Maria Josefa Velasco


Humanities Teaching Postdoctoral Fellow


Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2017


Office: Gates-Blake Hall 505

Mari Jo Velasco recently defended her dissertation titled, “Popular Song, Revolution, and Devotional Culture in the French Pyrénées, 1780-1850,” at the University of Chicago. She is currently working at UChicago as a Humanities Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, teaching Media Aesthetics in the Humanities Core and music history courses in the Department of Music.

Mari Jo's research lies at the border between music history and ethnomusicology, studying the musical and devotional practices of lesser-known regions of France, such as the Basque country. Her critical and research interests include minority languages and cultures within France, oral histories and folk traditions, trans-border identity and exchange, popular devotional music, and musical resistance in times of Revolution. She was a recipient of the American Musicological Society’s Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Dissertation fellowship in 2016, and her research in the Basque and Bearnese Pyrénées region was funded in part by a Fulbright IIE grant in 2014-15.

Mari Jo is excited to delve into research on related and side interests in the Basque diaspora to the Americas, as well as in the popular music traditions of Veracruz, Mexico. She is also continuing work on the diverse regional music traditions of France in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, exploring the emergence of folk tradition concepts in France and Spain.