Ethnomusicology Graduate Student Organization Takes Off!

by Sonia Seeman

The 2001-2002 academic year was a highly active year for the Ethnomusicology Graduate Student Organization (EGSO), with a varied program of activities. The year’s officers were Martin Daughtry, Charles Sharp and Sonia Seeman, with Charles also serving as an officer for the Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology publications. During the year, EGSO provided a forum for the discussion of graduate student concerns, scholarship and research issues, and topical and theoretical readings, and also facilitated the exchange of information between students. EGSO members also formed a number of smaller task groups. Committee heads were: Jonathan Ritter (Roundtable Sessions) and Sonia Seeman (Roundtable Sessions during winter 2002). Kevin Miller and Allison Adrian organized Ethno recreational events (dubbed "Ethnosportzicology"), and planned various activities including bowling and soccer. To facilitate the exchange of information and ideas, we set up a file in the Ethnomusicology TA office for articles and student activities information. Mary Talusan managed the EGSO listserve, which served as a forum for exchanging information on events and pedagogical and research issues.

The following list will give some sense of the range of EGSO activities – and ethno graduate student interest. By setting up rotating “moderatorships,” many students shared in the opportunity to lead discussions.

Roundtable discussions on various topics included:
November 16, 2001: Renato Rosaldo’s Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Cultural Analysis (Moderator: Jonathan Ritter; Scribe: Sonia Seeman)
November 30, 2001: "Bad" Music (Moderator: Martin Daughtry)
January 25, 2002: Perspectives on Improvisation, with guest presenters Dr. Joel Rubin on Klezmer (City University of London); Dr. Angeles Sancho-Velaquez on 19th century Western Classical Music (UCLA); Charles Sharp on jazz (UCLA) ­(Moderator: Douglas Wadle)
DATE? Gender, Fieldwork and Research (Moderator: Tanya Merchant)

We also viewed and discussed the following films:
December 15, 2001, Film review: O Brother Where Art Thou (Moderator: Amy Wooley and Pantelis Vassiliakis)
February 8, 2002, Film review: "Pop [Music] Back to the Moulin Rouge" (Moderator: Judith Quinones)

In preparation for the EGSO conference, “Travel at the Speed of Sound: A Symposium on Time, Place, and Musical Experience,” we held an Informal Reading Group Session:
May 9th, 2002: Readings on "Space" and "Place" (Moderator: Sonia Seeman).

Finally, to further explore issues currently raised in ethnomusicology, sociology and anthropology, we organized the conference “Travel at the Speed of Sound: A Symposium on Time, Place, and Musical Experience,” held on May 31, 2002. The symposium, which had four panel presentations from graduate students and faculty, featured guest presenters Professor Mirjana Lausevic (Ethnomusicology, University of Minnesota) and Professor Carol Silverman (Anthropology, University of Oregon), with panel discussants Professor Chris Waterman (World Arts and Cultures, UCLA), Professor Sondra Hale (Anthropology, Woman’s Studies, UCLA), and Professor Anthony Seeger (Ethnomusicology, UCLA). Graduate student presenters from UCLA were: Martin Daughtry, Amy Frishkey, Tanya Merchant, Angela Rodel, Sonia Seeman, and Charles Sharp. John von Seggern from UC Riverside also presented. The program and planning committee for the conference consisted of: Martin Daughtry, Amy Frishkey, Jonathan Ritter, Sonia Seeman, and Charles Sharp.