Responding: Review of Ethnomusicology Pedagogy at the 61st SEM Annual Meeting

By Xiaorong Yuan (Heidi), Kent State University

As ethnomusicologists, we spend our professional time in the classroom or preparing to teach. However, what we teach, how we teach, and why we teach ethnomusicology to different levels of audiences and students has become an issue that needs to be discussed. In 2016, at the annual SEM meeting in Washington, D.C., several panels and papers had insightful discussions about pedagogy that ethnomusicologists use and address when they are teaching. This report selects three panels related to ethnomusicological pedagogy: the roundtable panel “Music Pedagogy for the 21st Century”, “Global to Local Music Outreach”, and “World Music Pedagogy Workshop”, which highlight the diverse possibility of teaching ethnomusicology in a variety of environments and methodologies.

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“Student Voices”: A Collaboration with the Student News Bulletin

Introducción

(for the English version of this introduction go to Student News)

Para muchos de nosotros, el trabajo de campo es una de las partes más emocionantes del proceso de investigación etnomusicológico. Nos preparamos para el trabajo de campo por adelantado, encuadrándolo en propuestas de investigación, diseñando cuestionarios para diferentes tipos de entrevistas, aprendiendo idiomas, haciendo contactos preliminares, preparando viajes, y leyendo, escuchando y viendo material relevante. Sin embargo, estar en “el campo”, o “en el terreno”, como llamaremos a este espacio a lo largo de este post, casi siempre significa remodelar, reformular y adaptarse a las relaciones y circunstancias socio-musicales que encontramos, y de las cuales aprendemos poco a poco, en el día a día. ¿Cómo ha sido la experiencia de estudiantes de etnomusicología con este aspecto particular de la adaptación in situ y qué impacto ha tenido esto en su investigación?

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Introducing: Responding

Hello dear readers, this is Liza. Today I’m introducing the first entry in a new series called Responding, a space where ethnomusicology graduate students react to papers or panels they attended at Society for Ethnomusicology annual conferences. I love the energy and excitement generated at SEM conferences, and I imagined this series as a way to continue the rich, generative conversations we have over a few short days throughout the rest of the year. Here is our first contribution, by Heather Strohschein.

I can’t believe six months have already passed since SEM 2016. I’ve been going to SEM conferences since . . . oh jeez . . . it’s been over ten years . . . (trying not to think about how old I am). I haven’t made it to every single conference since my very first in 2005, but every time I go, I’m reenergized by the plethora of ideas, the multitudinous approaches to research, and the multisyllabic words I need to look up at the end of the day.

This year, Liza suggested writing about a specific paper or papers that really stood out. This is a great way to keep the ideas and inspiration of SEM fresh in our minds as well as keeping a conversation going regarding these ideas. I saw and heard some fantastic papers this year, but the one that got me thinking the most was presented by Trevor Reed from Columbia University on the first day of the conference. His paper was titled “On the Generativity of Letting Culture Die.” No colon! I was immediately intrigued.

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Response to In Discipline

A year and a half ago we published our last contribution for the projectIn Discipline: Talks from the European Side.” Since then, we have had the idea of generating a dialogue between professors and students, as a way to channel or to start to channel students’ ideas, needs, and preocupations in a horizontal and inter-generational kind of way.  The contribution below, written by the Catalan Anthropologist Josep Martí, is thus what we hope to be the first step of an ongoing conversation. Josep Martí’s text has been written in Catalan (top), and it has been translated into English (bottom),  continuing our effort to make this blog, and the In Discipline project,  multilingual.

Dr. Josep Martí is a Scientific Researcher at the Milà i Fontanals Institute (Barcelona), which makes up part of the Spanish National Research Council, otherwise known as “CSIC.” He has conducted fieldwork in different European countries, in Japan, and most recently in Equatorial Guinea. His research interests include, as reflected in his numerous publications,  the anthropology of the body, the anthropology of music, and popular culture.

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In Support of Grad Student Unions

Colleagues,

The Executive Committee of the Student Union of the Society for Ethnomusicology would like to express its strong support for ongoing unionization drives by graduate workers across the United States. Graduate students at many public universities continue to enjoy the benefits of union representation and the recent NLRB reversal of the 2004 Brown decision paves the way for those at private institutions to unite and have the benefits and protections of collective bargaining rights. We believe that the statuses of ‘student’ and ‘worker’ are not mutually exclusive, and so we call on university administrations to allow those organizing to decide the issue of unionization for themselves in a fair and expedient manner.

Respectfully,

Executive Committee, 

Student Union of the Society for Ethnomusicology

Jeremy Reed, Chair
Indiana University, Bloomington
Email: reedjer@indiana.edu

Ana-María Alarcón-Jiménez, Vice-Chair
Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)
Email: anamaria.aj@gmail.com

Liza Munk, Secretary/Treasurer
University of California, Santa Barbara
Email: emunk@umail.ucsb.edu

Juan Carlos Meléndez-Torres, Member at Large
Cornell University
Email: jcm528@cornell.edu

The Vertiskos Project

About a year ago, Greek teacher and musician Athena Katsanevaki responded to a call we sent through the ICTM email list, as we were looking for ethnomusicology student groups all arround the world. Dr. Katsanevaki told us that she, together with her students, and some residents from Vertiskos (Thessaloniki, Greece) had recently concluded a research project, and that they wanted to share it in our blog.

The post that you are reading now has been taken shape for a while. This is a rich and in depth post with written, audovisual, and sonic components.  The publication starts with an introduction written by Dr. Katsanevaki, followed by participant students’s texts (in both Greek and English languages) on their exeriences as part of the Vertiskos Project. The videos and sound files are all embedded at the end of the post. Dr. Katsanevaki has also written a text to contextualize the music, the place, and, all in all, the Vertiskos Project. This text, which includes a map, can be found twice throughout the post (at the end of the introduction and at the right side of the videos) in a  purple button entitled “The Vertiskos Project in Context“. In this way, the reader can choose when to access the material presented in this section. We encourage you to read, listen, watch, and send them your feedback. 

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Special Events at the Society for Ethnomusicology 2016 Washington D.C. Conference

The SEM conference is almost here! Hopefully you remembered to register, found a hotel roommate to save you some green, and have already read the program book cover to cover out of excitement for this mid-semester vacation.

Since we all have to make up our minds about what events we plan to attend while in DC at the SEM conference, Jennie and Heather are here to make it easier for you! We’ve listed below a few events/meetings/panels we plan to attend as well as updates on a few events that have been sold out. We encourage you to go through the program and take advantage of as many opportunities as you can! More details on specific performances can be found here.

**Quick update: Thank you to those who have suggested more great things for us to see and participate in during SEM. We’ve added these suggestions (in purple).**

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Survey on Decolonizing Ethnomusicology for the SEM Student News

Participate and lend your voice to the upcoming issue of SEM Student News, Vol. 12, No. 2, which focuses on decolonizing ethnomusicology, by filling out a survey for the “Student Voices” column. “Student Voices,” operating in conjunction with the SEM Student Union, provides a space for ethnomusicology students to voice their thoughts and concerns in relation to each issue’s topic. As such, your participation is invaluable and vital to this venture, and your opinions and ideas submitted through this survey will be brought together and represented in editorial form within the issue and put in dialogue with other contributions. There is still time remaining to take part in the discussion, but the survey is only open until end-of-day tomorrowSaturday, October 1, so please follow this link and spread word to your colleagues!

Nominate Now!

Today we’re featuring a call from the SEM Student Union, who are extending the deadline for SU officer nominations, Chair and Member-at-Large, in order to garner greater participation from the student body. The new deadline will be Friday, August 19, 2016. Please submit the name, institutional affiliation, and email address of your nominee to studentunionnominations.sem@gmail.com (subject line: SU Nominations 2016). Special note: if you are interested in participating in a leadership role within the SU, you can also self-nominate for these positions. A brief description of the leadership positions can be found below.

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