Transforming ethnomusicology Volume I: Methodologies, institutional structures and policies

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Transforming Ethnomusicology aims to deepen and broaden the dialogue about social engagement within the discipline of ethnomusicology. It draws upon a very wide array of perspectives that stem from different ethnocultural contexts, philosophical histories, and cultural situations. Volume I begins with overviews of ethical praxis and collaboration in different countries and institutions. Some of the following studies reflect on the challenges that ethnomusicologists have faced and the strategies they have adopted when working in situations as diverse and challenging as the courtrooms of America, the refugee camps of Kenya, the post-earthquake urban context of Haiti, and war-torn South Sudan. Other studies reflect on community activism and the complexities of sustaining and reviving cultural traditions. The final chapter offers a new perspective on disciplinary practice and methodology by examining the power relations implicit in ethnography and the potential of shifting our position to “witnessing.” Volume II focuses on social and ecological issues and includes Indigenous perspectives from America, Australia, and South Africa. The volume as a whole recognizes the interlinking of colonial and environmental damage as institutions that failed to respect the land and its peoples. As in Chapter 1, the authors deal with the challenging circumstances of the present day where historical practices and modern neoliberal institutions threaten the creation and sustaining of musical knowledge, the memory of the land (both urban and rural), and the dignity of human life. As in Volume I, the second volume ends with a model for change, a radical rethinking of the structure of knowledge already underway in Brazil.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages272
ISBN (Electronic)9780197517604
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Activism
  • Colonialism
  • Cultural sustainability
  • Ecology
  • Intergenerational memory
  • Participatory action research


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