Music Department Colloquium Series 2022-2023

Wednesdays | 4:30–6:00pm | Zoom (unless otherwise noted)

Colloquium Series on CFA website



Michael Frishkopf—“Music for Global Human Development Promoting Health and Wellbeing in Liberia, Ghana, and Ethiopia: Theory, Method, and Impact”
Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 4:30pm

Michael Frishkopf is Professor of Music, Director of the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology, and Adjunct Professor of Medicine and Religious Studies at the University of Alberta, as well as Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Communication and Cultural Studies, at the University for Development Studies (Ghana). His research focuses on sounds of Islam, the Arab world, and West Africa, as well as Social Network Analysis, and Music and Wellness. His talk will outline Music for Global Human Development, a theoretical, activist ethnomusicology fostering human development through sustainable, music-centric, collaborative projects, drawing on case studies from Liberia, Ghana, and Ethiopia.

Jin Hi Kim—“Komungo Abroad in the Digital Age: No Boundary between Ancient and Contemporary”
Thursday, February 23, 2022 at 4:30pm
Adzenyah Rehearsal Hall 003

Jin Hi Kim is an innovative komungo (fretted board zither) virtuoso, a Guggenheim Fellow composer, and a United States Artists Fellow who teaches Korean Drumming and Creative Music at Wesleyan University. One of the first women to study the 4th-century Korean komungo, she has developed the world’s only electric komungo and performed her Living Tones compositions with leading contemporary musicians around the world. Her works reflect and challenge the multicultural and technological nature of American society. A recipient of numerous national and international awards and fellowships, she has been described as "a musical philosopher and radiator of electricity" (

Richard Wolf—“Wakhi Poetic Imagination in Tajikistan and Afghanistan”
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at 4:30pm

Richard K. Wolf, Professor of Music and South Asian Studies at Harvard University, is an ethnomusicologist, filmmaker, and photographer who has conducted research in South and Central Asia. He has written on social-cultural “style” in South Indian music, music and space-time in Kota tribal society, and music in Islamic contexts in India and Pakistan. His presentation will draw from his research with Wakhi bards in Tajikistan and Afghanistan featured in his film Two Poets and a River (2020).

Florian Carl—“Ghana Gospel: Christian Popular Music, Ritual Performance, and Digital Media in 21st-Century West Africa”
Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 4:30pm

Florian Carl is an Associate Professor in the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, and currently a research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. His research centers around West African popular culture, religion, and the politics of listening in the African-European colonial and postcolonial encounter. His talk will explore the Ghanaian gospel phenomenon at the intersection of popular culture, religious ritual, and everyday life, tracing indigenous forms of Christian popular music through a range of media, performance, and reception contexts.

Anya Shatilova—“Nizovaia Traditsiia and The Great Russian Orchestra: National Identity and Music in Late Nineteenth-Century Russia”

Manuel J. Perez III—"Unmanifest Merging: Compositional Structures for (Communal) Reflection, Healing, Actualization, and Embodiment"
Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 4:30pm

Anya Shatilova is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University. Her research interests include vernacular musical practices in nineteenth-century imperial Russia, Russian music in the US, and Finno-Ugric music in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her paper will focus on Vasilii Vasil’evich Andreev’s project of modernizing Russian plucked lutes––domra and balalaika––in late Imperial Russia.

Manuel J. Perez III is a second-year MA Composition student at Wesleyan University. His work spans a wide breadth of fields that embrace intersectional synthesis with and within composition, including architecture, poetics, artificial intelligence, sculpture, digital collage, community organizing, and political activism. His talk will explore the relationship between artwork and the artist’s conception of self and lived experience through an analysis of his selected compositions. 

Felicia Sandler—“African Art Music: The Case of Dr. Ephraim Amu”
Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at 4:30pm

Felicia Sandler is a composer teaching at the New England Conservatory. Her scholarship centers on the music of Ghanaian composer Dr. Ephraim Amu, recognized as the “Father of Ghanaian art music,” and the architect of the regional choral idiom. Her presentation will introduce and analyze music from various periods of Amu’s activity, demonstrating how the composer created a cohesive expression that was novel, fresh, Ghanaian and, simultaneously, his own.



FALL 2022

Ron Kuivila—"Bellona Times: the Turbulence of the Present"
Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 4:30pm
Adzenyah Rehearsal Hall 003

Professor and Chair of the Music Department Ron Kuivila will present his sound installation Bellona Times and discuss its gestation. 

Lara Pearson—"Interacting with Melody Through Movement: Co-singing Gesture in Karnatak Vocal Performance"
Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at 4:30pm

Lara Pearson is a musicologist and researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (Frankfurt am Main, Germany). Her paper will reflect on the relationship between gesture and melody in the South Indian style known as Karnāṭaka Saṅgīta (Karnatak music). 

Levi Gibbs—"Encountering Modernity in the Yellow Earth: Innovation in a ‘Traditional’ Repertoire"
Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 4:30pm

Levi S. Gibbs is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature and Culture in the Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages Program at Dartmouth College. His lecture will examine how singers, composers, and scholars in contemporary China have adapted traditional songs to represent their region within the nation and around the world.

Paul Berliner—"Reflections on Immersive Study and Collaborative Research with Zimbabwean Mbira Musicians, 1969–2022"
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at 4:30pm

Paul F. Berliner is the Arts and Sciences Professor Emeritus of Music at Duke University. In his talk, he will elaborate the goals of the sequel to his first book, The Soul Mbira: Music and Traditions of the Shona People of Zimbabwe, which grew out of his dissertation as a Wesleyan doctoral candidate.

Kay Kaufman Shelemay—"Sentinel Musicians of the Ethiopian American Diaspora"
Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 4:30pm

Kay Kaufman Shelemay is the G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Her talk will introduce the background and scope of the author’s recent book, Sing and Sing On: Sentinel Musicians and the Making of the Ethiopian American Diaspora.

Galen Joseph-Hunter—"Out of the Air: 25 Years of Transmission Art"
Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at 4:30pm

Galen Joseph-Hunter is the Executive Director of Wave Farm. She will introduce the origins and activities behind this 25 year-old organization driven by experimentation with broadcast media and the airwaves.

Adriana Helbig—"Romani Musical Resistance During Russia’s War in Ukraine"
Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 4:30pm

Adriana Helbig is Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of Pittsburgh. Her presentation will discuss how Romani musical responses to the war in Ukraine have brought them into the center of Ukraine’s resistance narrative. 

Jennifer Kyker—"Seeking Bad Debt: Ethnography, Mutuality, and Hunhu/Ubuntu"
Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 4:30pm
Jennifer W. Kyker holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at the Eastman School of Music and as Associate Professor of Music in the College Music Department at the University of Rochester. Her talk will suggest possibilities for ethnographic work centered on the Zimbabwean indigenous philosophy of hunhu/ubuntu.


The Music Department Colloquium Series is organized by Assistant Professors of Music Saida Daukeyeva and John Dankwa.

The series is co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts, the College for East Asian Studies, the African Studies Program, the Department of African American Studies and the Center for African American Studies, the Department of Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the Department of Film Studies, the Muslim Studies Program, the Fries Center for Global Studies, and the Ghana Maranatha Methodist Church, East Hartford.