Jasmine Henry

Wolf Humanities Center Penn Faculty Fellow

20232024 Forum on Revolution

Jasmine Henry

Assistant Professor of Music

Jasmine Henry is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in twentieth and twenty-first-century popular music. Her current research focuses on topics of Black electronic dance music (EDM), DIY music production, and Afrofuturism. Her recent articles and reviews on popular music, race, and production appear in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Journal of the Society for American Music, American Music and Popular Culture Studies Journal. Currently, Henry is working on a book-length project that critically examines the rich heritage of Black urban club music and party cultures in Newark, New Jersey while also exploring how present- day participants navigate the complex cultural politics of Black club music production and performance on local, regional, and global scales. By focusing on underexplored aspects of Black club music she reveals valuable insights into the racialized and gendered power dynamics manifested and negotiated on dancefloors around the world.

The Right to Rave: Resistance, Revolution, and the Black Feminist Imagination in Electronic Dance Music

This project explores the Black feminist resistance practices of contemporary Black women DJs. Focusing on the creative practices and activism of DJ UNIIQU3, I investigate how Black women DJs use imagination and technological agency to negotiate inequitable dancefloor dynamics, recenter Black, femme, and queer perspectives in the electronic dance music (EDM) industry, and challenge power dynamics in local urban club scenes. Using musicological and ethnographic methods, I analyze the sonic, spatial, and kinesthetic aspects of live DJ performances and empowerment workshops. Ultimately, this study will demonstrate the importance of regarding EDM dancefloors as serious sites of (ethno)musicological and feminist inquiry, as well as the crucial role Black women’s creative practices play in making dance cultures across the world more inclusive and liberating.