Areas of Specialization
Hip-Hop, Sound Studies, African-American Music, Urban Studies, Death and Dying, Spectralities, American Studies
EducationB.M. in Trombone Performance, Texas Tech University
M.M. in Jazz Studies, University of North Texas
Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology, University of California, Santa Barbara
Alex Blue’s research examines the intersections of race, sound, space and place, with a primary focus on the United States. His work features a Black Studies-centered approach to Ethnomusicology and Sound Studies, employing heavily ethnographic methods to demonstrate ways in which race has influenced sound and sound has influenced race. Additionally, he is interested in narratives of death, dying, and afterlives in relation to African-American music and has published, given talks, and taught classes concerning these narratives.
Currently, Blue is working on two book projects. The first, titled A Matter of Death and Life, is built upon his dissertation, an ethnographic (or “necrographic”) study of the narratives of death and dying and how artists employ various forms of death as praxis in contemporary Detroit hip-hop. The second, which he is co-authoring, is an ethnographic study of country rap, otherwise known as “hick hop,” that examines issues of race, gender, class, nationalism, and identity, primarily (but not entirely) in the southern United States.