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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.

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.

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

PhD Alumna Sara Snyder Appointed Asst. Prof of Anthropology & Director of the Cherokee Language Program at Western Carolina Univ

Prof. Sara Snyder

The Center for Ethnomusicology is delighted to congratulate PhD program alumna Dr. Sara Snyder, who has been appointed as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology and as Director of the Cherokee Language Program at Western Carolina University.  Dr. Snyder defended her dissertation, "Poetics, Performance, and Translation in Eastern Cherokee Language Revitalization," advised by Prof. Fox, in May, 2016.  She has held the position to which she has now been appointed in a visiting capacity during 2016-17. Congratulations, Professor Snyder!

Adam Kielman Appointed Assistant Professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong, Completes Doctorate

The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates our newest PhD alumnus, Dr. Adam Kielman!  Dr. Kielman, who also holds his undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies from Columbia, defended his dissertation, Zou Qilai!: Musical Subjectivity, Mobility, and Sonic Infrastructures in Postsocialist China, on Dec. 1, 2016.  His dissertation, abstracted below, was advised by Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa, and his committee included Profs. Chris Washburne, Kevin Fellezs, Fred Lau (U Hawai'i), and Timothy Oakes (U Colorado/Boulder).

We also warmly congratulate Dr. Kielman on his acceptance of an Assistant Professorship in Music at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which he will begin in January, 2017.  

Congratulations to Adam!


Adam Kielman: Zou Qilai!: Musical Subjectivity, Mobility, and Sonic Infrastructures in Postsocialist China

This dissertation is an ethnography centered around two bands based in Guangzhou and their relationships with one of China’s largest record companies. Bridging ethnomusicology, popular music studies, cultural geography, media studies, vocal anthropology, and the anthropology of infrastructure, it examines emergent forms of musical creativity and modes of circulation as they relate to shifts in concepts of self, space, publics, and state instigated by China’s political and economic reforms. Chapter One discusses a long history of state-sponsored cartographic musical anthologies, as well as Confucian and Maoist ways of understanding the relationships between place, person, and music. These discussions provide a context for understanding contemporary musical cosmopolitanisms that both build upon and disrupt these histories; they also provoke a rethinking of ethnomusicological and related linguistic theorizations about music, place, and subjectivity. Through biographies of seven musicians working in present-day Guangzhou, Chapter Two outlines a concept of “musical subjectivity” that looks to the intersection of personal histories, national histories, and creativity as a means of exploring the role of individual agency and expressive culture in broader cultural shifts.Chapter Three focuses on the intertwining of actual corporeal mobilities and vicarious musical mobilities, and explores relationships between circulations of global popular musics, emergent forms of musical creativity, and an evolving geography of contemporary China. Chapter Four extends these concerns to a discussion of media systems in China, and outlines an approach to “sonic infrastructures” that puts sound studies in dialogue with the anthropology of infrastructure in order to understand how evolving modes of musical circulation and the listening practices associated with them are connected to economic, political, and cultural spatialities. Finally, Chapter Five examines the intersecting aesthetic and political implications of popular music sung in local languages (fangyan) by focusing on contemporary forms of articulation between music, language, listening, and place. Taken together, these chapters explore musical cosmopolitanisms as knowledge-making processes that are reconfiguring notions of self, state, publics, and space in contemporary China.

Sounding China in the World: A Workshop (Friday, Dec. 3, 9AM-5:30PM)

Event Start: 
Saturday, December 3, 2016 - 9:30am
701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusioclogy)


Friday, December 2, 2016
701C Dodge Hall, 2960 Broadway, New York, NY 10027 

Joseph-Marie Amiot, Mémoire sur la musique des Chinois , tant anciens que modernes

Sounding China in the World: A Workshop on Musical Circulations to and from China from the Qing Dynasty Through the Present

9:30am-5:30 pm, 701c Dodge Hall

In this workshop, we will investigate the evolving place of China in the world and of the world in China through the important and underutilized lens of music. Examining circulations of music and their connections to processes of knowledge formation, we will consider the ways diverse musics have been transmitted, reformulated, and integrated in contexts ranging from the eighteenth century Qing court to contemporary southern China. We aim to generate productive dialogue through transhistorical perspectives across and through disciplines in order to reassess China’s central role in the formation of a globalized culture from the Enlightenment through the present.


9:30 Welcome (Susan Boynton)

10:00 Session 1 (Chair: Susan Boynton)

10:00-11:00: Qingfan Jiang (Music, Columbia), Unfinished Mission: Jesuits and the Circulation of Musical Knowledge in the Encyclopedic Century (respondent: Paize Keulemans) 

11:00-12:00: Paize Keulemans (East Asian Studies, Princeton), An Aural Account of the Fall of the Ming Dynasty: Critical Listening in Chinese Rumor, Jesuit History, and Dutch Tragedy of the 17th Century

(respondent: Qingfan Jiang)

2:00-3:00: Session 2 (Chair: Wei Shang, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia)

2:00-3:00: Adam Kielman (Music, Columbia), Mobilities, Musical Cosmopolitanism, and Southern China’s Transforming Music Industry (respondent: Fred Lau)

3:00-4:00: Fred Lau (Music, University of Hawaii), “Are we there yet?” 1960s Hong Kong Pop Music and Modernity (respondent: Adam Kielman)

4:00-4:30 Break 

4:30-5:30 Final Discussion 

Sponsors: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Department of Music, Columbia Global Centers | Beijing

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