler: Chicago Blues: A Social History


Tampa Museum of Art
120 West Gasparilla Plaza
Tampa, Florida

Event Details

Michael Dietler will explore the history of the blues, from its rural origins among sharecroppers in the Yazoo Delta of Mississippi during the late 19th century to its journey to Chicago with the Great Migration of African Americans during the first half of the 20th century. Dietler will trace the blues subsequent transformation into the tough, powerful, electrified urban music that first attracted audiences outside the African American community in the 1960s and has had an enormous influence on other genres of American popular music. The lecture will be illustrated with musical examples from the great blues musicians of different periods and will focus on the definition of the blues and its regional styles; the transformation of the music in its urban context; and the shifting significance and racial politics of the blues during the Great Migration, post-1960s America, and the current era.


Cost: $20/person for general admission
$10/person for recent graduates (College alumni of the past ten years and graduate alumni of the past five years)

Two complimentary registrations for members of the Alumni Leadership, Chicago, Harper, and Phoenix Societies

Includes program and refreshments


Register Online

Deadline: 2/21/2014


2:00 PM-2:45 PM: Registration and Reception

2:45 PM-4:00 PM: Presentation and Discussion

Speaker Profiles

Michael Dietler (Speaker)

Michael Dietler is professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago. Educated at the University of California, Berkeley (PhD, 1990), he taught at Yale University before moving to University of Chicago in 1995. He has for many years conducted archaeological research in Mediterranean France and ethnographic research in Kenya, with a particular focus on alcohol and foodways, colonialism, and the politics of identity. Ethnomusicology is another major research interest of his, particularly the study of the blues, and he regularly teaches a popular anthropology course on the Chicago Blues (and plays blues harmonica). Read how Michael Dietler teaches about the Chicago Blues.


Chanel Hampton 

(773) 702-2157