Fostering Decoloniality in Music: From Local Archives to Global Dialogue

Presented by Lindelwa Dalamba

Monday, 24 May, 2021 - 16:00

Presented by Lindelwa Dalamba, Philip Burnett, Roe-Min Kok and Yvonne Liao

Recent years have seen intensive critical engagement across the humanities with questions of decoloniality (e.g. Quijano 2000, Mignolo 2011, Mignolo and Walsh 2018, Bhambra et al. 2018, Jansen et al. 2019). This engagement has had profound implications for the academy, not least for music research and teaching. As in the rest of the humanities, the coloniality of knowledge production is now widely acknowledged. The collective interrogation of cultural paradigms and their perpetuated structures of power are reflected in the growing development of decolonial approaches, methods, and pedagogies that focus explicitly on the ways in which sonic and embodied practices can be (re)appraised through neglected voices and communities (e.g. Stanton 2018, Robinson 2020). Indeed, this has engendered dialogue between music historians, theorists, and educators with colleagues from other disciplines and has been instrumental in further articulating the decolonial concerns of the twenty-first century, in particular the “liberation” of knowledge.  These decolonial concerns have dovetailed, moreover, with considerations of social justice, indigenous cultures, and scholarly efforts in producing counter-histories and “histories from below” in order to confront and rethink the influence of Eurocentric epistemologies stemming from Enlightenment models, notably the so-called musical canon and the ways it is researched and taught. Our papers reach out to an interdisciplinary audience of scholars by providing insights on how the issue outlined above play out in the field of musicology.

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