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Looted? Ethnomusicology, Archives & Colonial Legacies: Class Guide

A guide to selected resources used as part of the Winter 2022, UW Honors course, "Looted? Ethnomusicology, Archives, and Colonial Legacies."

About

This UW Honors Program class interrogates the field of ethnomusicology through the lens of its archives, those storehouses of sound recordings that helped establish the field. We will look at how colonial, evolutionary, and racist mindsets helped forge the discipline and its archives, and how residual traces of those drives remain. By drawing on guest speakers and sources across fields, we will learn about efforts to right these wrongs (e.g., sharing, repatriation), envision ways to increase the positive potential of archives to rekindle lost traditions, and work together to envision ways to increase and improve such efforts. Discussions and assignments will focus on:

    •    Extraction and "salvage" practices in ethnomusicology and its archives;
    •    The so-called practice of "decolonizing archives" through repatriation and collaborative practices;

    •    Traditional and evolving functions of archives, from collection and preservation, to access and community partnerships.

The class is offered by John Vallier (curator, UW Ethnomusicology Archives) and a host of Very Special Guests (see schedule for details).

Schedule w/ Readings (Note: most readings require UW NET-ID)

WEEK 1 

January 4 | Welcome and Introductions

  • Welcome, Introductions, and Syllabus 
  • About the UW Ethnomusicology Archives

January 6 | On Music

Before class, upload your reflection about the following and be prepared to discuss. 

Optional                                                                      

WEEK 2 

January 11 | On World Music & Ethnomusicology 

Be prepared to discuss:

Optional 

January 13 | On Ethnomusicology & Archives

Special Guest: Dr. Laurel Sercombe (Ethnomusicology Archivist and Affiliate Professor, UW Ethnomusicology), will be presenting on ethnomusicology roots and its codependence on archives. 

Be prepared to discuss:

Optional: 

WEEK 3 

January 18 |  On Ethnomusicology & (de)Colonization 

Optional 

January 20 |  On Archives & (de)Colonization 

Optional 

WEEK 4

January 25

Special Guest: Dr. Edward Herbst

January 27 

Before class, upload your reflection about the following and be prepared to discuss. 

Optional

WEEK 5

February 1 

Optional

February 3 

Before class, upload your reflection about the following and be prepared to discuss. 

Guest: Dr. Juliana Cantarelli Vita (Assistant Professor of Music Education, University of Hartford)

WEEK 6 

February 8

Before class, upload your reflection about the following and be prepared to discuss. 

Guest: Dr. Kate Mullen (Indiana University, Archives of Traditional Music (Links to an external site.) and Manchester Digital Music Archive (Links to an external site.)).

Optional

February 10

Before class, upload your reflection about the following and be prepared to discuss. 

Guest: Joe Kinzer (Senior Curatorial Assistant in the Archive of World Music, Harvard University (Links to an external site.))

Optional

WEEK 7 

February 15

Before class, upload your reflection about the following and be prepared to discuss. 

Guest: Danica Miller (Associate Professor of American Indian Studies, UW Tacoma, and Co-Director for UW’s Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies). 

Optional

February 17

Before class, upload your reflection about the following and be prepared to discuss. 

Guest: Alan Burdette (Director, Archives of Traditional Music, Indiana University)

WEEK 8 

February 22

Before class, upload your reflection about the following and be prepared to discuss. 

February 24

Before class, upload your reflection about the following and be prepared to discuss. 

In-Class 

WEEK 9 

March 1

Before class, upload your reflection about the following and be prepared to discuss. 

Guest: Judith Gray (Reference Specialist at the Library of Congress, American Folklife Center)

March 3 

Before class, upload your reflection about the following and be prepared to discuss. 

WEEK 10 

March 8 | Final Projects and Presentations

March 10 | Final Projects and Presentations

Voices of the First People

Voices of the First People honors the life and work of Vi Hilbert by making accessible audio and video that are part of her collection in the Archives. 

Land Acknowledgment

“We stand on the lands of the Coast Salish peoples, whose ancestors have resided here since Time Immemorial. Many Indigenous peoples thrive in this place—alive and strong.”  UW Burke Museum

Aashish Khan and Zakir Hussain

Angela Davis

“Radical simply means 'grasping things at the root.'" Angela Davis, 1989

John Blacking's "How Musical is Man?"

Walter Benjamin

"There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism." Walter Benjamin, 1940

Folk Music of Afghnistan

Traditional Japanese Koto and Shamisen

Sensei Keiji Yagi was one of the outstanding musicians of the Ikuta school of koto playing. Here he is assisted by the no less outstanding Ms. Kayoko Hashimoto. These tracks were recorded in 1968 while Yagi was visiting artist at UW. 

Oboade (S-072—S-074)

Hamza El Din (S-045—S-046)

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