- Activist Encounters in Folklore and Ethnomusicology
- At the Crossroads of Music and Social Justice
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At the Crossroads of Music and Social Justice
Published by: Indiana University Press
Music is powerful and transformational, but can it spur actual social change?
A strong collection of essays, At the Crossroads of Music and Social Justice studies the meaning of music within a community to investigate the intersections of sound and race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and differing abilities. Ethnographic work from a range of theoretical frameworks uncovers and analyzes the successes and limitations of music's efficacies in resolving conflicts, easing tensions, reconciling groups, promoting unity, and healing communities. This volume is rooted in the Crossroads Section for Difference and Representation of the Society for Ethnomusicology, whose mandate is to address issues of diversity, difference, and underrepresentation in the society and its members' professional spheres. Activist scholars who contribute to this volume illuminate possible pathways and directions to support musical diversity and representation.
At the Crossroads of Music and Social Justice is an excellent resource for readers interested in real-world examples of how folklore, ethnomusicology, and activism can, together, create a more just and inclusive world.
Preface, by Andrew G. Snyder and Katelyn E. Best
Introduction: Pathways toward a Justice-Oriented Ethnomusicology, by David A. McDonald
Part I: Truth Telling and Listening Lovingly
1. Diversity on Repeat: The Deceptive Cadence of Social Domination in Ethnomusicology, by Kyra D. Gaunt
2. Social Justice and My Work as a Music Scholar, Teacher, and Artist, by Steven Loza
3. Punk and Politics and Transforming Musical Academe, by Brenda M. Romero
4. Going Forward with Vigilance: American Indian Music is Always There, by Charlotte W. Heth
5. Deliver Me from Danger, Èşù-Elgbára! Musical Offerings in Social Justice, by Paul Austerlitz
Part II: Radical Inclusivity
6. Ethnocentrism 2.0: Hearing-Centrism, Inclusivity, and Musical Expression in Deaf Culture, by Katelyn E. Best
7. Pink Menno Hymn Sings: Queerness, Inclusivity, and the Mennonite Church, by Katie J. Graber
8. Unsettling Euro-American Conceptions of Race in the Egyptian Independent Music Scene, by Darci Sprengel
9. Reclaiming Nanook of the North, Tanya Tagaq's Sonic and Performative Counterpoints to Inuit Stereotypes, by Ho Chak Law
10. "If I Could Go Back in Time": Rethinking Popular Culture, Social Justice, and the Compassionate Gaze in Palestine, by David A. McDonald
Part III: Coalition Building
11. Promoting Social Justice through Traditional Irish Music: A New Model for Applied Research, by Alexandria Carrico
12. The Sonic Politics of Interracial Coalitions, by Susan M. Asai
13. "¡Vamos a Pelear en la Guerra!": Musical Manifestations of Coalition Building in the South Texas Chicano Movement, by Erin E. Bauer
Part IV: Direct Action
14. "Music is Liberation": The Brass Liberation Orchestra and Direct Action, by Andrew G. Snyder
15. Ecological Frictions and Borderless Futures: Art and Activism on a Sailing Ship, by Rebekah E. Moore
16. Raising the Imperative for Direct Action, by Susan M. Asai
17. Circling Back on Direct Action: On Difference and Representation, by Brenda M. Romero
List of Contributors
Brenda M. Romero is Professor Emerita at the University of Colorado Boulder. She earned a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor of music and a master of music in music theory and composition from the University of New Mexico. In addition to extensive research in New Mexico, she has conducted fieldwork in Mexico, Colombia, and Peru, including as Fulbright Scholar in Mexico in Colombia.
Susan M. Asai is Professor Emerita at the Music Department at Northeastern University in Boston. Her research encompasses Japanese folk performing arts and Asian American music and cultural politics. She has published numerous articles and encyclopedia entries on Japanese/Asian American music and identity. Asai's is author of Nōmai Dance Drama: A Surviving Spirit of Medieval Japan.
David A. McDonald is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. Since 2002 he has worked closely with Palestinian refugee communities in Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, and North America researching the performative dynamics of trauma, violence, and masculinity. He is author and editor of two books, My Voice is My Weapon and Palestinian Music and Song.
Andrew G. Snyder is an Integrated Researcher in the Instituto de Etnomusicologia at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in Portugal. He has written about alternative brass band movements in Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, and San Francisco in his book, Critical Brass: Street Carnival and Musical Activism in Olympic Rio de Janeiro, his co-edited volume HONK! A Street Band Renaissance of Music and Activism, and in various articles.
Katelyn E. Best is a Teaching Assistant Professor in Musicology at West Virginia University and Co-Director of the Society for Ethnomusicology Orchestra. Her research focuses on Deaf music, hip hop, and cultural activism. Her current work traces the development of dip hop (sign language rap) in the United States and examines socio-cultural mechanisms that have historically colonized deaf experiences of music.
"An insightful critique of ethnomusicology that challenges its colonialist roots and the resulting inequalities and exclusionary practices. At the Crossroads of Music and Social Justice provides multiple paths to restructuring the discipline around the ideologies of social justice. In the process, the 'new norm' embraces difference—the ideas, opinions, approaches, and priorities of historically marginalized groups. This book turns the discipline on its head with the goal of encouraging ethnomusicologists to engage in self-reflection on how we research, teach and practice ethnomusicology. At the Crossroads of Music and Social Justice is an ideal companion for monographs on the history of the field."~Portia K. Maultsby, coeditor of Issues in African American Music: Power, Gender, Race, Representation and African American Music: An Introduction, 2nd ed.
"The book's emphasis on a justice-oriented ethnomusicology offers hope. Gathering what could be called testimonio-like narratives by established scholars, the editors work to reimagine the field as one that is justice-oriented and in the process take the pulse of this exciting and necessary discipline. The editors have culled the work of authors to present the pedagogical implications as well as the practice of a social justice approach to the study of music and to performance. They are spot on in grouping the chapters around four main themes: Truth Telling and Listening Lovingly, Radical Inclusivity, Coalition Building, and Direct Action. The contributors' voices build a coherent picture through intriguing explorations of the field and offer new directions toward a justice-oriented ethnomusicology. "~Norma E. Cantú, Trinity University
- Ellen Koskoff Prize
- Bruno Nettl Prize