In Support of Grad Student Unions


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.


Executive Committee, 

Student Union of the Society for Ethnomusicology

Jeremy Reed, Chair
Indiana University, Bloomington

Ana-María Alarcón-Jiménez, Vice-Chair
Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)

Liza Munk, Secretary/Treasurer
University of California, Santa Barbara

Juan Carlos Meléndez-Torres, Member at Large
Cornell University

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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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 (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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In Discipline: Talks from the European Side

For this week’s In Discipline post, we are very happy to introduce Costin Moisil. Costin graduated from  the National University of Music in Bucharest and from the University of Athens (Ph.D). Costin is a current researcher at the National University of Music, Bucharest.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us, Costin!


“I am the second from left, the one who holds the cross. I was there on field research, with the pilgrims from Derșida village, heading to Nicula monastery (2012). Every year they go on foot to the monastery (3 days, 150 kilometers!!) and return. Of course, religious songs take an important place in the pilgrimage.” Costin Moisil

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Ethnomusicology Student Groups: UK, Spain, Austria and Germany

It has been almost a year since we embarked in our In Discipline project. Its European focus is directly related to my experience as a newcomer to this part of the world in the midst of an economic crisis impacting universities and other higher education/research institutions. Doing In Discipline has been a fascinating journey, allowing Heather, Liza and I to encounter issues, topics, and questions that we think should be developed further. Likewise, In Discipline has put us in touch with other ethnomusicology-oriented student organizations. For this post, we have asked a number of these organizations to present themselves in their own words. We are thus starting by featuring European groups that we have gotten to know through In Discipline. However, our goal is to make available a comprehensive list of student groups around the world. That being said, if you know of or are part of an ethnomusicology student group that you want us to present, please get in touch through a comment on this post! – Ana
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Cheers and Congrats!

There is so much to celebrate during this first week of May! Exams will soon be over, graduation is just around the corner for many accomplished students, and even more exciting for some, April 15th has come and gone! April 15th is the nationally recognized deadline for applicants to accept offers to graduate programs. Now, picture me dancing around in a moving truck full of instruments and used ethno reference books, cheering, “Congratulations to all students who are officially pursuing graduate degrees in Ethnomusicology!”

As a representative of the SEM Undergraduate Committee, I want to impart some useful advice I learned from my colleagues and from my own experience on the application journey.

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Coming in June: Ethnomusicology and Parenthood

Liza, Ana, and I are very pleased to announce a new series we’ll be starting on the SEM Student Union blog. Inspired by In Discipline contributors Gertrud Huber, Iva Nenic, and Liam Barnard, we decided to begin a series highlighting the joys and challenges of becoming/being a parent while pursuing a graduate degree in ethnomusicology. We’ve asked friends, colleagues, and professors to write about their experiences. Unlike In Discipline, there was no standardized questionnaire for our contributors. They were asked only to share what they felt was most important about the subject.

We’d also like to extend this invitation to our readers as well: if you have experiences in parenthood while in graduate school and would like to share them with us, please email us at

– Heather