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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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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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!

Ethnomusicology and Parenthood

Since its inception, I have been an avid and enthusiastic reader of the “Parenthood and Ethnomusicology” blogs. A father of a three-year-old and a PhD Candidate, I have found great comfort and a sort of virtual camaraderie with the others in our field who, like me, are continually in the process of figuring out how to be both parents and ethnomusicologists.

Ben Dumbauld

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NEA 2016 National Heritage Fellowship recipients

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced the 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellowship recipients! This award is considered the highest honor for the folk and traditional arts in the United States. According to the NEA, this annual award has recognized 413 recipients of various art forms and traditions since 1982.

heritage2016-collage

Photo borrowed from NEA website

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Professional Dress: The Suit-speriment

At the beginning of this year, I wrote about a little experiment my colleagues and I conducted regarding professional dress. To recap, many of the graduate students in the University of Maryland’s ethno/musicology division have teaching responsibilities, and we were noticing an increased discussion about what we wear while teaching classes and taking classes. The idea of business-casual attire had come up a number of times, and I wanted to know what would happen if we all dressed in such clothes for two weeks, although some kept the experiment going a bit longer.

Suit-speriment

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