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Lisa Moore Interim, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Spring 2008

WGS 393 • SEMINAR: MUSIC AND ALTERITY

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
49090
-

SEEMAN, S

Course Description

This course explores the role of musical practices in inscribing senses of self, community and other. We will explore a series of case studies and theoretical frameworks to investigate the following questions: How are music and cultural practices used to mark self and other? Maintain boundaries between the familiar and the estranged? Deployed in struggles of "us" against them in social and political endeavors? Marking the present of modernity against an exoticized past? Inculcate colonial practices as forced on Roma (Gyspy), Jews, African Americans, Latinos and other internal others? How are distinctions of binary gendered identity inscribed and naturalized? How are such distinctions used to displace possible alternatives, such as trans, bi, gay and multiple types of male and female? How can we identify the use of musical non-marking of dominant selves (male, Anglo, national majority populations) in creating marked others? How is music implicated in marking abled and dis-abled bodies? What contributions have musicians and composers made towards challenging---as well as maintaining--- such artificial and social distinctions? We will work through a series of theoretical frameworks in which to investigate these questions from among the following: critique of representation, feminist/gender studies, post-colonial critique, structuralist semiotics and post-structuralism, theories of nationalism; philosophical theories of time and narrative in historical reconstructionist projects. These theories will provide a lens to examine case studies drawn from Western European art, concert and folk traditions; Middle East oriental and occidental works, music in war-torn Southeastern European regions; Caribbean, North and South American racialized and indigenized music; Roma professional musical practices; Jewish professional musical services and the problem of musical anti-semitisms. We will also survey the musical practices of altered states (music and ecstasy; drug-use and musical experience), as well as the musical responses to the social situatedness of differently-abled in music and the non-hearing community via the case study of Evelyn Glennie and differently-abled composers. This course will be team-taught by Dr. Guido Olivieri (musicology) and Prof. Sonia Seeman (ethnomusicology and Middle Eastern Studies), with each professor directing separate meetings during Thursday meetings for music performance majors (DMA students) and music studies approaches (ethnomusicology, musicology and allied fields). All students will meet together on Tuesdays for a joint lecture surveying the week's topic. On Thursdays, DMA students will meet with Dr. Olivieri to engage in musical analysis of particular works and performances that illustrate an aspect of musical differentiation. Music and critical studies students will meet with Prof. Seeman to explore theoretical frameworks and case examples that explore techniques of musical alterity, based on assigned readings. For the final, students have the option of presenting an original research paper based on course topics, or preparing a work and short paper for the final concert jointly with the Middle Eastern Ensemble and Early Music Ensemble on April 27th in Bates Auditorium.

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