Folklore | FIELDWORK IN ETHNOMUSICOLOGY
F523 | 2243 | S. Tuohy
This class introduces students to fieldwork in ethnomusicology through
reading, conversation, imagination, and practice. It is designed with an
optimistic attitude of integrating the best of ethnographic history, theory,
and practice. We will move back and forth between learning from others'
experiences in the field and learning from our own experiences. While the
conduct of "real-time" fieldwork may appear to have an order--a progression
from formulating a research plan to going to the field to publishing the
results--it does not work out so neatly in practice. Decisions about
research foci, intended results, theory, method, and so on seem to be
reshaped at each stage. In class, therefore, while we are formulating ideas
for projects or questions to ask, we will also be reading about the writing
of ethnography. The class will consist of lecture and discussion (primarily
the latter); we also will hold at least two workshops outside of class (TBA;
on the basics of preparing funding proposals and on using various
technologies in fieldwork).
Readings and discussion will cover what the discipline has made into
"classics" as well as newer orientations which question the most fundamental
aspects of fieldwork as it has been conceived and practiced. Our texts
include readings in "metatheory" and intellectual history, practical
guidebooks, and selected musical ethnographies. Apart from a Reader of
selected articles, among our primary texts will be (tentatively): Gregory
Barz and Timothy J. Cooley, eds., Shadow in the Field: New Perspectives for
Fieldwork in Ethnomusicology (1997); Ruth Finnegan, Oral Traditions and the
Verbal Arts: A Guide to Research Practices (1992); and John Van Maanen,
Tales of the Field (1988).
Assignments will provide practical fieldwork and professional writing
experience, as well as opportunities to build on ideas from our class
readings. Short assignments are geared to course readings and to
stages/components of field project (including proposals, interview reports,
and evaluation essays). Final papers will be based on fieldwork; students
will do in-class presentations on their results. To facilitate class
discussion, readings and assignments must be done prior to the class for
which they are assigned. To facilitate collegial work, several assignments
will involve working with other class members to plan research and improve
written work; collaborative field projects are permitted but not required.
This section of F523 fulfills one of the "core course requirements" for
Ph.D. minors in the Ethnomusicology Program.