A Year in Review

To our great joy, the Society for Ethnomusicology Student Union blog turns one this month! To celebrate the occasion, we offer you reflections on a year of blogging from the SEM SU blog core team – Liza, Ana, and Heather. We loved working together to create this collaboration – it’s our first post featuring all three of us. Even more so, we look forward to another year ahead. One of our many goals is to make this blog a space for dialogue, so if you’re here now, let us know what you think! How has the blog served you so far, and what can we do to better reach you? All of our thanks for sticking around!

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To Textbook or Not to Textbook

It’s been a while since I reviewed a textbook. But as I reached for the next one on my shelf this week, something gave me pause. It’s actually been quite a while since I used a textbook for the classes that I teach. The question of whether to use a textbook or not is one that has come up several times in talking with some of my colleagues who are in the same general situation as me (ABD, or very close, and teaching part-time at universities and colleges). Most of my colleagues choose the textbook route, but for several years (and particularly for my online classes) I have chosen not to textbook. So I thought I’d talk through some of my reasons and some of the challenges and freedoms of not using a textbook.

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“The Body Electric”: A Protest Song for our Generation

It’s not everyday that you turn on the radio and hear a song so poetically empowering, it sets you in motion for considerable cultural change. I mean, this is the kind of song that makes me want to roll down my ’87 station wagon windows and sing it for every car in rush hour traffic to hear!

“The Body Electric” is the name of this contemporary protest song written by the Americana folk singer, Alynda Lee Segarra. Based out of New Orleans, Alynda is the leading lady of Hurray For the Riff Raff and released her new album called Small Town Heroes in 2014.

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