ETHN206: Decolonizing Ethnomusicology has spent the semester engaged in conversations about Indigenous sonic materials, ranging from their extraction by ethnologists and collectors in the late 19th century to current efforts entailed in the rematriation of those material housed in archives. While we started with the harmful, extractivist legacy of colonialist practices, in the second module we shifted our focus to centering Indigeneity and Indigenous epistemologies, grappling with what’s contained in the very word “decolonization” and what it means to do this work. Over the course of the semester, we visited the Oberlin College archives to consider material of Obies involved in collecting and arranging, the dis/possession exhibit at the Allen Memorial Art Museum, and learned from local Indigenous activist, Sundance.
We are a class of conservatory and college students ranging from 1st to 4th years. We are a group of non-Indigenous, predominantly white settlers interested in dismantling colonial legacies in ethno/musicology (and music studies in general) in order to reimagine anticolonial projects that divest from Whiteness.
Speaking from these positionalities, we offer this collaborative class presentation, “Sounding Decolonial Futures,” as a hopeful project in this direction. Our presentations, aimed to unsettle, share our contributions to our class Digital Humanities Scalar site by the same name.
This site, along with our presentation, is an example of the Public Humanities, where we design projects to make the knowledge we’ve gained accessible to the public.