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.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates Dr. Shannon Garland, who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on September 5, 2014. Dr. Garland's dissertation, advised by Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa, is entitled: "Music, Affect, Value, and Labor: Late Capitalism and the (Mis)Productions of Indie Music in Chile and Brazil."
Dissertation Abstract: This dissertation traces the tensions surrounding indie music production in Santiago, Chile and Sao Paulo, Brazil. I conducted several years of ethnographic research on locally situated, yet transnationally interpolated, musical production, circulation and listening practices in Santiago and Sao Paulo. I open by detailing the expansion of the indie touring market from the global north into both cities, theorizing the enlistment of affect as a neoliberal technique for producing monetary value. The next chapter considers spaces for musical association as forms of infrastructure that both emerge from and themselves help constitute musical-social networks in Santiago. I follow by showing how the history of Brazilian individuals' engagement with particular sets of indie sounds from the global north bear upon the contemporary formation of infrastructures of social relations, musical aesthetics, and places for musical and social association. Finally, I detail how the tensions between the construction of audience, value, aesthetics and circulation arising from new production structures manifest in the politics of a new type of Brazilian institution called Fora do Eixo. Here, I inspect the logics of aesthetic valuation in building structures for music production within a complex state-private nexus of cultural funding in Brazil. As a whole, this dissertation explores the political struggles emerging as actors seek to establish new structures for participating in live shows and for playing music as both a creative practice and as an economic activity within emerging forms of communication made possible by digital media. Each struggle is simultaneously interpolated by the messy articulation of transnationally-produced notions of aesthetics, authentic modes of engagement with music, and moral-ethical ways of organizing music production, circulation and remuneration as a social practice. The dissertation thus highlights the way new media and economic logics build upon and clash with historical practices of production, evaluation of aesthetics, and regimes for mediating the artistic, the economic, and the social.
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.