News Release

REF NO.: 120

SUBJECT: Ethnomusicology and folklore symposium to highlight public engagement

DATE: May 12, 2014

A group of internationally renowned folklorists and ethnomusicologists will join local experts, activists and entrepreneurs for a lively exchange on issues that range across local culture, politics and social well-being at an upcoming symposium at Memorial University.
Memorial’s Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place (MMaP) is hosting a half-day symposium on the topic of Music, Folklore and the Public Sector on Thursday, May 15, at the MMaP gallery, second floor, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, from 1-6 p.m.
The symposium will focus on the ways that scholars are pushing intellectual boundaries and forming alliances between disciplines, as well as between the university and public sector institutions, in order to address urgent social issues.
“Ethnomusicologists have always been engaged with the challenges faced by communities in which they work,” said Dr. Beverley Diamond, director, MMaP. “Over the past two decades, however, we’ve seen a huge surge in the commitment to work that has a public impact. Our symposium will provide the St. John’s community with a chance to hear about some of this work while also enabling local cultural activists to let our international guests know about the vibrant work that is going on here.”   
The afternoon event will feature presentations by ethnomusicologists engaged in research on community health, the music industry and culture in relation to botanical cultivation. The afternoon will also see roundtables on finding innovative ways to address such issues as human rights, cultural policy, participant-action filmmaking, arts administration and cultural diversity, and exploring public engagement initiatives that are already going on in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The symposium is being held in conjunction with the meeting of the board of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) in St. John’s, running May 16-18, and hosted by SEM President Dr. Diamond.

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