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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!

Prof. David Samuels (NYU): "That's Willoughby Right Outside.” (Fri. Nov. 10, 4PM)

Event Start: 
Friday, November 10, 2017 - 4:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusioclogy)

The Center for Ethnomusicology presents a colloquium with:

Prof. David Samuels
(Assoc. Prof. and Chair, Department of Music, New York University)

Title: "That's Willoughby Right Outside.”

Friday Nov. 10, 2017
701C Dodge Hall (Center for Ethnomusicology)
Free and Open to the Public
ABSTRACT: The twentieth century was witness to an ethical discourse about the scope of the human that took its cues from a discussion of how people should sound. The tones and timbres of vocal and instrumental music became key reference points in a dialogue about how to maintain one’s humanity under the conditions of modern urban industrial capital. Three interlocked musical movements—historical performance, folk revivalism, and world music—represent overlapping attempts to retrieve an ethical human existence within the contexts of the perceived dehumanizing processes of industrial modernity. The three share common arguments about the human body and the value of social participation as important locations in which to find continued expressions of humanity in the contemporary world.

BIO:  David Samuels, Associate Professor and Chair, Music Department, New York University, is a linguistic anthropologist, folklorist, and ethnomusicologist. His work on poetics, discourse, music, and vernacular modernities includes the book Putting A Song On Top of It: Music and Identity on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, as well as articles in American Ethnologist, Journal of American Folklore, Cultural Anthropology, and Semiotica. A Pisces, his favorite season is autumn and his favorite color is Pantone 346.

Eben Graves: “The Politics of Musical Time: Expanding Songs and Shrinking Markets in Bengali Devotional Performance."

Event Start: 
Friday, December 8, 2017 - 4:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusioclogy)

The Historical Musicology, Music Theory, and Center for Ethnomusicology Colloquium Series jointly present a talk by:

Dr. Eben Graves (Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Music, Columbia University)

“The Politics of Musical Time: Expanding Songs and Shrinking Markets in Bengali Devotional Performance." 

Friday, December 8, 2017
701C Dodge Hall (Columbia Morningside Campus)
Free and Open to the Public

For centuries, performances of devotional song in eastern India have used temporal features of musical style to express ideas about religious affect and political belonging. A feature of musical time prominent in padavali kirtan,a medium of song and storytelling from the Bengal region, is the use of an expansive musical style that elongates short song texts into long-song forms. The slow tempos and large meters used in performance illustrate connections between musical style and the processes of devotional meditation central to devotional practice in Bengal since the sixteenth century. While musicians attempt to reinforce these links in the present, features of modern time organization have introduced temporal conflicts that challenge the completion of full-length song renditions. This talk examines how musicians work to reinforce the connections between devotional practice and musical time that are strained in the performance contexts of contemporary India, as I focus on how features of musical time are negotiated in live performance and media production.

Eben Graves is a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Music at Columbia University. He earned a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2014 with a dissertation studying padavali kirtan. His articles appear or are forthcoming in Ethnomusicology, the Journal of Hindu Studies, Oxford Bibliographies Online, and the Journal of Vaishnava Studies. 

Congratulations to Dr. Whitney Slaten!

Congratulations to Dr. Whitney Slaten!  Dr. Slaten successfully defended his PhD dissertation, "Doing Sound: An Ethnography of Fidelity, Temporality and Labor Among Live Sound Engineers," on Monday, October 16, 2017.  His dissertation was sponsored by Prof. Aaron Fox, and his committee included Profs. Chris Washburne, George Lewis, Walter Frisch, and John Szwed.

Dr. Slaten, who is also a professional audio engineer and jazz musician, is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Technology at The New School's Eugene Lang College. 

Congratulations again, Doctor Slaten!

Tyler Bickford - “Inappropriate and Inarticulate: Schooling, Childhood, and the Poetics of New Media” (Fri. Oct 13, 4PM)

Event Start: 
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 4:00pm
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusioclogy)
The Center for Ethnomusicology announces a public talk by:

Tyler Bickford

Assistant Professor of Childhood Studies, Department of English, University of Pittsburgh

“Inappropriate and Inarticulate: Schooling, Childhood, and the Poetics of New Media”

Friday, October 13, 2017
701C Dodge Hall (Center for Ethnomusicology)
Columbia Univ. Morningside Campus
Free and open to the public

Prof. Bickford (an alumnus of Columbia's PhD program in Ethnomusicology) will be speaking on the subject of his new book, Schooling New Media: Music, Language and Technology in Children's Culture (Oxford University Press, 2017). 

Schooling New Media is a groundbreaking study of children’s music and media consumption practices, examining how transformations in music technologies influence the way children, their peers, and adults relate to one another. Based on long-term ethnographic research with a community of schoolchildren in Vermont, Tyler Bickford focuses on portable digital music devices – i.e. MP3 players – to reveal their key role in mediating intimate, face-to-face relationships and structuring children’s interactions both with music and with each other. Schooling New Media provides an important ethnographic and theoretical intervention into ethnomusicology, childhood studies, and music education, emphasizing the importance—and yet under-appreciation—of interpersonal interactions and institutions like schools as sites of musical activity. Bickford explores how headphones facilitate these school-centered interactions, as groups of children share their earbuds with friends and listen to music together while participating in the dense overlap of talk, touch, and gesture of their peer groups. He argues that children treat MP3 players more like toys than technology, and that these devices expand the repertoires of childhood communicative practices such as passing notes and whispering—all means of interacting with friends beyond the reach of adults. These connections afforded by digital music listening enable children to directly challenge the language and literacy goals of classroom teachers. Bickford’s Schooling New Media is unique in its intensive ethnographic attention to everyday sites of musical consumption and performance, and offers a sophisticated conceptual approach for understanding the problems and possibilities of children’s uses of new media in schools.
Tyler Bickford is an assistant professor of children’s literature and childhood studies in the Department of English at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Schooling New Media: Music, Language, and Technology in Children’s Culture (Oxford University Press, 2017). 

Music & Sound Studies Workshop (9/22-23, 2017)

Event Start: 
Friday, September 22, 2017 - 10:00am - Saturday, September 23, 2017 - 11:00am
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusioclogy) (Concert will be at Maison Francaise)
A Workshop

Friday and Saturday, September 22-23, 2017
Columbia University
Department of Music
701C Dodge Hall  (Center for Ethnomusicology)
Free and Open to the Public

This workshop has emerged from the desire to formalize disciplinary exchanges among scholars at the intersection of music and sound studies in Paris (Paris Sciences et Lettres) and at Columbia. In the last few years sound studies has emerged as an increasingly institutionalized discipline. Books, journals, readers, courses, and conferences have consolidated this historically transdisciplinary and dispersed field into a broad, albeit still disciplinarily dispersed debate. This increasing attention to sound raises historical and epistemological issues and invites further consideration of the interaction between sound studies and musical disciplines.  The purpose of this workshop is to think together through the questions and issues raised by the intersection of music and sound studies from historically, ethnographically, and scientifically situated research.

 “Music & Sound Studies: Intersections, Boundaries, Opportunities” seeks to explore the relation between musical disciplines and sound studies through three key sites: sounds of the city and the historically problematic notion of soundscape; music, soundscapes, and the political; and the relationships among acoustics and neuroscience and music/sound. Additionally, an evening concert of recent compositions will display the current range of work in “sound art,” a richly interdisciplinary creative field.

"Music & Sound Studies" is supported by the Columbia University Office of the Dean of Humanities of Arts & Sciences, Department of Music, Center for Ethnomusicology, Center for Science and Society, Maison Française, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, the Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music; and by Paris Sciences et Lettres

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