Experiencing intangible heritage on the byway: The Mississippi blues trail and the Virginia crooked road

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

In the past 80 years in the USA, pop culture in American music has been driven by the diaspora of southern African-Americans and southern white Appalachians. This diaspora has caused what noted art historian Shelly Lowenstein describes as a "double conscious" of the place, which is both the real place and what we imagined it to be after we listen to the music that came from it and study the iconic historic photographs that depicted it throughout the decades. Two state government-funded initiatives, which are set in the center of lost homes of these diasporic peoples, try to capitalize on the economic tourism potential of their intangible heritage. This chapter will discuss how these initiatives have attempted to use the double consciousness of places for heritage tourism. The Mississippi Blues Trail and Virginia’s Crooked Road attempt to educate and entertain the true diasporist and the diasporist in all of us who love Mississippi blues and Virginia bluegrass music. By mixing together digital media, satellite mapping with traditional way-finding and traditional historic sites around the theme of a specific musical idiom, the Mississippi Blues Trail and Virginia’s Crooked Road attempt to bring the music and the history that made the music come to life in the specific geographies in our minds. But are these initiatives successful? And finally, what are we really going to find on these roads?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncounters with Popular Pasts
Subtitle of host publicationCultural Heritage and Popular Culture
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Pages49-59
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783319131832
ISBN (Print)9783319131825
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • African-American diaspora
  • Chicago
  • Intangible heritage
  • Memphis
  • Mississippi
  • Old-time mountain music
  • Virginia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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