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Reading, Decolonizing: Some Resources from Many Perspectives
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By Hannah Adamy (University of California, Davis)

*The following resource list appears, in its original form, in SEM Student News, Volume 12, Number 2: Decolonizing Ethnomusicology. We welcome comments on, and suggested additions to, this version of the resource list. As such, please do not hesitate to contact us by sending an email to semstudentnews@gmail.com with the subject line “Decolonizing Ethnomusicology Resource List”).

Calls for decolonization have increased in volume since Frantz Fanon, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, and other founding scholars in the postcolonial moment began publishing, protesting, and performing. Decolonizing ethnomusicology is now a full-blown project, the most important development of which is considering collaborators as fellow intellectuals. In other words, critical engagement and activist scholarship is no longer optional. As scholars, we must bring questions of power and privilege to the forefront of the discipline and, more generally, to all interdisciplinary studies in the humanities. Fundamentally, decolonizing ethnomusicology means uniting scholarship and activism, theory and methodology, performance and protest. How, then, should we go about being activist-scholars? What is decolonized scholarship?
A decolonized approach to ethnomusicology involves reflecting on the philosophies and methodologies that constitute the discipline. Therefore, I have looked to the related disciplines of anthropology, performance studies, gender studies, black/Africana studies, Indigenous studies, and Latina/o studies to compile this bibliography. Many of these texts are edited volumes and, thus, inherently multi-vocal, and most are works by Indigenous scholars. These twenty-five written works continue decolonization conversations and propose ways in which scholars must take action. I invite you to use this list as both an introduction and an inspiration for your own praxes.


Afzal-Khan, Fawzia, and Kalpana Seshadri. 2000. The Pre-Occupation of Postcolonial Studies. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.


Agnani, Sunil M. 2013. Hating Empire Properly: The Two Indies and the Limits of Enlightenment Anticolonialism. New York: Fordham University Press.


Caouette, Dominique, and Dip Kapoor, eds. 2015. Beyond Colonialism, Development and Globalization Social Movements and Critical Perspectives. London: Zed Books.


Depelchin, Jacques. 2011. Reclaiming African History. Cape Town: Pambazuka Press.


Goldberg, David Theo, and Ato Quayson. 2002. Relocating Postcolonialism. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.


Goodyear-Ka'ōpua, Noelani, Ikaika Hussey, and Erin Kahunawaika'ala Wright. 2014. A Nation Rising: Hawaiian Movements for Life, Land, and Sovereignty. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.


Harrison, Faye Venetia. 2008. Outsider Within: Reworking Anthropology in the Global Age. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.


Land, Clare. 2015. Decolonizing Solidarity: Dilemmas and Directions for Supporters of Indigenous Struggles. London: Zed Books.


Loomba, Ania. [1998] 2005. Colonialism-Postcolonialism. New York: Routledge.


McClaurin, Irma. 2001. Black Feminist Anthropology: Theory, Politics, Praxis, and Poetics. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.


McGranahan, Carole, and Uzma Z. Rizvi, eds. 2016. "Decolonizing Anthropology." Savage Minds: Notes and Queries in Anthropology (blog), April 19. Accessed October 10, 2016. http://savageminds.org/2016/04/19/decolonizing-anthropology/.


McKenna, Tarquam, and Davina B. Woods. 2012. "An Indigenous Conversation: Artful Autoethnography: A Pre-Colonised Collaborative Research Method?" Creative Approaches to Research 5 (3): 75–88.


Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. 2003. Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.


Ntarangwi, Mwenda, David Mills, and Mustafa H. M. Babiker. 2006. African Anthropologies: History, Critique, and Practice. London: Zed Books.


Rodríguez, Ileana. 2001. The Latin American Subaltern Studies Reader. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.


Sendejo, Brenda, and Tori Vasquez. 2016. "Unboxing the Buried Seeds of My Belonging: Latina/o History, Decolonized Pedagogies and the Politics of Inclusion." American Anthropological Association, September 15. Accessed October 10, 2016. http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2016/09/15/unboxing-the-buried-seeds-of-my-belonging/.


Shotwell, Alexis. 2011. Knowing Otherwise: Race, Gender, and Implicit Understanding. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.


Silva, Noenoe. 2004. Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.


Simpson, Audra, and Andrea Smith, eds. 2014. Theorizing Native Studies. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.


Stoller, Paul. 2007. "Ethnography/Memoir/Imagination/Story." Anthropology and Humanism 32 (2): 178–91.


Sue, Christina A. 2015. "Hegemony and Silence: Confronting State-Sponsored Silences in the Field." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 44 (1): 113–40.


Venkateswar, Sita, and Emma Hughes, eds. 2011. The Politics of Indigeneity: Dialogues and Reflections on Indigenous Activism. London: Zed Books.


Werbner, Pnina, and Tariq Modood, eds. 2015. Debating Cultural Hybridity: Multicultural Identities and the Politics of Anti-Racism. London: Zed Books.


Whitinui, Paul. 2014. "Indigenous Autoethnography: Exploring, Engaging, and Experiencing 'Self' as a Native Method of Inquiry." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 43 (4): 456–87.


Whitt, Laurelyn. 2009. Science, Colonialism, and Indigenous Peoples: The Cultural Politics of Law and Knowledge. New York: Cambridge University Press.
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