Dubois’s lecture will argue that the banjo’s sound is synonymous with country, folk, and bluegrass. For many, it’s the quintessential American instrument. Yet its origin, he reveals, lies in Africa, in various instruments featuring skin drum heads and gourd bodies. His lecture proposes that the banjo offers a powerful way to understand the broader processes of exchange, crossings, and creolization in the Atlantic World and the Americas. By listening and watching the banjo, we get a different perspective on the idea of "America," one that emphasizes the ways in which our culture has been shaped by constant crossings between Africa, the Caribbean, and North America over the past centuries.