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Transforming Ethnomusicology Volume IMethodologies, Institutional Structures, and Policies$
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Beverley Diamond and Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197517604

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197517604.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021



A Methodology

(p.187) 11 Witnessing
Transforming Ethnomusicology Volume I

Deborah Wong

Oxford University Press

From the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson, Missouri, and beyond, spectacular moments of witnessing have dominated the US news since August 2014. Whether focused on the ordinary or the extraordinary, I argue that intentionally deploying the intent to witness is profoundly different from the kind of sustained ethnographic work marking ethnomusicology as a discipline. Yet it also draws on the same skills, from a willingness to attend deeply to the moment, to inviting a shift in subjectivity. This chapter offers a genealogy of witnessing and then focuses on acts of auditory attention that radically disrupt the ethnographic impulse toward collecting, taking, owning, and having, and thus offers a way to decolonize ethnography and ethnomusicology.

Keywords:   witnessing, subjectivity, attention, decolonization, police, violence

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