The Shape of Musicology to Come
Critical Race, Indigeneity, and Ethnicity Committee Endowed Lecture
Friday, 10 November 2023, 10:45am – 12:15pm
This panel will engage current and future directions of critical race, Indigeneity, and ethnicity scholarship, centering the work of four early career scholars in music studies. The CRIE is committed to uplifting early career, emerging, and scholars from historically excluded backgrounds who face and work against multiple forms of intersectional oppression. This session makes space for the questions that keep junior and emerging scholars up at night, including (but not limited to): How do we undo the norms of whiteness in music scholarship, curriculum, and academic culture? What scholarly interventions – epistemologically and practically (at the level of both the personal and the institutional) – can we perform to counteract the dominance of Anglo-American knowledge production? To what extent colonial legacies continue to shape or complicate the work and interactions of non-white scholars (especially those coming from former colonies in the Global South) in predominantly-white scenarios like those of US academia? How do we teach about BIPOC music making (not typically associated with “the academy”) in a way that does not just reinforce the overwhelming hegemony of Western European music theory? How do we teach these things without centering whiteness? Can we remove the idea of center and periphery in music academia while the academy continues to use that “center” as its entire foundation?
Alex Blue V’s research examines the intersections of race, sound, space, and place, often employing heavily ethnographic methods to demonstrate the influence of race on sound, and the influence of sound on race. Additionally, he is interested in narratives of death, dying, and afterlives in relation to Black sound and musical culture. Blue is currently working on two book projects. The first, titled A Matter of Death and Life, is an ethnographic (or “necrographic”) study of the narratives of death and dying in contemporary Detroit hip-hop, and how artists employ various forms of death as praxis in music making. The second, which he is co-authoring, is an ethnographic study of country rap, also known as “hick hop,” that examines issues of race, gender, class, nationalism, and identity, primarily (but not entirely) in the southern United States.
Rena Roussin is a doctoral candidate in musicology at the University of Toronto, and is currently writing a doctoral dissertation on constructions of disability and gender in Joseph Haydn’s operas and oratorios. More broadly, her research interests include conceiving of art music and music theatre as forms of activism and social justice in historic and current contexts. As a Métis and settler woman with additional Haida ancestry, Rena also has a major interest in the ways art music in Canada might work in solidarity with Indigenous artists, communities, and peoples to realize equity and reconciliation. She is an active public musicologist, and in addition to her work with the TMC, also serves on the curatorial/editorial board of Musicology Now, the Canadian Opera Company’s Indigenous Circle of Artists, and as a Guest Curator for Soundstreams’ 2022-23 Indigenous Encounters concert series. Rena is also a pianist and vocalist.
Ireri E. Chávez-Bárcenas‘ research focuses on the early modern period, particularly the sacred song in the Hispanic World and Italian opera. Her current project analyzes the performance of sacred villancicos within the institutional and social fabric of Puebla de los Ángeles and develops a new methodology for the study of function, meaning, and transmission of the vernacular song tradition in the Spanish empire.
Amanda Hsieh’s research interest lies mainly at the intersection of global music history, transnational opera studies, and Asian-German studies. Her current monograph project analyses Japanese-German relations through the movement of people around the business of opera – its creation, consumption, adaptation, translation, and reformulation – across imperial Japan, colonial Taiwan, and both Weimar and Nazi Germany. She is Assistant Professor in Musicology at Durham University (UK) and the 2020 winner of the Royal Musical Association’s Jerome Roche Prize. Her writings appear in the Cambridge Opera Journal, Music & Letters, and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association.
Diane Oliva is a musicologist who engages with history of science, sound studies, and Atlantic history to write transatlantic histories of music and listening in the eighteenth century. Her doctoral dissertation, “Earthquakes in the Eighteenth-Century Musical Imagination,” examines the sonic repercussions of four earthquakes—Lima in 1746, Lisbon and Boston in 1755, and Santiago de Guatemala in 1773. These four earthquakes altered the landscape of musical practices in their respective epicenters in both subtle and profound ways, and she explores how music shaped and was shaped by experiences and knowledge of these events. Funded in part by a CLIR/Mellon Foundation Fellowship, she has conducted archival research for this project in Guatemala, Peru, Portugal, and Spain. Her research and teaching interests include global music history, Central American history, Latin American popular music, eighteenth-century music, and music and nature.
Sergio Ospina-Romero is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. He is the author of three books, Dolor que canta (2017), Fonógrafos Ambulantes (2023), and Talking Machine Empires (forthcoming), as well as of several articles, book chapters, and short pieces on sound reproduction technologies, Latin American music, and jazz. He has taught at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad de los Andes, and Cornell University, and is the recipient of various awards, including Cornell University’s Donald J. Grout Memorial Prize, the Klaus P. Waschmann Prize of the Society for Ethnomusicology, and an honorary mention at the Premio de Musicologia Casa de las Américas.