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Roundtable | Professional Development
Nov 11, 2021 03:00 PM - 03:50 PM(America/Chicago)
20211111T1500 20211111T1550 America/Chicago Antiracist Pedagogies in the Music History Classroom

As protests for racial justice swept the nation in the summer of 2020, calls to reform music curricula have grown louder than ever. Such calls are fueled by recent work of Phillip Ewell ("Music Theory's White Racial Frame") and Loren Kajikawa ("Confronting Legacies of White Supremacy in U.S. Schools and Departments of Music"). Over the months of the pandemic, virtual AMS conferences, vigorous Zoom colloquia, and conversations on the AMS Pedagogy Study Group and Decolonizing Ethnomusicology Facebook pages have asked how our teaching may better reflect antiracist values. This roundtable proposes to continue these conversations in real life.

The panelists, hailing from a wide variety of institutions, will explore the promise and difficulties in the urgent work of overturning vestiges of white supremacy in our programs. Goddard College, a small progressive school without classes or grades, integrates all aspects of music study into a multi-epistemic antiracist pedagogy, treating music as a socially engaged practice that surfaces issues of legibility, extraction and impact. Nebraska Wesleyan University redesigned the music history survey according to the model of the Equal Justice Initiative's reparative work of truth-telling, creating public presentations about legacies of racial difference and violence in Nebraska. Faculty at Purdue University, the only school in the Big Ten+ without a music major, are struggling to create one; principles of decolonization and antiracism have moved to the center of that process. At Indiana University, home of one of the largest schools of music in the world, a collaborative research-based laboratory is developing tools instructors can use at all stages of course design to address racial imbalances encode ...

AMS 2021 ams@amsmusicology.org


As protests for racial justice swept the nation in the summer of 2020, calls to reform music curricula have grown louder than ever. Such calls are fueled by recent work of Phillip Ewell ("Music Theory's White Racial Frame") and Loren Kajikawa ("Confronting Legacies of White Supremacy in U.S. Schools and Departments of Music"). Over the months of the pandemic, virtual AMS conferences, vigorous Zoom colloquia, and conversations on the AMS Pedagogy Study Group and Decolonizing Ethnomusicology Facebook pages have asked how our teaching may better reflect antiracist values. This roundtable proposes to continue these conversations in real life.

The panelists, hailing from a wide variety of institutions, will explore the promise and difficulties in the urgent work of overturning vestiges of white supremacy in our programs. Goddard College, a small progressive school without classes or grades, integrates all aspects of music study into a multi-epistemic antiracist pedagogy, treating music as a socially engaged practice that surfaces issues of legibility, extraction and impact. Nebraska Wesleyan University redesigned the music history survey according to the model of the Equal Justice Initiative's reparative work of truth-telling, creating public presentations about legacies of racial difference and violence in Nebraska. Faculty at Purdue University, the only school in the Big Ten+ without a music major, are struggling to create one; principles of decolonization and antiracism have moved to the center of that process. At Indiana University, home of one of the largest schools of music in the world, a collaborative research-based laboratory is developing tools instructors can use at all stages of course design to address racial imbalances encoded in canonic repertory, pedagogy, and historiography, through workshops, scholarly publications and methodological trainings to be disseminated at IU and beyond.

Unsurprisingly, these projects have faced challenges, both from those who expect academic music study to continue to fulfill its time-honored Eurocentric role and from those who believe change cannot happen fast enough. This roundtable aims to engage honestly with our experiences with the practical issues of recasting the work music history can and must do on our campuses and in our communities.


Purdue University
Goddard College
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Indiana University
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