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Position Statement on the Seizure of Prof. Nalini Ghuman’s Visa (October 4, 2007)
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On behalf of the Society for Ethnomusicology the SEM Board of Directors approves the "Position Statement on the Seizure of Prof. Nalini Ghuman’s Visa", which originated among the SEM Board of Directors in September of 2007.


The Society for Ethnomusicology supports the unrestricted movement of musicians and musical scholars across national and international borders. An international scholarly society founded in 1955, the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) and its members are devoted to the research, study, and performance of music in all historical periods and cultural contexts. The SEM is committed to the international exchange of music and musicians to enhance human understanding and to support the artistic, cultural, and musical heritages that people throughout the world share. The Society opposes the imposition of visa restrictions on musicians and musical scholars to close international borders because of unspecified national, religious, and racial conditions. The SEM regrets the sharp rise of such visa restrictions since 2001, after which it has become increasingly difficult for musicians and musical scholars to participate in international ethnomusicological activities in the United States and elsewhere.

The Society for Ethnomusicology regrets the August 8, 2006 seizure of the visa of SEM member, Dr. Nalini Ghuman, a US-educated professor and UK citizen, returning from her family’s home in the United Kingdom to her position as Assistant Professor of Music at Mills College in Oakland, California. Still prevented from returning to her teaching position in the autumn of 2007, Dr. Ghuman has yet to be informed of the reasons she is being prevented from reentering the United States. In the strongest terms possible we urge the United States State Department to restore Dr. Ghuman’s ability to assume her position in the international community of scholars of which she is a part.

Related Links:

"Banned: A year later, Professor Nalini Ghuman still can't enter the United States," The Weekly of Mills College. January 16, 2008.

"Music Scholar Barred From U.S., but No One Will Tell Her Why,"New York Times. Sept 17, 2007.

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