Jessica C. Hajek, Ph.D., is a recent musicology graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with an emphasis on ethnomusicology and Latin American/Caribbean studies. Her dissertation, “The Capital of Carnival,” centered on carnival groups known as “Alibabá” parade in the streets of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic who perform unison dance routines while dressed in stylized Middle-Eastern inspired costumes that are accompanied by a unique marching rhythm on percussion and brass instruments. As a social history of the performance of Alibabá music and dance during carnival in Santo Domingo’s working-class neighborhoods, her work analyzes the production of perceptions of music and sound that determine the politics of everyday musical life. She is fluent in Spanish and has also studied Haitian Creole. Jessica is an active scholar, presenting papers at numerous conference over the past decade, including the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), the Haitian Studies Association (HSA), the Society for American Music (SAM), and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). She has also served as the Website Administrator for the Latin American & Caribbean Section for SEM since 2017.
Office HoursM/W 10:30 – 11:30 am
Carnival practices in the Caribbean region, Intersection of public policy and urban cultural expressions, Haitian diaspora in the Dominican, pedagogy for music/language instruction, sound studies, and applied ethnomusicology.
Bike riding on the Cardinal Greenway, Hiking in Hayes Arboretum, Shopping at ALDI, and Salsa dancing.