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Sarah Yudkin (BC Ethno 2018) Wins BC's Ethel Stone Lefrak Prize for the Arts and IRWGS Queer Studies Prize!

The Ethnomusicology community at Columbia University proudly congratulates Sarah (Sadie) Yudkin, a 2018 graduating Barnard senior and Ethnomusicology track major, who has been awarded Barnard's Ethel Stone Lefrak Prize for Excellence in the Arts.  In addition, Sadie's thesis was awarded  the 2018 IRWGS Queer Studies Essay Prize from the Institute for Research in Women, Gender, and Sexuality.  Sadie's honors thesis in our undergraduate Ethnomusicology program is entitled "The Future’s Here, It’s Queer: Contemporary Music Scenes in New York City.”  Sadie's thesis was advised by Columbia Historical Musicology PhD alumna Dr. Lucie Vágnerová, who is now a Core Lecturer in the Department.




Congratulations Sadie!  

Nandini Banerjee Awarded AAUW Dissertation Fellowship!

Nandini BanerjeeThe Columbia Ethnomusicology community congratulates 5th year PhD student Nandini Banerjee-Datta, who has been awarded a prestigious dissertation completion fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to support the writing of her PhD dissertation, entitled “Songs of Love: Tagore and the Aural Fabric of Bengali America.” 

Congratulations Nandini!

Trevor Reed Appointed Associate Professor of Law at Arizona State University!

Trevor ReedThe Ethnomusicology community at Columbia is delighted to congratulate Trevor Reed (Hopi), a joint JD/PhD student in Law and Ethnomusicology at Columbia, who has been appointed as an Associate Professor of Law at Arizona State University.  Trevor will be defending his PhD dissertation, entitled "Sonic Sovereignty: Hopi Song, Indigenous Authority, and Intellectual Property in an Era of Settler-Colonialism" on May 7th.
Congratulations Trevor!

Graduating Music Major Thomas Nielsen Wins Evans Traveling Fellowship and PBK!

Thomas NielsenThe Ethnomusicology community at Columbia congratulates graduating Music Major Thomas Nielsen, who has been awarded the Evans Traveling Fellowship by Columbia College to pursue research on the relatively undocumented history of New Zealand composer Alfred Hill's use of Indigenous (Maori) musical elements in his works at the turn of the 20th century.  Thomas developed this interest in representations of Indigenous music by nationalist classical composers with a research paper on the Indianist Composers of the early 20th century, a project that began in "The Social Science of Music" as a term paper.  Thomas has also been awarded Phi Beta Kappa and been accepted into an MA program at Oxford University. 
Congratulations Thomas!

Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa Wins PSL-EHESS Grant for Conference on "Musical Displacements."

Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa Gautier
The Ethnomusicology community at Columbia congratulates Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa, who has been awared (along with French Ethnomusicologist Denis Laborde) a  École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales/Paris Sciences et Lettres grant in support of a conference to be held in Bayonne, France, entitled "Musical Displacements, Economic Dispossession, and Climate Change."  Our colleague Prof. Alessandra Ciucci will also be involved in the conference, along with historian and friend of the Center, Prof. Alejandra Bronfman (SUNY/Albany). 

Congratulations Ana Maria!

Maria Fantinato Geo de Siqueira Wins GSAS International Travel Fellowship!

Maria Fantinato Geo de Siqueira The Ethnomusicology community at Columbia congratulates 4th year PhD student Maria Fantinato Geo de Siqueira, who has been awarded a 2018-19 International Travel Fellowship by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, in support of her research for her dissertation, entitled "Spectrums of excess: loudness in Amazonian festivities and rethinking the common in Latin America."

Congratulations Maria!

Andrés Garcia-Molina Wins SSRC IDRF and GSAS International Travel Fellowships!

Andres Garcia-Molina
The Ethnomusicology at Columbia congratulates 4th year PhD student Andrés Garcia-Molina, who has been awarded both the Columbia GSAS International Traveling Fellowship and an International Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council, both of which will support his ongoing research for his dissertation, entitled "Aural Economies and Precarious Labor: Street-Vendor Songs in Cuba."

Congratulations Andrés!

Mario Cancel-Begay Wins GSAS International Travel and Alumni Association Fellowships!

Mario Cancel-Begay
The Columbia Ethnomusicology community is thrilled to congratulate fourth year PhD student Mario Cancel-Begay, who has been awarded both a 2018-19 International Travel Fellowship and a 2018-19 Alumni Association Fund Fellowship for Under-represented Minority Students, both from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia. He will spend next year traveling for research related to his dissertation project, entitled "Rethinking Anticolonial Experience, Meta-Colonial Discourse and the Archive: Bands of Puerto Rican Nueva Canción and Chanson Québécoise with Multi-National Members."

Congratulations Mario!

Prof. Alessandra Ciucci Awarded 2018-19 Rome Prize!

Prof Alessandra CiucciThe Ethnomusicology community at Columbia offers our warmest congratulations to Prof. Alessandra Ciucci, who has been awarded the 2018-2019 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Rome Prize in Modern Italian Studies! She will spend 2018-19 in residence at the American Academy in Rome completing her book, Resonances of the Rural across the Mediterranean: Music, Sound and Migrant Moroccan Men in Italy.

The American Academy in Rome has announced the winners of the 2018–19 Rome Prize and Italian Fellowships. These highly competitive fellowships support advanced independent work and research in the arts and humanities. This year, 29 Rome Prizes were awarded to 29 artists and scholars, who will each receive a stipend, workspace, and room and board for a period of five months to two years at the Academy’s eleven-acre campus in Rome. The Rome Prize and Italian Fellowship winners were presented on April 12, 2018, during the Arthur and Janet C. Ross Rome Prize Ceremony in the Frederick P. Rose Auditorium at Cooper Union in New York.

For the full announcement, please see the Academy's website.

Congratulations to Dr. César Colón-Montijo!


The Center for Ethnomusicology and the Ethnomusicology community at Columbia are delighted to congratulate our newest PhD alumnus, Dr. César Colón-Montijo!  Dr. Colón-Montijo successfully defended his dissertation, entitled Specters of Maelo: An Ethnographic Biography of Ismael ‘Maelo’ Rivera, on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.  An abstract of the dissertation is below. 

Dr. Colón-Montijo's dissertation was co-sponsored by Profs. Chris Washburne and Ana Maria Ochoa. 

Maelo

Rivera

Congratulations Dr. Colón-Montijo!






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ABSTRACT: Specters of Maelo: An Ethnographic Biography of Ismael ‘Maelo’ Rivera
by César Colón-Montijo

Ismael ‘Maelo’ Rivera (1931–1987) is a foundational Afro-Puerto Rican salsa singer. Known among his fans, peers, and contemporary researchers as El Sonero Mayor (loosely, The Greatest Singer-Improviser), Maelo’s voice became inscribed in the aural tapestry of barrios in Latin America and the Caribbean, beginning in the mid-1950s. After his death on May 13, 1987, Maelo has gained a sense of sacredness amongst fans and devotees who identify themselves as maeleros and maelistas in places such as Panama, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico. My interlocutors ascribe Maelo’s songs with a particular affective strength that for them differentiates him from other salsa singers. His music has become the medium for the creation of relational bonds that respond to their particular local contexts as well as their personal and collective histories. In both countries, maeleros and maelistas listen to his songs as stories where they find keys to endure the difficulties of day-to-day life in their respective socio-political, cultural, and economic situations. This dissertation studies the friendships and relational affinities maeleros and maelistas articulate through Maelo’s music and biography, examining the creative work they do in order to celebrate his presence in their everyday. 

I argue that Maelo inspires a sense of “secular devotion” (Brennan 2008) amongst his fans through the ways in which he mediates the crossing of the sacred and the profane through his repertoire and life by voicing multiple expressions from diverse Black Atlantic religions. I understand the sense of communion maeleros and maelistas share as a devotional sense of kinship in which friendship, and mainly male friendships, are central. I propose that such mediations of the sacred, and the Maelo-centered sense of devotional kinship I study, must be framed in relation to larger histories of the political definition of life in Latin America and the Caribbean. In such histories, the spectrality of the voice has served both as a tool for casting Black and indigenous groups as unworthy of citizenship and as a means for these groups to endure such marginalization (Ochoa Gautier 2014). By examining the context-specific ways in which Maelo connoisseurs reinterpret his music and life in Venezuela, Panama, and Puerto Rico in his afterlife, this dissertation proposes that maeleros and maelistas enact a political theology that dramatizes the contemporary stakes of larger bio-political histories in which illness has long-been connected to delinquency as tools of power used to police and discipline modern citizen bodies (Ramos 1994). This is vital to one of the central theses of this dissertation: that Maelo’s stories of vocal illness, addiction, and imprisonment—what I call his wounded masculinity—are key to the sense of sacredness he has gained during his afterlife as a spectral figure whose songs, images, and myth accompany his fans, peers, and devotees in their everyday. 



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