March 20, 2003, Gazette
|Dr. Beverley Diamond
Memorial’s senior administration has
given their approval for the establishment of the Research Centre for
the Study of Music, Media, and Place (MMAP) on the St. John’s campus
MMAP’s director is Dr. Beverley Diamond, Canada Research Chair in
Traditional Music/Ethnomusicology. She’s hoping to establish MMAP
as the centre for research on a wide range of issues concerning music
“as a localized practice in a modern world of globalized communications
“We hope that MMAP will not only serve
the research interests of the Memorial University faculty associated with
it but will also serve to enable research projects by community researchers
and scholars from other places,” said Dr. Diamond. “MMAP could
be a sort of coordinator and hub for a variety of other initiatives.”
The MMAP Centre will be a meeting place enabling dialogue and exchange
among Memorial University scholars with complementary research interests
as well as ethnomusicologists, folklorists, and other academics beyond
the province’s boundaries. MMAP will serve as a bridge between traditional
music communities and scholars who work on issues of music, media and
To foster pride in the cultural uniqueness of places and communities,
not only by valuing contemporary practices and working with musicians
on modern issues regarding appropriation and access, but also by working
to make historical materials in the rich regional archives of Atlantic
Canada in particular, come alive through extended documentation, multimedia
presentation, and scholarly engagement with issues of race, gender,
ethnicity, class, and other aspects of collective identity.
• To offer a model for understanding problems of cultural “difference”
as articulated in music itself – that is, in the social relations
of the production and reception of music and in the culturally shared
codes of its sonic gestures. In particular, this view of multiculturalism
will differ from “top-down multiculturalism” or other
neutralizing, rosy-cast representations of “diversity.”
The research should contribute to healthier cultural interaction as
Newfoundland and Labrador become increasingly plural.
• To advocate on issues of intellectual property and access
to traditional knowledge.
• To enhance the profile of Canadian music scholars within the
international academic community through an aggressive programme of
• To work with educators and community organizations to facilitate
the dissemination of cultural resources materials and the development
of curriculum materials on the oral cultures of Newfoundland and Labrador,
as well as diverse communities elsewhere in Canada and internationally.
• To enable a deeper understanding of the ways media are invested
with meaning by the study of the whole circle from live performance,
through mediation, through reception. By this means, the project will
develop a generation of scholars and artists in Canada who have more
agency in making media products effective as forms of social action.
• To establish connections between the centre and similarly
mandated institutions and groups in provincial, national, and international
jurisdictions, for the exchange of information and ideas.
• To promote international cultural exchange and dialogue.
The centre will also serve as a central point
of electronic access for sound archives in Atlantic Canada and beyond.
It will house a state-of-the-art audio restoration facility and multimedia
studio, and facilitate discussion and collaboration among scholars and
“The title abbreviates to MMAP,” said Dr. Diamond. “Call
it the ‘Music MAP,’ if you like, or just think of it as a
‘map’ with a difference. The difference? Well, for one thing,
the music of Newfoundland and Labrador is at the center of this MMAP.
But we hope, eventually, to provide a facility that attracts scholars
and musicians from other parts of Canada and other countries as well.”
The centre is currently located on the third floor of the Annex of the
Arts and Culture Centre of St. John’s.