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Digitizing Performance in Africa: Politics, Aesthetics, and Historical Continuities in the Circulation of Music

Call for proposals

The aim of this conference is to bring together anthropologists, historians, and ethnomusicologists to discuss the ways that communication devices have continued, reinforced or altered how African people are sharing sounds and images of performance.

The practice of exchanging and circulating music, dance, poetry or rituals among African societies has existed for centuries through travel or direct contact and has shifted to include use of new technologies over time. During the latter half of the twentieth century, the radio and analog audio recorder were key tools used during African self-liberation movements to disseminate information, propaganda, poetry, and music (as shown by Chikowero 2014, Lekgoathi et al 2020). Since the end of the 2000s, the widespread use of cell phones and media file sharing applications on the African continent has impacted not only urban areas, but also rural areas (see Archambaud 2016, Debsu et al 2016, Brinkman et al 2017). Excerpts from ritual musical performances, funerals, weddings or even military events and other activities are shared and circulated via SD cards, Bluetooth connections or social networks on the continent and on a transnational scale.

Proposal submission

Proposals in English or French will be sent before July 15, 2022, to the three email addresses below:
Raymok Ketema: raymok@ucsb.edu
Giordano Marmone: giordano.marmone@gmail.com
Katell Morand: kmorand@parisnanterre.fr

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words.