Global Music Lecture Series presents Dr. Anthony Seeger

Tony Seeger

The Department of Music presents Dr. Anthony Seeger as this year’s Global Music Lecture Series featured speaker. Dr. Seeger is an ethnomusicologist, anthropologist, record producer, audiovisual archivist and musician.

He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Ethnomusicology at UCLA and a current Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution. His research and applied activities have focused on the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon region of Brazil, especially the Suyá/Kĩsêdjê Indians in Mato Grosso, where he has done research since 1971.

Tony Seeger Tshirt portriat 2011 in small formatHe has taught at the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro (1975-1982), Indiana University (1982-1988), and UCLA (2000-2013). He served as the founding curator/director of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings at the Smithsonian Institution (1988-2000). He has been president of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the International Council for Traditional Music and has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1993.

Anthony Seeger is the author of three books on the Kĩsêdjê/Suyá Indians in Brazil, among them “Why Suyá Sing, A Musical Anthropology of an Amazonian People,” and over 120 articles on anthropology, ethnomusicology, audiovisual archiving, music ownership and intangible cultural heritage.

Dr. Seeger will give two lectures on Thursday, March 23, in the University Business Center (UBC), PB 191. These lectures are presented in conjunction with the Center for Creativity and the Arts “Native Communities: Tradition & Innovation” 2016-2017 theme.

Lecture I (11-12:15) “Why Suyá/Kĩsêdjê Still Sing the Mouse Ceremony: Resources, Resistance, and Music 1971 – 2015″ will address continuity and changes in the Brazilian Indian group that used to call itself the Suyá and now calls itself Kĩsêdjê.  While the history of the indigenous peoples in Brazil has largely been a tragic one, the Kĩsêdjê have repossessed ancestral lands and are healthier and more numerous than they were in 1971 when I first visited them.  They continue to sing and perform ceremonies, and these play a role in their protection of resources and way of life from outside pressures. The talk will be illustrated with examples from field trips in the 1970s and in 2015.

Lecture II (4-5:15) is titled “Tradition and Innovation in the Music and Dance of a Brazilian Indian Society 1884-2015.” The Suyá/Kĩsêdjê Indians in Mato Grosso, Brazil, continue to perform ceremonies that they have sung, danced, and enjoyed since long before they made peace with Brazilians in 1959.  Their music and dance have combined both tradition and innovation in very specific ways that help us better understand the terms.  This multimedia presentation will describe the nature of their innovation and its relationship to their engagement with 21st century life on the frontier in Brazil where forests are being replaced by massive soybean plantations and as they endeavor to protect what they hold most dear from outside incursions.

These lectures are made possible through the support of Associated Students Inc. Both events are free and open to the public.



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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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