The Center warmly congratulates Dr. Marti Newland, who successfull defended her dissertation, entitled Sounding “Black”: An Ethnography of Racialized Vocality at Fisk University, on June 23, 2014. Her dissertation was sponsoredby Prof. Fox.
Dr. Newland has accepted a postdoctoral position as Core Lecturer (Music Humanities) at Columbia University for 2014-16.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates Dr. Nili Belkind,
who defended her dissertation on May 8, 2014. Dr. Belkind's dissertation is entitled Music in conflict: Palestine, Israel, and the politics of aesthetic production
. It was sponsored (advised) by Prof. Christopher Washburne.
Dr. Belkind's dissertation is an ethnographic study of the fraught and complicated cultural politics of music making in Israel-Palestine in the context of the post-Oslo era, a time of highly polarized sentiments and general retreat from the expressive modes of relationality that accompanied the 1990s peace process. In it, she examines the politics of sound and the ways in which music making and attached discourses reflect and constitute identities, and also, contextualize political action. Ethical and aesthetic positions that shape contemporary artistic production in Israel-Palestine are informed by profound imbalances of power between the State (Israel), the stateless (Palestinians of the oPt), the complex positioning of Israel’s Palestinian minority, and contingent exposure to ongoing political violence.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates the following graduating seniors who have majored in ethnomusicology or worked closely with the ethnomusicology area faculty on senior projects. 2014 was a banner year for undergraduate ethnomusicologists at Columbia!
(Independent Major in Ethnomusicology, and Biology, Columbia College) completed a senior thesis entitled "Carnatic Music in Diaspora: Tamil American Carnatic Musicians," advised by Prof. Aaron Fox. The thesis examines the bicultural musical lives of young Tamil Americans.
Kevin Woojin Lee
(Music, and Economics, Columbia College) completed a senior thesis entitled "Crisis in the Operatic Tradition: Innovation as Violation," which examines the economic failure of the New York City Opera.
(Ethnomusicology, Barnard College) completed a senior thesis entitled "The Jazz Mass: Experiencing Religion and Spirituality Through Non-Traditional Music," advised by Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa. Kate has also worked extensively for the Center for Ethnomusicology in numerous capacities, as well as for the Music and Arts Library.
(Music, Columbia College) has been awarded Departmental Honors for her essay (advised by Prof. Aaron Fox) "A Space for Musical Therapy: On Nationalism, Modernity, Music, and Medicine in the Transition from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic." The essay looks at the use of music for medicinal or therapeutic purposes across broad historical span of Turkish history.
(Ethnomusicology, Barnard College) completed a senior thesis entitled "A Case Study of the NYU Steinhardt Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy: The Reception of Music Therapy as Explored through Analysis of its Research," advised by Prof. Christopher Washburne.
(Ethnmusicology, Barnard College) completed a senior thesis entitled "Making Miley 2.0: The Mechanisms Behind the Rebranding of Miley Cyrus," advised by Prof. Kevin Fellezs.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates Dr. Jessica Schwartz, currently completing her two year term as a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department, who has been appointed Assistant Professor of Musicology at The University of California, Los Angeles!
Dr. Schwartz holds the PhD in Ethnomusicology from New York University, where she completed a dissertation entitled: "Resonances of the Atomic Age: Hearing the Nuclear Legacy in the United States and the Marshall Islands, 1945-2010," advised by Prof. Jairo Moreno. She has published articles in, among other places, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society,Women and Music, and Music&Politics. Dr. Schwartz is also the founder of the Marshallese Educational Initiative, Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding educational opportunities for Marshallese and raising awareness of Marshallese issues.
Lauren Flood (Ethnomusicology) has been awarded a dissertation completion fellowship for 2014-15 from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation. The title of her dissertation is "Building and Becoming: DIY Music Technology in New York and Berlin," and it is sponsored by Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates Dr. Jonathan "Toby" King (PhD, Ethnomusicology, 2014), who has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music at The University of North Carolina at Asheville! Dr. King's dissertation is entitled "Implications of Contemporary Bluegrass Music Performance at and around a New York City Jam Session," and it is sponsored by Prof. Aaron Fox. Dr. King defended his dissertation on June 2, 2014. We congratulate him for that as well!
Professor Kevin Fellezs will be giving the 2014 Woody Guthrie Distinguished Lecture at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, US Branch (IASPM-US) annual conference on Saturday, March 15, 2014, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Fellezs's talk is titled "What Is This 'Black' In Japanese Popular Music? (Re)Imagining Race in a Transnational Polycultural Context," which focuses on his research of Black American musicians enjoying success in Japan in enka and J-Pop, two genres strongly associated with Japanese-ness, complicating conventional ideas linking identity, nationality, race, and genre.
The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates Professor Ellen Gray on the publication of her book Fado Resounding: Affective Politics and Urban Life (Duke
University Press). This ethnography of fado, Portugal's most celebrated
popular music genre, shows how a musical genre can sediment, circulate,
and transform affect, sonorously rendering history and place as soulful
and feeling as public.
The book's introduction is currently available for preview and free download on Scribd.
"Lila Ellen Gray positions Lisbon's amateur fado scene
in terms of all the contestation about what fado is and where the
action is taking place. This positioning is a unique and valuable
contribution to music ethnography, and Gray does major and convincing
intellectual work arguing for 'amateur' scenes as paths into the deepest
musical and ethnographic understandings of genre, style, performance,
poesis, and the ways that sociality is lived and experienced through
sound."—Steven Feld, author of Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra: Five Musical Years in Ghana
in the USA can receive a 20% discount on the book when ordering
directly from Duke University Press (use code P13GRAY at checkout).
In Europe, the book is available through Combined Academic Publishers with a 30% discount (use the code CS1113FADO).
In Lisbon, the book is available at the bookstore Fabula Urbis:
read more »
The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD candidate Adam Kielman,
who has won three prestigious prizes for papers presented at academic
conferences, in addition to a major research fellowship (Fulbright DDRA)
for his work in China.
The prizes awarded to Mr. Kielman include: The Hewitt Pantaleoni Prize
-- Awarded by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society of
Ethnomusicology (MACSEM) for the best student paper presented at their
annual meeting held March 23-24, 2013 in Richmond, VA. Paper title: "
'Sounds like Home': Language and Place in Guangzhou's Modern Folk."The Martin Hatch Award
-- Awarded by the Society for Asian Music (SAM) for the best student
paper on Asian music presented at the annual Society for Ethnomusicology
national meeting held November 1-4, 2012 in New Orleans, LA. Paper
title: "Xiandai Minyao: 'Modern Folk' in Guangzhou."The Barbara Barnard Smith Prize
-- Awarded by the Association for Chinese Music Research (ACMR) to
recognize an outstanding student paper in the field of Chinese music,
broadly defined, presented at the annual Society for Ethnomusicology
national meeting held November 1-4, 2012 in New Orleans, LA. Paper
title: "Xiandai Minyao: 'Modern Folk' in Guangzhou."
Kielman, who is also an alumnus of Columbia College (EALAC major, LAJPP
performer), has also just successfully defended his doctoral
dissertation proposal, entitled "Sounding Configurations of Difference
in Postsocialist China." He is preparing to depart for field research
in China with support from a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation
Research Abroad Fellowship, awarded in September 2013.
Congratulations to Mr. Kielman!
The Center congratulates PhD program alumna Prof. Amanda Minks (University of Oklahoma, PhD in Ethnomusicology, 2006), who has just published Voices of Play: Miskitu Children's Speech and Song on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua with the University of Arizona Press' First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies series (2013).
While indigenous languages have become prominent in global political and educational discourses, limited attention has been given to indigenous children's everyday communication. Voices of Play is a study of multilingual play and performance among Miskitu children growing up on Corn Island, part of a multi-ethnic autonomous region on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua.
Corn Island is historically home to Afro-Caribbean Creole people, but increasing numbers of Miskitu people began moving there from the mainland during the Contra War, and many Spanish-speaking mestizos from western Nicaragua have also settled there. Miskitu kids on Corn Island often gain some competence speaking Miskitu, Spanish, and Kriol English. As the children of migrants and the first generation of their families to grow up with television, they develop creative forms of expression that combine languages and genres, shaping intercultural senses of belonging.
Voices of Play is the first ethnography to focus on the interaction between music and language in children's discourse. Minks skillfully weaves together Latin American, North American, and European theories of culture and communication, creating a transdisciplinary dialogue that moves across intellectual geographies. Her analysis shows how music and language involve a wide range of communicative resources that create new forms of belonging and enable dialogue across differences. Miskitu children's voices reveal the intertwining of speech and song, the emergence of "self" and "other," and the centrality of aesthetics to social struggle.
Amanda Minks is Associate Professor in the Honors College and is affiliated with the Department of Anthropology and with the programs in Native American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at Oklahoma University. She earned the PhD in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University in 2006.
read more »
The Center congratulates Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD program alumnus David Novak.
Prof. Novak (UCSB) has just published Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation
(Duke University Press, 2013).Visit the Japanoise website
Noise, an underground music made through an amalgam of
feedback, distortion, and electronic effects, first emerged as a genre
in the 1980s, circulating on cassette tapes traded between fans in
Japan, Europe, and North America. With its cultivated obscurity,
ear-shattering sound, and over-the-top performances, Noise has captured
the imagination of a small but passionate transnational audience.
its scattered listeners, Noise always seems to be new and to come from
somewhere else: in North America, it was called "Japanoise." But does
Noise really belong to Japan? Is it even music at all? And why has Noise
become such a compelling metaphor for the complexities of globalization
and participatory media at the turn of the millennium?
David Novak draws on more than a decade of research in Japan and the
United States to trace the "cultural feedback" that generates and
sustains Noise. He provides a rich ethnographic account of live
performances, the circulation of recordings, and the lives and creative
practices of musicians and listeners. He explores the technologies of
Noise and the productive distortions of its networks. Capturing the
textures of feedback—its sonic and cultural layers and vibrations—Novak
describes musical circulation through sound and listening, recording and
performance, international exchange, and the social interpretations of
media. read more »
is Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and earned the PhD in Ethnomusicology in 2006, after which he served as a postdoctoral fellow in Columbia's Society of Fellows.
(Tulane University) has just published Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans
(with artwork by Willie Birch)Roll With It
is a firsthand account of the precarious lives of musicians in the Rebirth, Soul Rebels, and Hot 8 brass bands of New Orleans. The gripping narrative moves with the band members from back street to backstage, before and after Hurricane Katrina, always in step with the tap of the snare drum, the thud of the bass drum, and the boom of the tuba.Matt Sakakeeny
is an ethnomusicologist and journalist, New Orleans resident and musician. An Assistant Professor of Music at Tulane University, he initially moved to New Orleans to work as a co-producer of the public radio program American Routes. He earned the PhD in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University in 2008, where his field research was funded by the National Science Foundation. Read the introduction to Roll With It on Scribd
.Roll With It also features a supplementary website
Published by Duke University Press in their Refiguring American Music Series
read more »
The Center for Ethnomusicology's projects to "repatriate" recordings
of collector Laura Boulton, conducted in collaboration with Native
American and Alaska Native communities, are featured in a story in Columbia News, and in a video feature on the Columbia University home page.
read more »
Congratulations to Columbia ethnomusicology PhD student Kevin Holt, who has been awarded a 2013 Predoctoral Fellowship from the Ford Foundation.
This fellowship, which provides three years of full support for
doctoral research, is sponsored by the Ford Foundation and administered
by the National Research Council of the National Academies. Mr. Holt's
selection for this prestigious award reflects Ford Foundation's
panelists’ "judgment of scholarly competence as well as the promise of
future achievement as a scholar, researcher, and teacher." read more »
The Department of Music congratulates alumna Dr. Maria Sonevysky (PhD,
Ethnomusicology, 2012). Dr. Sonevytsky has been appointed as Assistant
Professor of Music at Bard College, beginning in 2014. Prior to taking
up the position at Bard, Dr. Sonevysky will be a Postdoctoral Fellow at
the Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University
of Toronto for 2013-14. read more »
The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates ethnomusicology graduate program alumnus Tyler Bickford
(PhD, 2011, With Distinction), who has been appointed as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of English (in Children's Literature and Childhood Studies) at the University of Pittsburgh. read more »