Beverley Diamond's Trudeau Lecture

"Re"Thinking: Revitalization, Return and Reconciliation – Keynote Address

Dr. Beverley Diamond was the keynote speaker for the inaugural MUN Colloquium on Music Scholarship February 25, 2012. Dr. Diamond, Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology, presented her Trudeau Lecture, which she first delivered at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in 2011 after being honoured with a prestigious Trudeau Foundation Fellowship. An audience of about 100 met in the Bruneau Centre auditorium to hear the talk, entitled "'Re'Thinking: Revitalization, Return, and Reconciliation." Known for the importance of her socially responsible work on Aboriginal music, Dr. Diamond is currently working with an interdisciplinary research project following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission meetings across Canada. These moving events provide a focus for survivors, their families and the public to address the painful issues arising out of Canada's residential schools policy. Dr. Diamond reflected on this process to address a range of words beginning with "re" in Indigenous studies, particularly as they relate to Aboriginal music. She posed searching questions: "Who can speak/sing about removal and relocation, processes central to the colonization process? Why is revitalization used when perhaps vitalization is meant? Why is "renovation" rarely used?" Reflecting on reconciliation calls us all to take responsibility for systemic racism in Canada. Through her provocative talk, Dr. Diamond suggested that "re" thinking might be a way of shifting our approach to thinking about cultural rights.

The impact of Beverley Diamond's work was further recognized at Congress 2012, when she was awarded the inaugural SOCAN Foundation/Canadian University Music Society Award of Excellence for the Advancement of Research in Canadian Music.


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