Gregory Barz received his Ph.D. from Brown University and M.A. from the University of Chicago. He joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University in 1998 where he is now Professor of Ethnomusicology and holds joint appointments in the Blair School of Music, Anthropology, and the Divinity School. Barz was nominated for a Grammy Award as producer in the “Best Traditional World Music” category for his CD Singing for Life: Songs of Hope, Healing, and HIV/AIDS in Uganda (Smithsonian Folkways). He was a Senior Fulbright Research Fellow in the African Regional Research Program for AIDS-Related Research and was twice named a Franklin Fellow in Global Citizenship (Switzerland). Barz has been active in SEM, serving two terms as Treasurer of the Society, one term sitting on the Council, and one term serving as Secretary of the Council. He served as the co-chair of the Student Concerns Committee (now the Student Union) and was Program Chair for the SEM Annual Meeting in Philadelphia (2011) in addition to presenting 15 papers at Annual Meetings.
Barz’s interdisciplinary research focusses on the myriad ways music, health, religion, gender, and sexuality make meaning in the communities within which he is privileged to work. He has conducted field research with colleagues in a variety of communities in East Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, and now in Israel. His books demonstrate an engagement with issues ranging from medical ethnomusicology, field research methodologies, spirituality, and queer identities, and include Singing for Life: Music and HIV/AIDS in Uganda (Routledge), Music in East Africa: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture (Oxford), and Performing Religion: Negotiating Past and Present in Kwaya Music of Tanzania (Rodopi). In addition to his monographs, he has co-edited two editions of Shadows in the Field: New Perspectives for Fieldwork in Ethnomusicology with Tim Cooley (Oxford), and the volumes Mashindano! Competitive Music Performance in East Africa with Frank Gunderson (Mkuki na Nyota), The Culture of AIDS in Africa: Hope and Healing in Music and the Arts with Judah Cohen (Oxford), and the forthcoming Queering the Field: Sounding Out Ethnomusicology with Will Cheng (Oxford). His latest research project in Israel combines his longstanding interests in religion, queer theory, politics, and the performance of identity.
Statement of Candidacy
As a candidate for President, I bring experience with disparate populations within the Society and the discipline at large. As a fieldworker, writer, and educator I am committed to addressing unconscious bias that informs our methodologies, scholarship and sometimes in our Society’s governance, and as President I will continue the diligent and laudable work of the SEM Board to support and celebrate the diversity of traditions, experience, and practices within our Society. As a former Board Member, I remain involved in efforts and initiatives of our Society, especially those that identify, address, and reconcile significant issues that affect the membership of SEM. As President, I will continue to monitor changes in faculty hiring and staffing by supporting and promoting the Society’s Committee on Academic Labor. I will also take my lead from previous Presidential initiatives to continue to monitor the position of the discipline within NASM guidelines and within undergraduate curricula in addition to addressing the role and position of Ethnomusicology as a discipline both in the academy and in the public sector. As President, I will promote a project in tandem with the Student Union focusing on our graduate programs along with those of musicology in order to identify those ways in which programs prepare discipline-specific ways in regards to job expectations and placements. I am also keen to contribute to the publicity of our Society’s outreach efforts, particularly Sound Matters—The SEM Blog, Ethnomusicology Today, and From the Field. The strength of our voices is powerful beyond our disciplinary borders, and I am committed to maintaining the strength of our Society’s outreach.
In my research on the paucity of queer theory in SEM, I have been moved by the support of the membership, specifically in regards to its efforts toward open inclusion. As President, I will continue to identify and target other efforts within our Society with the goal of strengthening our already inclusive Society. SEM has been my professional home for nearly 30 years. I have benefited from the Society’s nourishment; in return I offer a commitment to foster new ideas, mentor younger members, draw on the expertise of senior members, and respond proactively, all in order to continue the good work of our Society. I am honored to stand for election, and I will serve SEM as its President with humility and attend to the many disparate voices among us that make us strong.
Inna Naroditskaya, Professor of Ethnomusicology, Northwestern University School of Music. Twenty-five years ago, a pianist and refugee from Azerbaijan, with her four-year-old son, arrived via Moscow-Vienna-Rome in Flint, Michigan. There she learned English and driving, accompanied, taught piano and her first World Music Cultures class at the University of Michigan-Flint. Mentored by Judith Becker, she completed her ethnomusicology doctorate at the University of Michigan.
Naroditskaya is the author of Bewitching Russian Opera: The Tsarina from State to Stage (Oxford University Press, 2012), Song from the Land of Fire: Continuity and Change in Azerbaijani Mugham (Routledge, 2003), and is also co-editor of Manifold Identities (2004) and Music of the Sirens (2006). Her articles have appeared in Ethnomusicology, Asian Music, MusikTexte, Ethnomusicology Forum, and others. She contributed chapters to volumes such as Music and Conflict (2010), Musical Voices of Early Modern Women (2005), and Jazz Worlds/World Jazz (2016).
An invited speaker in Baku, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tbilisi, Krakow, Paris, London, Cologne, Jerusalem, Istanbul, Melbourne, and Torino, her research has been published in English, Russian, Azeri, German, and French. With conference presentations in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, she has been a recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Scholarly Residency (2009); a Senior Fellowship at Harvard, Davis Center (2005); an IREX Short Term Grant (2002); and most recently a Northwestern Buffett Fellowship (2016). A strong believer in ethnomusicologist activism, Naroditskaya joined Public Voices (2015), writing op-eds about music, politics, and gender published in the Washington Post, Pacific Standard, Times of Israel, Huffington Post, and Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy.
One of Naroditskaya’s current projects involves Jewish Odessa – a Tatar outpost captured by Catherine II (1729-96), a city of legendary musicians and entertainers – whose idiosyncratic musical voice echoed in Moscow, Toronto, New York, Hollywood, and Tel Aviv. A second project deals with another diasporic subject – ethnic weddings in the United States through music.
Statement of Candidacy
Music permeates the tapestry of life; every ethnomusicological inquiry requires specific analytical methods that we borrow from a variety of scholarly fields. As president of SEM, I would embrace discourse about the shared methodological and conceptual core that enables us to communicate across regional studies, popular cultures, and wide-ranging topics – tourism, globalization, diaspora, conflict, medicine, economic structures, historiography, gender, and politics. I would encourage collaboration among special interest groups to map the shared ethnomusicological terrain.
Electronic technology fuels the ongoing transformation of music production, research, writing, and thinking. Digital media have upended concepts of publicness, privacy, center, periphery and revised the very dear to us method of participatory observation – one can participate in inter-continental musical performances via Skype, observing/communicating with groups of physically disconnected spectators. Ethnomusicologists navigate between local-global-glocal-virtual while studying ethnography in mixed physical and digital fields. We explore electronic media as fieldwork, recording and analytical devices, and modes of production. Yet ethnomusicology can go further. I look forward to a pioneering exchange on music and electronic communication. How does virtual reality relate to oral practices, to the history of written art music; how does it affect our prose and book formats, transform our classrooms, the sensibilities of our readers and listeners as well as our own? It would be exciting to engage SEM members in piloting many new projects in this research area.
Having been a performer, a music historian, and finding a home in ethnomusicology, I believe ethnomusicology should be central to the study of music and humanities. No musical repertoire lies outside ethnographic inquiry. Current music theory deals with oral practices; music education addresses multicultural classrooms; composers draw on and invite students to use ethnic music. Thus, along with supporting ethnomusicological programs, we must argue for an ethnomusicology presence in every unit of music studies. I would engage with accreditation bodies (particularly NASM) to strengthen requirements for global, non-western, and popular music. Battling institutional marginalization within musical units, we must search for every opportunity to hire ethnomusicologists in other departments (anthropology, cultural studies, performance, gender studies, and therapy).
Engaged in political activism, equipped with cultural pluralism, and having musical insights into current events, ethnomusicologists have a purpose also outside the academy. As a president of SEM, I will encourage the leadership of the Society to organize meetings with leading figures in non-academic areas that intersect with ethnomusicology.
Finally, as a President of SEM, I vouch to listen!