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Prof. Jossianna Arroyo-Martínez -- "Cities of the Dead: Performing Life in the Caribbean" (Tues 3/27 6PM)

Event Start: 
Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 6:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusioclogy)
The Center for Ethnomusicology announces a colloquium featuring:

Prof. Jossianna Arroyo-
(The University of Texas, Austin)

"Cities of the Dead: Performing Life in the Caribbean."

Tuesday March 27, 2018
701C Dodge Hall
(The Center for Ethnomusicology, Columbia Univ. Morningside Campus at 116th and Broadway)
Free and Open to the Public
Reception to Follow
For more information or accommodations, please email

Life and death defined the historical and temporal dimensions of the plantation. Many of these material, affective and ritualistic views on life and death haunt contemporary Caribbean cities. This essay will analyze the narrative script of Juan de los muertos (Juan of the Dead) and Eduardo Lalo’s documentary La ciudad perdida (2005) along with the funeral rites performed by Funeraria Marín in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, whose “performative funerals” or collages, have circulated in journals and the Internet, creating what appear to be “living tableaus” or original wakes since 2010. I believe that zombies, the living dead, and the performative dead—are all part of the ways life and death and create sites of individual or collective action. I will be cautious to read these actions merely as forms of agency against the state or neoliberal economies. These necropolitics, to use Achille Mbembe’s term, are more than forms of agency: they “frame” forms of precarious subjectivity, survival, and existence in contemporary Caribbean societies where melancholia is pretty much related to the present.

BIOGRAPHY: Born in Puerto Rico Jossianna Arroyo-Martínez (BA, University of Puerto Rico, 1989, PhD University of California at Berkeley, 1998)  is a literary and cultural studies scholar who specializes in the analysis of Afro-Diasporic literatures and cultures in the Americas, critical race studies, queer studies, and media studies. She is Professor and Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The University of Austin, Texas. She also holds an appointment at the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies. She is the author of Travestismos culturales: literatura y etnografía en Cuba y Brasil (Iberoamericana, 2003) a critique of cultural racism in the work of Gilberto Freyre and Fernando Ortiz, and several Cuban and Brazilian novels, and Writing Secrecy in Caribbean Freemasonry (Palgrave, 2013), an analysis of transnational, racial and colonial dimensions of Masonic encounters in the circum-Caribbean and the United States (1850-1898). She has contributing essays on Brazilian and Caribbean Literatures at Lusosex Sexualities in the Portuguese Speaking World (2002); Technofuturos (2008). She has published at Encuentro de la cultura cubanaLa Habana EleganteRevista de Estudios HispánicosJournal of Latino Studies, and CENTRO Journal for Puerto Rican Studies, among many other national and international publications. Her new research project entitled Mediascapes is an analysis of local and transnational Caribbean cultures in new media and their ways of representing race, ethnicity and culture in neoliberal times.

Prof. Giovanni Giuriati: ‘Mbrusino, Liszt, the tarantella montemaranese, and the clarinet" (Thurs 3/29, 6PM)

Event Start: 
Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 6:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusioclogy)

The Center for Ethnomusicology Presents a Collooquium with:

Giovanni Giuriati
(Professor of Ethnomusicology at the Facoltà di Lettere of the Università di Roma “La Sapienza,” and the 
Director of the Intercultural Institute for Comparative Music Studies, Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice.)

"‘Mbrusino, Liszt, the tarantella montemaranese, and the clarinet. Retracing a Process of change in Southern Italy at the end of the 1930s."

Thursday March 29, 2018
701C Dodge Hall (Columbia U. Morningside Campus at 116th St. and Broadway)
Free and Open to the Public
Reception to Follow
(For information or to request accommodations, please contact

Prof. Giuriati's talk will address the peculiar process of change of one of the most well-known Italian tarantella, that of Montemarano, which has been the object of study for a number of ethnomusicologists and folklorists including Alan Lomax. Among the peculiarities of this tarantella is the fact that it is played by a clarinet, together with accordion and frame drum. The use of clarinet in Montemarano can be traced back to a local musician, ‘Mbrusino, at the end of the 1930s. Through this case-study the talk will discuss the role of individuals in the creative process of music of oral tradition, the relationship between “art” and “folk” music, patterns of change that are peculiar of Italian folk music, and a peculiar twist (or paradox) that makes one of the most known repertories of Italian folk music derive from a tune by Liszt, who, in turn, seems to have taken it from Hungarian folk (or gipsy) music. However, this does not prevent the tarantella di Montemarano to take an entirely new life of its own in the ensuing decades.

Speaker Biography:

Giovanni Giuriati
(Ph.D. University of Maryland) is Professor of Ethnomusicology at the Facoltà di Lettere of the Università di Roma “La Sapienza,” and the
Director of the Intercultural Institute for Comparative Music Studies, Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice. Giuriati has been a member of the Scientific committee of the Archivi di etnomusicologia of the Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia, Secretary General (2002-2005) and President of the European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (2005-2008). Since December 2017 Giuriati is President of the ADUIM (Associazione Docenti Universitari Italiani di Musica). Giuriati has researched and published extensively on the traditional music of Cambodia and Indonesia, and on the instrumental music and the relationship between music and festivals in Campania, Italy. His latest publications include: Perspectives on a 21st Century Comparative Musicology: Ethnomusicology of Transcultural Musicology?, co-edited with Francesco Giannattasio, Mascarà, mascara me n’a fatto ‘nnamurà. Le tarantelle e i canti di Montemarano (with Luigi D’Agnese), Alcune questioni centrali nel dibattito etnomusicologico contemporaneo: una prospettiva dall’Italia (Il Saggiatore Musicale).

POSTPONED TO FRIDAY 3/23 AT 4PM -- Prof. Liv Sovik (U Federal do Rio de Janeiro) -- "On Feminist Rapper Karol Conka"

Event Start: 
Friday, March 23, 2018 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusicology)
The Center for Ethnomusicology Presents:
"Feminist Rapper Karol Conka In Light Of Tom Zé’s Theory Of Brazilian Popular Music."
Prof. Liv Sovik
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro


701C Dodge Hall
(The Center for Ethnomusicology @116th St. and Broadway)
Free and Open to the Public
Reception to Follow
For disability or other accommodations or more information, write

Abstract: Karol Conka sang to the world with teenage rapper MC Soffia, at the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016. She was already a phenomenon on the Internet in Brazil and had toured Europe twice. If the immediate urge is to understand her as part of the Brazilian instance of the global hip hop scene, she emphasizes her difference. Her “message” of joie-de-vivre and feminist self-affirmation is unlike most Brazilian rap, focused on favelas, “the system” and violence, and she has said she keeps up with the American scene but “spices her work up” with her Brazilianness. On the other hand, tropicalista and avant-garde pop musician Tom Zé has long spoken, in interviews, about Brazilian popular music’s place in the world. He touches on Brazil’s underdevelopment and modernization, cultural history and traditions, poverty, the market, social change, performance and the performer’s relationship to the audience. His discourse is complex, circular and fragmented, but has the advantages of being both rooted in Brazil and in music, rather than being global and focused on markets and circulation. This presentation both analyses Karol Conka’s contemporary Brazilian persona and sensibility and proposes a theoretical construct with which to do it, Tom Zé’s views formulated as a theory. 

Some Musical Links:
Tom Zé - “Complexo de épico”.  1973.
Tom Zé – “Passagem de som”. 1998
Tom Zé – “Tropicalea jacta est”. 2012
Karol Conka – “Boa noite”. 2011
Karol Conka – “Tombei”. 2015
Karol Conka – “Lalá”. 2017

Biography: Liv Sovik uses the Brazilian popular music tradition as an avenue to understand Brazilian imaginaries and subjectivities. Her work has focused on foreign influence and domination, in the context of the postmodern debate and Brazil’s affinity with it; the discursive mechanisms for valuing whiteness in a country that has long seen itself as mestiço; the historical presence of independent women even as feminism was silenced. She is also interested in non-logocentric, disciplined ways of thinking and knowing, two examples being music and capoeira. She edited a major collection of Stuart Hall’s work in Portuguese (Da diaspora, 2003), and is the author of Aqui ninguém é branco [Here no one is white] (2009) and Tropicália Rex (2018). She teaches communication at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and in an MA program on Ethnic and Race Relations at CEFET, a technical college in Rio de Janeiro.

Prof. Liz Przybylski (UC Riverside): Hip Hop Dialogues: Unsettling Collaboration

Event Start: 
Friday, March 2, 2018 - 4:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusioclogy)
The Center for Ethnomusicology presents a colloquium with:

Liz Przybylski
(Assistant Professor of Music, U. California, Riverside)

Hip Hop Dialogues:
 Unsettling Collaboration

Friday March 2, 2018
701C Dodge Hall (Center for Ethnomusicology)
Free and open to the public!

In January 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba was identified as the most racist city in Canada. Yet, for Canada’s 2017 sesquicentennial, a vocal group from Winnipeg, Camerata Nova, was chosen to showcase Indigenous music and model Indigenous/Settler relationships for national reconciliation. With Cree composer Andrew Balfour as artistic director, the group presented the show Taken. The performances in Winnipeg and Ottawa form the musicians’ contribution to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Like many settler-colonial states, Canada is currently wrestling with the past, present, and future of relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous citizens. Government efforts to forcibly assimilate Indigenous children included more than one hundred years of compulsory Indian Residential Schools in which children were removed from their families, languages, and cultural practices. Often using music as a centerpiece of public events, the TRC investigated abuses children suffered when separated from their families and offers a concrete plan for the nation to redress past harms. Camerata Nova participates in the current Canadian dialogue, which offers a still-contested model for other settler-colonial states.

Taken features collaborative new compositions that incorporate the living lineage of Canadian Indigenous music. In these performances, rapper Eekwol (Muskoday First Nation) works with composer Mel Braun and sixteen Camerata Nova musicians who integrate samples from two repertoires: music from Eekwol’s hand drum group and Canadian pop songs that charted between 1970 and 2016. The show delivers messaging which both fits with and diverges from the larger arc of Eekwol’s hip hop career.  This presentation shares research grounded in participant observation with Camerata Nova through its rehearsal process and performances. Invoking Michelle Raheja’s analysis of Indigenous sovereignty that is not limited to a Euro-American legal concept of political sovereignty, I ask how musicians can build future public performances that carry the collaboration process towards more productive forms of unsettling.

Prof. Liz Przybylski is an interdisciplinary scholar of popular music. She specializes in Indigenous hip hop practices in Canada and the United States. A graduate of Bard College (BA) and Northwestern University (MA, PhD), Liz’s work bridges ethnomusicology, musicology, gender studies, and Indigenous Studies. She has presented her research nationally and internationally, including at the Society for Ethnomusicology, Feminist Theory and Music, International Association for the Study of Popular Music, and International Council for Traditional Music World Conferences. Recent and forthcoming publications analyze how the sampling of heritage music in Indigenous hip hop contributes to dialogues about cultural change in urban areas. Liz has also published on popular music pedagogy. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research with hip hop artists and music broadcasters in Winnipeg. Her ongoing work develops an innovative model of on- and off-line ethnography for the analysis of contemporary popular music. In addition to her university teaching, Liz has taught adult and pre-college learners at the American Indian Center in Chicago and the Concordia Language Villages program of Concordia College in Bemidji. A radio enthusiast, Liz hosted the world music show “Continental Drift” on WNUR in Chicago and has conducted interviews with musicians for programs including “At The Edge of Canada: Indigenous Research” on CJUM in Winnipeg. Liz currently serves as the Vice President of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Southern California and Hawaii Chapter and as the Media Reviews Editor for the journal American Music.

MACSEM 2018 Annual Meeting (March 24-25, UMCP)

This page will contain information about the 2019 MACSEM annual meeting as soon as it becomes available. 
PayPal Link: 
MACSEM 2018 Registration Fees

SYMPOSIUM: New Frontiers in the Study of Music, Autism, & Neurodiversity (Thurs 02/08/18, 6-9PM) -- NEW ROOM and LIVESTREAM ANN

Event Start: 
Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 6:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusioclogy)
The Columbia University Center for Ethnomusicology Presents a Symposium: 


6:00PM - 9:00PM

Columbia University Morningside Campus, Broadway at 116th St. 

Facebook Event Link

LIVESTREAM LINK -- We will be livestreaming this event on YouTube!

KENNETH AIGEN (Associate Professor of Music Therapy, Steinhardt School, New York University)
“Contemporary Developments in Music Therapy Practice & Research in Autism: Beyond the Medical Model”
MICHAEL BAKAN (Professor of Ethnomusicology, Florida State University)
“Speaking for Themselves: Conversations on Life, Music, & Autism”
JOSEPH STRAUS (Distinguished Professor of Music, The Graduate Center, City University of New York)
"Idiots Savants, Retarded Savants, Talented Aments, Mono-Savants, Autistic Savants, Just Plain Savants, People with Savant Syndrome, & Autistic People Who Are Good at Things: A View from Disability Studies"
MICHAEL WEDD (Columbia College Senior Anthropology Major and Autism Activist)
“Autism and Music in Other Words”
with distinguished guest commentary from: 
(Professor of English & Comparative Literature, Columbia University, 
& Director, The Future of Disability Studies Project)

Documentary Film Showing @ CUNY Graduate Center: "Sacred Mountains" (Wed Dec. 6 at 5:15PM)

Event Start: 
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 5:15pm - 7:15pm
Room 3491, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016

Documentary Film Showing:  "Sacred Mountains"

Wednesday, December 6 2017
5:15 pm
Room 3491  (3d floor)
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave, New York, NY
Free and Open to the Public

Please join us for a presentation of a new documentary film by ethnomusicologist Nicola Scaldaferri:  "Sacred Mountains:  Abrahamic Religions and Musical Practices in the Mediterranean Area."  The film includes segments on three religious pilgrimages involving sacred mountains:  Israelite Samaritans praying on Mount Gerizim in the West Bank; Bektashi Sufis climbing Mount Tomorr in Albania; and the descent from the Holy Mountain by the Black Madonna in southern Italy.  Prof. Scaldaferri will be present to introduce the film and lead a discussion.

Nicola Scaldaferri is Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural Heritage and Environment at the University of Milano, where he also co-founded and directs the Laboratory of Ethnomusicology and Visual Anthropology.  He has done extensive ethnomusicological research in Italy, Albania, Kosova, Ghana, and elsewhere, as well as research on electro-acoustic music.  Prof. Scaldaferri received his PhD in Musicology from the University of Bologna and a degree in Composition from the Conservatory of Parma. In 2006 he was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard University.


Louise Meintjes: "Dust of the Zulu" Book Release Event (Wed Nov 29, 7PM @ BookCulture) w/Special Guest Siyazi Zulu

Event Start: 
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 7:00pm
Book Culture (536 W 112th St., between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.)
The Center for Ethnomusicology and BookCulture are pleased to present:

Prof. Louise Meintjes  (Anthropology and Music, Duke University)

Discussing her new book: 
Dust of the Zulu: Ngoma Politics After Apartheid

with special guests including: 
Siyazi Zulu (Umzansi Zulu Dancers) -- legendary ngoma dancer
Prof. Gavin Steingo (Princeton University)
Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa (Columbia University)
Cesar Colon-Montijo (PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology, Columbia University)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
BookCulture Bookstore
536 W. 112th St. NY NY (between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway)
Free and Open to the Public

Event link: 

Please join us on Wednesday, November 29th at 7pm at BookCulture, as anthropologist Louise Meintjes discusses her new book,  Dust of the Zulu (2017, Duke University Press) at Book Culture on 112th St.
In Dust of the Zulu: Ngoma Politics After Apartheid , Prof. Meintjes traces the political and aesthetic significance of ngoma, a competitive form of dance and music that emerged out of the legacies of colonialism and apartheid in South Africa. Contextualizing ngoma within South Africa's history of violence, migrant labor, the HIV epidemic, and the world music market, Meintjes follows a community ngoma team and its professional subgroup during the twenty years after apartheid's end. She intricately ties aesthetics to politics, embodiment to the voice, and masculine anger to eloquence and virtuosity, relating the visceral experience of ngoma performances as they embody the expanse of South African history. Meintjes also shows how ngoma helps build community, cultivate responsible manhood, and provide its participants with a means to reconcile South Africa's past with its postapartheid future. 

Dust of the Zulu includes over one hundred photographs of ngoma performances, the majority taken by award-winning photojournalist TJ Lemon.

Louise Meintjes 
is Associate Professor of Music and Cultural Anthropology at Duke University and the author of Sound of Africa! Making Music Zulu in a South African Studio, also published by Duke University Press. 

Event address: 
536 W 112th St
New York, NY 10025

Film Screening: Tadashi Nakamura's "MELE MURALS" (THURS NOV 16, 6:30PM)

Event Start: 
Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm
515 Dodge Hall (Film Program Screening Room)

The Center for Ethnomusicology and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (CSER) at Columbia University are proud to present a film screening and conversation with director Tadashi Nakamura:


A Film by Tadashi Nakamura 
A production of ʻŌiwi TV and Pacific Islanders in Communications, in association with Center for Asian American Media

THURSDAY November 16, 2017
6:30-8:30PM (Discussion with Mr. Nakamura and reception to follow)
515 Dodge Hall (Columbia Film Program Screening Room)
Morningside Campus (Broadway at 116th St)

Mele Murals is a documentary on the transformative power of modern graffiti art and ancient Hawaiian culture for a new generation of Native Hawaiians. At the center of the story are two renowned street artists - Estria Miyashiro (aka Estria) and John Hina (aka Prime) - a group of Native Hawaiian youth, and the rural community of Waimea. 

Set against the resurgence of H

About the Director

Director Tadashi NakamuraTadashi Nakamura was named one of CNN’s Young People Who Rock for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. His last film "Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings" (NEA funded) was broadcasted nationally on PBS in 2013 and went on to win the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Audience Award. Nakamura’s trilogy of films on the Japanese American experience, "Yellow Brotherhood" (2003), "Pilgrimage" (2007) and "A Song for Ourselves" (2009) have garnered over 20 awards at film festival

Informational Links:



Best Documentary Feature - One Nation Film Festival, 2017

Best Documentary Feature – Asian American Film Festival of Oregon, 2017

Best Documentary Feature - Guam International Film Festival, 2016

Best Documentary Feature - Monarch Film Festival, 2016

Best Documentary Audience Award – Houston Asian American Pacific Islander Film Fest, 2017

Best Documentary Audience Award - Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, 2016

Best Documentary Audience Award - CAAMFest San Jose, 2016

Special Jury Award - International Pacific Documentary Film Festival, 2017

Special Jury Award - Hawai'i International Film Festival, 2016

Special Jury Award - Santa Cruz Film Festival, 2016

Best Editing – Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2017

Gold Kahuna Award – Honolulu Film Festival, 2017

Keepers of Culture Award – Fist Up Film Festival, 2017

Remi Special Jury Award – WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, 2017

National Endowment for the Arts Media Arts, 2015

Hicham Chami Wins 2017 T. Temple Tuttle Prize from SEM Niagara Chapter!

Hicham Chami
The Center congratulates Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD student Hicham Chami, who has been awarded the 2017 T. Temple Tuttle Prize for the best paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology's Niagara Chapter.  Mr. Chami's prizewinning paper was entitled "A Tale of Two Protectorates: Cultural Hegemony in Colonial Morocco and Its Impact on Indigenous Musics."

The conference was held at Kent State University in Spring 2017.

Congratulations, Hicham!

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