February 21, 2022

An ethical analysis of sound, Prof. Louise Meintjes

The relationship between aesthetics and politics, art and activism and even performance, oppression and […]
December 20, 2021

Attending to the Moment, 3rd AoM-LS/MC in 2022

After a COVID-induced break, we are now pleased to welcome Louise Meintjes as speaker and key discussant for our 3rd Anthropology of Music Lecture Series and Master Class, 13-16 July, 2022, at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz (Germany).
June 20, 2022

Lecture 1: Attending to the Moment: Artistry and Politics in Zulu Song and Dance

Drawing on my longterm study of Zulu song and dance, I discuss instances of forceful ngoma vocal performance that have prompted me to think about the idea of breath and aesthetic vitality, limned by violence during the global turbulence of the last two and a half years.
June 20, 2022

Lecture 2: Multimodality in Music Ethnography

A collaborative experiment at lifting my ethnography, Dust of the Zulu, off the page into a multimedia installation raised questions about the risks, challenges, promise and pleasures of multimodal ethnographic work about song and dance. I address the process and outcome of remixing the aesthetic, sensory and political registers of the book as a form of reciprocity and participation in a public anthropology of the arts.
June 20, 2022

Lecture 3: The Bellow of the Sacrificial Ox: Sound in precarious times

I explore the aesthetic value of cattle in Zulu song and dance, including in courting and wedding rituals. Worsening drought, floods, overgrazing, unemployment and inflation (exacerbated by the pandemic’s wrath), and a legacy of violence point to a time of dire economic contraction in Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal. Yet largesse that includes cattle prevails. I listen in to celebratory events to consider this seeming contradiction.