In the 1990s, Balliger conducted extensive research in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad on music, media, and identity formation in national/transnational space. At the forefront of “sound studies,” her dissertation research focused on music/sound as a lens for understanding changing meanings of identity and place in the context of globalization. Over two years in Trinidad she conducted an extensive study of different popular youth musics, including soca, dancehall, chutney soca, and rock/metal, and the ways in which these scenes articulated new race/class formations and spatialities. Her study of music consumption by different audiences in Trinidad has been described as “pioneering” and she has published articles on music, media change, intellectual property, and artist activism in Trinidad. Most of these articles are available below. She plans to make her entire dissertation (2001) available soon. During her research she also interviewed many of the most important musicians in Trinidad and made live field recordings, which she also hopes to make public. See extensive list of conference presentations on CV and pdfs of select articles below.
“Mediating the Local: Radio and the Neoliberal Cultural Economy of Space in Trinidad,” Media Fields Journal: Critical Explorations in Media and Space, Vol. 4 (Scale), Feb. 2012.
“Vultures Invade Trinidad!: Spectacular Urban Development and Artist Activism in a Neoliberal Cultural Economy,” Public Lecture, San Francisco Art Institute, Oct.28, 2011.
“The Politics of Cultural Value and the Value of Cultural Politics: International Intellectual Property Legislation in Trinidad,” Trinidad Carnival: The Cultural Politics of a Transnational Festival. Eds. Garth Green and Phil Scher. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007
“Chutney Soca Music in Trinidad: Indian Ethno-Nationalist Expression in Transnational Perspective,” Globalisation, Diaspora, and Caribbean Popular Culture. Eds. Christine Ho and Keith Nurse. Mona, JA: Ian Randle Publishers, 2005.
“Popular Music and the Cultural Politics of Globalization among the Post-Oil Boom Generation in Trinidad,” Identity, Ethnicity, and Culture in the Caribbean. Ed. Ralph Premdas. St. Augustine: University of the West Indies, 1999.