Music, Memory, and Violence Across Asia


Jeff Dyer
Course Description

This seminar examines how music and other sounded practices intersect with memory, history, and violence. The course will introduce theoretical approaches to historicism, memory, temporality, and violence, which we will further explore through ethnographic case studies that take place in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Japan, and more. Central themes will include music and sound as modes of violence, remembrance, and recovery; European colonialism and colonialist relations between countries in the region; debates about voice, trauma, and healing; how historical knowledge production and memory politics can enact violence; and how people across Asia use music and sound to protest, commemorate, and cope with violence. Students will be expected to write short weekly response papers, make several class presentations, and complete an independent research paper examining how some of the course's themes play out in a specific location in Asia.