Call for Applications – Anthropology of Music Master Class in combination with the Anthropology of Music Lecture Series “Acoustemology“ with Steven Feld

Call for Applications

Anthropology of Music Master Class in combination with the Anthropology of Music Lecture Series

“Acoustemology“ with Steven Feld

June 26 to 29, 2019
Department of Anthropology and African Studies (ifeas) and African Music Archives (AMA) Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany

We proudly announce the second edition of our “Anthropology of Music Lecture Series and Master Class”. It is part of a new initiative to further strengthen and expand the focus on music at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies (ifeas), Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany. Combining a public lecture series held by one of the field’s most established representatives with a master class designed for young researchers to present their works, this new format provides a unique opportunity to discuss ongoing research and reflect on the current state of anthropological engagements with music and sound. The focus of the 2019 edition is on “acoustemology”, and we are therefore glad to welcome Steven Feld, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico (USA) and Senior Scholar at the School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico (USA), to serve as both our guest lecturer and main discussant in the master class.

The Lecture Series (June 26-28)
Steven Feld introduced the concept of acoustemology in the early 1990s, conjoining ‘acoustic’ and ‘epistemology’ pursue the social study of sound as a way of knowing and being in the world (see Feld, “ 2015, Keywords in Sound). In doing so, Feld provided a new and extended vocabulary for the discussion of music and sound on which anthropologists, ethnomusicologists and others increasingly draw. In a series of three public lectures, held on three subsequent days, Steven Feld will not only present the current state of his own thinking about and through acoustemology. He will also demonstrate how acoustemological approaches may contribute to ongoing theoretical debates on globalization, neoliberal capitalism, environmental change and human-nonhuman-interactions, and thus may speak to some of the most pressing questions of our times.

The Master Class (June 26-29)
The master class provides young researchers with the opportunity to present their work, discuss it with leading exponents of their field (Steven Feld among them) and relate it to recent developments and debates. We therefore invite researchers with academic backgrounds in anthropology, ethno-/musicology, sociology or related fields (preferably at PhD or postdoc level) to apply for the Master Class. There are no restrictions in regard to the region of study or to the kind of music or sound explored. However, the master class directly relates to the topic of the lecture series, e.g. it aims at exploring the potential of acoustemology concerning ethnographic studies of music and sound. Contributions thus should

  1. theoretically reflect on implications of an acoustemological approach for the social and cultural study of music and sound;

  2. explore ways in which acoustemological understandings of music and sound may inform larger theoretical issues currently discussed within the social sciences and the humanities;

  3. investigate ways in which acoustemology may alter the anthropological as well as ethnomusicological study of music and sound and help to substantially relate both traditions.

in order to Acoustemology”, in Novak and Sakakeeny, eds.,

How to apply

The lecture series is public. If you wish to participate in our Master Class, we kindly ask you to apply by sending a short outline summing up your general research project (max. 300 words), a title of your presentation, as well a short abstract that relates your presentation to the lecture’s overall topic (max. 300 words). Please apply in electronic form to until March 1, 2019.

There is no tuition fee for the master class and we will provide participants with accommodation, breakfast, and lunch.

We encourage applications from countries of the so-called Global South. In cases where transportation costs pose severe challenges, we will try to acquire additional funding. Please send your application, we will discuss further details once you are accepted.

If you need more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You might as well check our webpage for updates: – We all look very much forward to meeting you in Mainz!

Markus Verne (Professor for Anthropology and Aesthetics, ifeas); Hauke Dorsch (Director of the African Music Archives/AMA, ifeas); Cornelia Günauer (ifeas); Maike Meurer (ifeas); Tom Simmert (ifeas)

Société française d'ethnomusicologie