Postdoctoral scholar Benjamin DuPriest researches, writes, and teaches about aural cultures and listening practices in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the intersection of cultural heritage and race in the deep South. Employing both ethnographic and historiographic methodologies, DuPriest examines the aural histories of popular music, jazz, and folklore in the deep South and beyond. Secondary research interests concern the circulation of music between West Africa, the Caribbean, and the U.S., as well as the technological histories of musical production, reproduction, and consumption.
DuPriest earned the Ph.D in ethnomusicology with a graduate certificate in Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He previously earned both the M.A. in historical musicology and the B.A. in music from the University of Georgia. His Master’s studies concentrated on the history of hip hop and second line music in New Orleans. His work has appeared in the Journal for the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Mississippi Folklife journal, as well as various other public and professional platforms, and has been funded by The Universities of Pennsylvania and Georgia and the Mississippi Arts Commission. He is also a drummer with professional experience across rock, jazz, and hip hop scenes.
DuPriest’s current project is a study of the history of blues folklore and tourism in North Mississippi. In it, he examines the widespread and popular celebration of the blues as a form of cultural heritage in the state, focusing on the musics of the North Mississippi hill country. His work examines the archival practices of celebrated musicological song-hunters, folklorists, and folk revivalists, exploring the ways in which their work shaped conventional auralities and mobilities amongst contemporary fans and tourists. The work is both an ethnography and a historiography of blues celebration and travel, framing heritage tourism as a mechanism of political and economic expediency in the state, aurally constructed around sonic and civic mythologies of race and post-racialism.
DuPriest teaches classes at FSU in popular music, research methods, and sound studies. He has also previously taught or assisted in the teaching of rock history, jazz studies, and world music and cultures.
View All Faculty and Staff