Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, Conservatory of Music, Oberlin College

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2003
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Musicology, University of Illinois / Urbana-Champaign
Containing Diversity: State Institutions, Musical Aesthetics, and the Performance of Ethnicity in West Sumatra, Indonesia

In the attempt to construct national solidarity the Indonesian state stresses the celebration of cultural diversity, albeit within a limited framework. Taking the province of West Sumatra as the site for investigation, I am interested in understanding how the state has mediated and constructed Minangkabau ethnicity through the exhibition of music, how these state projects contrast with local articulations of identity, and how these expressions might overlap with tangible political movements. Educational institutions are critical sites within the state bureaucracy; thus I will focus on the Indonesian College of the Arts, Padang Panjang, in my investigation of state impact on Minangkabau musical practices. I will explore two genres that are important expressions of Minangkabau identities comparing the College with the villages to investigate the ways identities are encoded in music and entangled in aesthetic systems and to evaluate the repercussions of different pedagogi­cal approaches on musical aesthetics.