Dear Sasrim member,
On behalf of the Sasrim Executive Committee, warm wishes to you for the New Year! In the coming year we are looking forward to Sasrim’s eighth annual conference to be held at Wits in Johannesburg in September, as well as the publication of Samus 33 (which is on its way to you shortly) and Samus 34.
For those of you who were not able to attend last year’s conference at Fort Hare, a short recap. We had a most successful conference in July 2013 that featured Susan McClary and Robert Walser, both from Case University in Cleveland in the USA as keynotes, speaking on current issues in and around university curricula and jazz performance respectively. The conference also showcased much indigenous music from the Eastern Cape through the presentation of papers as well as live performances by music groups from the area. Dave Dargie and Andrew Tracey both read papers and Dargie presented a special session on applied ethnomusicology where delegates had the opportunity to build their own bows and learn to play them. This was a truly unique happening which we hope will be repeated in the future. The only disappointment was the large number of presenters who cancelled at the last minute, resulting in schedule changes and budget overruns – something we need to avoid in future.
This year’s conference will be held from 12-14 September 2014 at Wits University. There are some changes in the format of the conference in the sense that it has been decided to extend the conference to three full days instead of the usual 2.5 days. It runs from the Friday to the Sunday, and it will be held later in the year than what we’ve become accustomed to over the past few years. Experience has shown that many scholars are abroad in the winter holidays to attend other conferences, so we are experimenting with the spring break as a time that may be more convenient to members to attend our conference. The extended duration is also as a result of the ever increasing amount of abstracts that are submitted for presentation as well as to allow for other possible activities such as round table discussions, panels, workshops and music making.
The keynote speaker for the conference will be Lucy Green of the London Institute of Education. She is a leading music education specialist, with a focus on the philosophy and sociology of music education, particularly musical identities. However, she is by no means only a music educationalist as her work covers several areas of interest to Sasrim: gender, informal learning, popular music and music education in cross-cultural contexts. She is the author of several monographs and her work has significantly influenced current thinking about musical learning and pedagogy, particularly how the learning practices of popular musicians can inform and change formal learning (e.g. Music, Informal Learning and the School and How Popular Musicians learn). She has lectured around the world and serves on the editorial boards of a wide range of journals. Prof. Green is a frequent keynote speaker at international conferences; in fact she is in demand as a keynote speaker. She would be interested in specific issues in South African Music research more broadly, but particularly in popular music, the nexus of ethnomusicology and community music, teacher education and music curricula, and is likely to participate in community and education projects while she is in South Africa.
The organizing team at the University of the Witwatersrand is headed by Grant Olwage and Susan Harrop-Allin. The Call for Papers will be sent out to all members shortly and the deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 March 2014. I would like to use the opportunity to ask all post-grad supervisors to encourage their students to not only submit abstracts for papers, but also attend the conference. Although we have a music educationalist as keynote this year, papers on all topics will be taken into consideration. Membership of Sasrim is not a prerequisite for attending or presenting at the conference, although we would like to encourage everybody interested in South African music scholarship to become a member.
SAMUS Volume 33 is at the printers as we speak and will be posted to you in the course of this month. This is a special issue on Jazz in South Africa and includes contributions by Chats Devroop, Gwen Ansell & Helena Barnard, David Coplan, Lindelwa Dalamba, Marc Duby, Chris Ballantine, Paula Fourie, Jostine Loubser, Brett Pyper and Nishlyn Ramanna. The issue has been guest edited by Ingrid Monson and Jeff Brukman and I would like to extend a sincere thank you to them both. Editing an academic journal is very time consuming and one for which scholars get little in return with regard to formal acknowledgement. Your work is much appreciated! SAMUS 34 (for 2014) is also planned as a themed issue with guest editor Kathryn Olsen. This volume will be dedicated to Andrew Tracey.
The editorship for SAMUS from Volume 35 onwards will be handed over to Willemien Froneman and Stephanus Muller as joint editors for the period 2015-2017.
The fee structure for 2014 has been slightly adjusted in order to stay abreast of costs. Sasrim has also been affected by the economic downturn and we would like to ask all members to pay their fees. Our treasurer, Claudia Jansen van Rensburg, will again send out reminders and overviews of fees payable and inform you of Sasrim’s new bank account details. We have opened an account
with FNB since their bank charges for internet banking are considerably less than that of ABSA.
The fee structure looks as follows:
Ordinary member: ZAR275
Overseas member/library subscriptions: ZAR450
Student member/pensioner: ZAR150 (Students to provide proof of registration)
I would also like to draw your attention to two music conferences that are scheduled for 2014 that are not Sasrim initiatives, but are of importance to our scholarly community. First is the Contesting Freedoms Colloquium that will be held at Unisa from 27-28 March. Keynote addresses will be by Achille Mbembe and Stephanus Muller. From 3-6 September a conference on African music will be held in Ghana. Titled Memory, Power, and Knowledge in African Music and Beyond, this conference will feature a number of renowned scholars such as Akosua Addo, Kofi Agawu, Karin Barber, Philip Bohlman, David Coplan, Louise Meintjes, Anthony Seeger, Jesse Shipley, Ruth Stone, Timothy Taylor, Diane Thram and Bob White.
A number of Sasrim members have obtained doctoral degrees in the past year. This is no small achievement and I’d like to congratulate Sasrim’s deputy chair, Brett Pyper, who graduated from New York University as well as Paula Fourie and Chris van Rhyn who both obtained the doctoral degrees from Stellenbosch University. Brett Pyper has also been appointed head of the Wits School of Arts. Some stalwarts from the scholarly community have also retired. After many years at the Music Department of Pretoria University, Heinrich van der Mescht, has retired but continues to be a member and we hope to witness the fruits of his extra time at our future conferences.
Hilde Roos (Sasrim Chair)