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Prof. Mark Slobin (Wesleyan University): “The Self and the City: Writing Detroit” (03/28)

Event Start: 
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusicology)

Taking off from the 2016 article in “Ethnomusicology” on my work in Detroit music history, the talk will survey the topics and approach of the completed book manuscript, which blends personal and family accounts, oral history from interviewees, and archival sources to illuminate the musical life of America’s fourth-largest city, called “the capital of the twentieth century,” even as capitalism and racism were sowing the seeds of Detroit’s decline.

Mark Slobin is the Winslow-Kaplan   Professor of Music Emeritus at Wesleyan University and the author or editor of many books, on Afghanistan and Central Asia, eastern European Jewish music, film music, and ethnomusicology theory, two of which have received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award: "Fiddler on the Move: Exploring the Klezmer World" and "Tenement Songs: Popular Music of the Jewish Immigrants.  His current project is on the musical life of Detroit, 1940s-60s. He has been President of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Society for Asian Music.

A Discussion of the work of ethnomusicologist Jane Sugarman

Event Start: 
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 2:10pm - 4:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusicology)

The Center for Ethnomusicology presents:

A Discussion of the work of ethnomusicologist
Jane Sugarman 

March 21, 2:10PM - 4:00PM
701C Dodge Hall (Center for Ethnomusicology)
Free and open to the public

Jane C. Sugarman is Professor of Music at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she directs the program in ethnomusicology.  She is the author of Engendering Song:  Singing and Subjectivity at Prespa Albanian Weddings (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1997), as well as numerous articles on music and dance in and from southeastern Europe as they relate to gender and sexuality, nation, diaspora, and conflict zones.  Her current book project examines a half-century of mediated Albanian musics from the former Yugoslavia and their role in imagining "modern" Albanian identities.

In Memoriam: Professor Dieter Christensen (1932-2017)

Prof. Dieter Christensen

Dieter Christensen, an eminent ethnomusicologist and a longtime faculty member of the Department of Music at Columbia University and Director of Columbia's Center for Ethnomusicology, passed away in Berlin, Germany on March 1, 2017.  Born on April 17, 1932 in Berlin, Professor (Emeritus) Christensen played a seminal role in advancing ethnomusicology in the United States and internationally, as a scholar, an editor, a teacher of graduate students, an archivist, and in particular as the longtime Secretary General of the International Council for Traditional Music (1981-2001) and editor of its journal, The Yearbook for Traditional Music, during the same period.  read more »

Film Screening: Lenora Lee and Tatsu Aoki's LIGHT (March 11, 5pm)

Event Start: 
Saturday, March 11, 2017 - 5:00pm
Casa Hispanica (612 West 116th Street New York , NY 10027)
The Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and the Transnational Asian | American Series at Columbia University

Present a Screening of


(2017), 57 minutes 
by Lenora Lee and Tatsu Aoki 

TUESDAY, APRIL 11 at 5pm 
Casa Hispánica (612 West 116th Street New York , NY 10027)

Free and Open to the Public 

Further information at: 

filmmaker/musician TATSU AOKI 
choreographer/dancer LENORA LEE
and composer/saxophonist FRANCIS WONG 
David H. Hwang, Associate Professor of Theater Arts, Columbia University and
Karen Shimakawa, Associate Professor Performance studies, New York University
Co-sponsored by the Center for Ethnomusicology, inter alia

Book Launch for Michael E. Veal and E. Tammy Kim's "Punk Ethnography: Artists & Scholars Listen to Sublime Frequencies" (02/22)

Event Start: 
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 7:01pm - 9:01pm
Book Culture 536 W 112th St New York, NY 10025

Please join us Wednesday, February 22nd at 7pm for a discussion of the Punk Ethnography, edited by Michael Veal and E. Tammy Kim. This talk is co-sponsored by The Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University and Book Culture. It is moderated by Alessandra Ciucci from the Department of Music at Columbia University.Panelists include: Michael Veal, E. Tammy Kim, Will Glasspiegel, Rachel Lears, and Stanley Scott. .

A critical companion to the radical DIY record label that challenges the conventions of ethnography, representation, and the category of “world music.”

This ground-breaking case study examines record production as ethnographic work. Since its founding in 2003, Seattle-based record label Sublime Frequencies has produced world music recordings that have been received as radical, sometimes problematic critiques of the practices of sound ethnography. Founded by punk rocker brothers Alan and Richard Bishop, along with filmmaker Hisham Mayet, the label's releases encompass collagist sound travelogues; individual artist compilations; national, regional and genre surveys; and DVDs all designed in a distinctive graphic style recalling the DIY aesthetic of punk and indie rock. Sublime Frequencies producers position themselves as heirs to canonical ethnographic labels such as Folkways, Nonesuch, and Musique du Monde, but their aesthetic and philosophical roots in punk, indie rock, and experimental music effectively distinguish their work from more conventional ethnographic norms. Situated at the intersection of ethnomusicology, sound studies, cultural anthropology, and popular music studies, the essays in this volume explore the issues surrounding the label including appropriation and intellectual property while providing critical commentary and charting the impact of the label through listener interviews.

Alessandra Ciucci is Assistant Professor of Music (Ethnomusicology) at Columbia University. Her research interests include the music of North Africa, particular Morocco, music and gender, sung poetry, and music and migration. She is currently working on a monograph on music and the Moroccan migration to Italy.

Michael E. Veal is a musician and professor of ethnomusicology at Yale University. He is the author of several books, including Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon and Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae.

E. Tammy Kim is a writer and member of The New Yorker's editorial staff. She previously worked as a staff writer at Al Jazeera America and as a social justice lawyer.

Wills Glasspiegel is a multimedia journalist and artist with a background in music management. His work has appeared on NPR, Fader, Vice, Dis Magazine and Afropop Worldwide, As a manager, Glasspiegel facilitated the introduction of two niche electronic music genres: Shangaan electro from South Africa and bubu from Sierra Leone. He is currently a Ph.D candidate at Yale in African-American Studies/American Studies where his work is focused around footwork, a music and dance style from Chicago, Glasspiegel's hometown.

Rachel Lears is a filmmaker, writer, and musician based in Brooklyn, New York. Her first documentary Birds of Passage (2010) explored the everyday struggles of two Uruguayan songwriters. Her most recent documentary project The Hand That Feeds follows an historic labor campaign led by undocumented immigrant workers in New York City, and is supported by the Sundance Documentary Program. She holds a Ph.D in Cultural Anthropology from New York University, and her doctoral research on media and cultural policy in Uruguay was supported by grants from Fulbright-Hays and the American Council of Learned Societies/Mellon Foundation. Her ongoing video art collaborations with artist Saya Woolfolk have screened in numerous galleries and museums worldwide.

Stanley Scott teaches Indian music at Yale and Wesleyan Universities and directs the Rangila School of Music, serving Connecticut's South Asian community. He received the 2011 Mumbai Music Award for "contribution to the cause of Indian music by an overseas-resident personality," and the 2001 lifetime achievement award from New York's Cultural Association of Bengal.  His recordings include The Weaver's Song: Bhajans of North India and a major role in Anthony Braxton's opera Trillium E. He has performed as a featured artist at Kolkatta's Rabindra Sadhan, Mumbai's NCPA and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Delhi University, and New York's Chhandayan Institute.



Prof. Alexander G. Weheliye (Northwestern University): "Black Life--Schwarz-Sein." (02/02)

Event Start: 
Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 12:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusioclogy)

The Center for Ethnomusicology presents a talk by:

Prof. Alexander Weheliye
(Professor, Department of African American Studies,  Northwestern University)

Black Life -- Schwarz-Sein

Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusicology)
Columbia Morningside Campus, Broadway and 116th St. 

This talk pays particular attention to the complex ways gender and sexuality function in the barring of Black flesh from the category of the human-as-Man by investigating inhabitations of the flesh that bring to light the relational being-in-the-world of Black Life. That is, examples from literature and music that render the constitutive ungendered displacement of Black Life from origin and belonging habitable by staging the affectability of Black mattering as second sight.

Alexander Weheliye is a scholar and teacher of black literature and culture, critical theory, social technologies, and popular culture. He is a Professor in the department of African American Studies at Northwestern University. Weheliye is the author of Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity (Duke University Press, 2005), which was awarded The Modern Language Association's William Sanders Scarborough Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Study of Black American Literature or Culture and Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human (Duke University Press, 2014). Currently, he is working on two projects. The first, Black Life/Schwarz-Sein, establishes Blackness as an ontology of ungendering.The second, Feenin: R&B’s Technologies of Humanity, offers a critical history of the intimate relationship between R&B music and technology since the late 1970s.

MACSEM 2017 -- March 11-12, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY -- Meeting Information and Registration Form

MACSEM 2017  MEETING INFORMATION (Dates passed, for archival purposes only)

March 11-12, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

"Music and Political Change"

Keynote Speaker: Clifford Murphy (Director of Folk and Traditional Arts, National Endowment for the Arts):

“Public Service, Community Engagement, and American Folklife: A View from Washington”

MACSEM 2017 is hosted by Cornell University and will be held at:

Cornell Dept of Music, Lincoln Hall, Room B20
101 Lincoln Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 

Click here for a Google map to Lincoln Hall.


The Cornell Concert Series welcomes you to MACSEM 2017! On Friday evening, March 10, we are presenting Simon Shaheen’s Zafir project: the Arab music of Al-Andalus and blended with the art of flamenco and jazz influences in a program of instrumental and vocal music and dance. Shaheen will be joined by the exquisite Moroccan singer Nidal Ibourk, who has collaborated with him on many occasions; the young fiery flamenco dancer Auxi Fernandez who complements the music with her sinuous arm movements and explosive footwork; flamenco vocalist/guitarist/pianist Juan Pérez Rodríguez, from a family of Gypsy musicians; and Shaheen’s acclaimed “Qantara” ensemble.

Tickets available at  
Enter the coupon code MACSEM to receive a 20% discount!

Registration will be available in advance at the MACSEM website and at the door. Due to the distance between campus and local restaurants, the registration includes Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as Sunday brunchPLEASE PRE-REGISTER so conference organizers can estimate numbers for catering. See the bottom of this page for a PayPal link to register online. $25 (student/underemployed) or $40 (faculty). 

Amtrak's Syracuse Station- 80 minute drive from campus

Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport- 10 minute drive from campus
Syracuse Hancock International Airport- 90 minute drive from campus
LaGuardia & John F. Kennedy Airports 4 hour, 30 minute drive from campus

Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit [TCAT]- Local bus service
Big Red Bullet- Service between Ithaca and New York City.
Shortline BusService between Ithaca and New York State, Long Island, New Jersey. 

The Hotel Ithaca
222 South Cayuga Street • Ithaca, New York 14850 • (607) 272-1000

Request the Cornell rate to secure the MACSEM discount ($159/night). The booking deadline for the discounted rate is Feb 24. The hotel will work with attendees on pricing after this date, but will not be able to guarantee rooms if booking past the deadline. We will be providing shuttles from the hotel to the university at the beginning and end of each day.

Click here to download the MACSEM 2017 Program


See PayPal link below to pre-pay Registration Fees (2 meals included)


Call for Papers: Columbia Music Scholarship Conference 2017 -- Music: Order and Disorder (03/04)

Event Start: 
Saturday, March 4, 2017 - 9:00am - 6:00pm

CMSC 2017 Call for Papers  

Music: Order and Disorder

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Prof. Ryan Skinner (Ohio State U.): "Walking, Talking, Re-membering: An Afro-Swedish Critique of Being-in-the-world." (01/24)

Event Start: 
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusioclogy)

The Center for Ethnomusicology presents a talk by:

Prof. Ryan Skinner
(Associate Professor, School of Music and Department of African and African-American Studies, The Ohio State University)

"Walking, Talking, Re-membering: An Afro-Swedish Critique of Being-in-the-world."

Tuesday, January 24, 2 017
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusicology)
Columbia University Morningside Campus (Broadway and 116th St.)

In this lecture, Ryan Skinner will examine the existential grounds and limits of an embodied and intersubjective being-in-the-world, in walking dialogue with the remembrances of Afro-Swedish subjects. To walk, wander, and roam in Sweden, particularly through the abundant green spaces that intrude upon and surround nearly every town and city, is a biopolitical act. It is a sign of personal vitality, healthfulness, and a kind of being-with others predicated on a regular, self-conscious, and often solitary being-toward nature. Yet, for many non-white Africa-descended Swedes, such an imagined community of salubrious and, for the most part, anonymous walkers is largely just that, a socially constructed fiction that perforce (which is to say "by force") excludes them; an abstraction of urban planning that encumbers their movements, creating anomalous spaces of stasis and immobility; a caesura in the biopolitical field that indexes their black lives as matter out of place, beyond both culture and nature. If the phenomenological axiom of being-in-the-world posits a dialogic and corporeal co-presence of mutually constitutive subjectivities, then the perambulatory culture of Afro-Swedes suggests a state of exception—a breach in the intersubjective field—one which Afro-Swedish subjects critically address through doubly conscious re-membering, recollecting the histories of violence that set them apart, and distinguish their struggle.

Ryan Skinner Faculty Page at OSU

Ryan Skinner is Associate Professor of ethnomusicology in the School of Music and the Department of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University. Dr. Skinner’s research focuses on popular culture, ethics, cultural politics, public piety, intellectual property, and new social movements and modes of identification in Africa and its diasporas. He is the author of Bamako Sounds: The Afropolitan Ethics of Malian Music (University of Minnesota Press, 2015), and a children’s book, Sidikiba’s Kora Lesson (Beaver’s Pond Press, 2008). He is also an accomplished kora (21-stringed West African harp) player. 

Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa to Direct Center (Spring 2017)

Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa

The Center is pleased to announce that beginning in January 2017, Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa will assume the Center's Directorship.

Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa
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