Welcome to our re-vamped blog! I hope you like it. The re-browning, I mean, re-branding, of the page is to prepare us for the influx of posts that are going to follow.
We are going to have several themes running over the next few months: first, a series on fieldwork, including discussions of access, and people’s reflections on their experience. Also, we’re going to have regular posts on What We’re Reading, which I will kick-start with a review of Mari Yoshihara’s Musicians From a Different Shore. Please feel free to post summaries, reviews, or discussions of what you’re currently reading, whether it’s for the EDG reading group or your own reading.
Finally, I’m hoping that some of you who have sent me photos to use in the blog will also take the opportunity to write about them. In Paul Gilroy’s chapter in The Auditory Cultures Reader (2004, eds Bull and Back) he discusses a photo of a crowd listening to reggae in London in 1974. The photo doesn’t show any music or musicians – just the faces of the crowd who are mostly listening intently, some frowning, some looking down. Gilroy writes ‘this was cultural work that incorporated defensive and affirmative elements: working over and working through the memories of slavery and colonialism, past sufferings and contemporary resistances, so that they could provide resources for interpreting the present and imagining a better future for blacks and for the whole world’ (2004:388). It’s a beautiful passage, and it’s worth reading all of it, but maybe this snippet will inspire you to look at your fieldwork photos and think about the ‘cultural work’ that is occurring in them.
And finally, seeing this is a music-themed blog, maybe we should have some music in it – go ahead and add clips or links to some of the music you’re studying.