Folklore | Histories of the Field
F740 | 27012 | S. Tuohy

This course focuses on written histories of ethnomusicology
specifically and on the writing of history generally. Under the F740
History of Ideas rubric, the course examines the intellectual
history of ethnomusicology, including social, political and
ideological forces shaping it. Histories select from and give
narrative form to the particularities of past practice; they offer
different views of the processes through which "we" arrived at where
we are today and where we might go from here. We thus will engage in
a type of “reflexive history,” as we analyze visions and versions of
ethnomusicological history, their narrative conventions and
strategies, and the means by which some versions of history have
become institutionalized. We also will explore problems involved in
writing intellectual history and issues of disciplinarity and the
organization of knowledge. Among our readings will be "non-
ethnomusicological" articles about history writing, articles that
will remind us of issues involved in historical representation and

Among the primary course objectives are to:

Read particular histories of the field, exploring the contexts in
which they were produced and their roles in shaping current practice;

Become familiar with the intellectual history of ethnomusicology
(its scope and aims, key issues and points of debate, diverse
practices and practitioners);

Understand theoretical approaches and concepts used in historical
writing and apply them to the analysis of histories;

Explore theoretical and practical problems in writing history
generally and as we write histories ourselves;

Individual research projects may address broad concerns in
disciplinary history or focus on particular periods, places,
scholars, or problems.