AbstractThis article critically examines the fieldwork materials of American anthropologists William R. Bascom and Richard A. Waterman collected in Cuba in 1948. As founding scholars in the research of culture and music of the African diaspora, Bascom and Waterman represent significant case studies in the historiographical critique and analysis of these research fields as well as anthropology’s and ethnomusicology’s construct of the field itself. By employing Nietzsche’s notion of will to power, the article argues that unlike much of their published scholarship, Bascom’s and Waterman’s field materials constitute fertile ground for the analysis and interpretation of their Cuban informants’ positioning in and resistance to the epistemological power relations that defined and circumscribed the anthropological field.
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