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Wesleyan University is honored to host the 53rd annual meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, October 25-28, 2008 in Middletown, Connecticut. All activities will take place on our campus, a 10-minute walk from the Inn at Middletown and a 10-minute drive from The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell (the two conference hotels). In addition to the unusual timing (Saturday through Tuesday, which is during our fall break to ensure full use of our campus facilities), we will offer an unusual array of activities and services featuring extensive workshops, performances, and jam sessions, wireless internet and computer lab open-access, and an afternoon of group recreation in and around our newly expanded Freeman Athletic Center. The pre-conference on Friday October 24, 2008--Toward a 21st Century Ethnomusicology—will include visiting scholars from China, Indonesia, and Africa discussing issues of pressing concern to them, and we will break new ground by webcasting and videoconferencing with students and colleagues in their home countries for a global discussion..
Middletown is located on the Connecticut River in central Connecticut, 25 minutes south of Hartford, 35 minutes north of New Haven, and 2 hours from New York (to the southwest) and Boston (to the northeast). Bradley International Airport is located 40 minutes to the north. We suggest conference attendees staying at the Cromwell hotel rent cars at the airport to facilitate travel during the conference. For those without cars, we will offer shuttles to campus from each hotel. Wesleyan’s new Usdan University Center offers a centralized food court for lunch and dinner as well as meeting spaces. A 5-minute walk to Main St. leads to a variety of Italian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican, vegetarian, and deli-style restaurants.
Wesleyan University, a liberal arts institution of 2,700 undergraduates and 200 graduate students, is home to one of the oldest ethnomusicology programs in the country. Wesleyan Professor David McAllester was a co-founder of SEM in the 1950s, and in the 1960s he co-founded Wesleyan’s World Music Program, which has supplied two presidents to SEM (McAllester and Mark Slobin). Wesleyan University Press published the journal Ethnomusicology from its inception until 1971. SEM met here in 1975. Our performance study groups, directed by full- and part-time faculty and occasionally by graduate students, span a broad spectrum of the world, including West Africa, South India, Indonesia, Eastern and Western Europe, China, Japan, Korea, the Caribbean, and North America.
The Local Arrangements Committee and Wesleyan’s Music Department extend you a warm welcome to our campus and we offer you a relaxed setting to discuss, debate, and experience the full range and breadth of our profession.
Eric Charry, Local Arrangements Committee Chair