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Oxford Seminar in Music Theory & Analysis | Philip Ewell (Hunter College, New York)
October 21, 2020 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
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‘How We Got Here, Where To Now?’
The societal tipping point that is so often cited in the United States these days is intimately linked with our past, a troubled and, at times, violent past that has infused virtually everything that we Americans do. This past is now under great scrutiny in music studies, in how we teach music to our students, how we examine music in analysis, and how we choose the music we professional musicians consider worthy of attention. In this talk I consider our past so that we might chart a path for the future. Only through an exhaustive study of the past can we truly understand why the academic study of music is what it is today, a study that remains exclusionist with respect to musics that are not centered around both whiteness and maleness. In coming to terms with this difficult past we together – white, black, and everyone in between – can create a new academic study of music, rich and inclusive, which will be rewarding and emancipating for all.
To prepare for this seminar, all attendees are strongly encouraged to read in advance Professor Ewell’s recent article, ‘Music theory and the white racial frame’ in Music Theory Online.
Philip Ewell is an Associate Professor of Music Theory at Hunter College of the City University of New York, where he serves as Director of Graduate Studies in the music department. His specialties include Russian music and music theory, Russian opera, modal theory, and critical-race studies. He received the 2019–2020 ‘Presidential Award for Excellence in Creative Work’ at Hunter College, and he is the ‘Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellow’ of the American Council of Learned Societies for 2020–21. He is also a ‘Virtual Scholar in Residence’ at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music for 2020–21. As a result of his ACLS award, he is currently working on a monograph combining race and feminist studies with music and music theory.
Please note that attendance at this seminar is restricted to Oxford University members only. University members please sign up via this form. You have until the 15 October to do so, after that point we will open registration to non University members.
The Oxford Seminar in Music Theory & Analysis (OSiMTA) meets two or three times a term. Its convenors are Professor Jonathan Cross and Dr Sebastian Wedler.
Our conception of theory and analysis is critical, plural and interdisciplinary. In shaping the seminars, we aim to reflect the broad range of activity taking place under the heading of theory and analysis today, as well as to challenge boundaries, embracing not only ‘conventional’ practices, histories of theory and repertoires, but also new interdisciplinary approaches that engage with cultural studies, ethnomusicology, aesthetics and philosophy, psychology, politics, performance studies, popular music studies, and so on. Speakers include distinguished local, national and international scholars.
Registration for this event is now closed and the seminar has reached maximum capacity.
Most seminars are open to all, including the general public. Sessions will last 90 minutes and lively discussion is encouraged. They take place on Wednesday afternoons, beginning at 16.30 (currently via Zoom)
Regular updates will appear on these pages. You can also follow OSiMTA on Twitter. For further information email Jonathan.Cross@music.ox.ac.uk or Sebastian.Wedler@music.ox.ac.uk.