Deadline: 31.03.2022

Attending the Moment. Aesthetics, Politics, Sounds

Call for Applications for a Lecture Series and Master Class with Louise Meintjes in Mainz on July 13–16, 2022. Deadline: March 31, 2022

Anthropology of Music Lecture Series and Master Class with Louise Meintjes (Duke University)

Department of Anthropology and African Studies (ifeas)
and African Music Archives (AMA)
Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany

We are happy to announce the third edition of the Anthropology of Music Lecture Series and Master Class (AoM–LS/MC). After a COVID-induced break, it will be held as a physical meeting from July 13–16, 2022, at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies (ifeas), Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany.

The event combines a series of three public lectures by one of the field’s most established representative with a master class designed for young researchers on PhD and Postdoc levels to present and discuss their ongoing work. It provides an exceptional opportunity to discuss theoretical trends in anthropological and ethnomusicological engagements with music and sound.

The topic of the 2022 edition of the AoM–LS/MC is ‘Attending to the Moment: Aesthetics, Politics, Sound’. We are excited to announce Louise Meintjes, Professor of Music and Cultural Anthropology at Duke University (Durham/USA), as guest lecturer. She will also serve as a discussant throughout the master class.

AoM–LS/MC 2022: Attending to the Moment: Aesthetics, Politics, Sound

Ethnomusicology, and Anthropology of the Arts, have long wrestled over how to depict the relationships among aesthetics and politics, among art, pleasure and activism, among performance, oppression and violence. With an ear toward the present in which we find ourselves (in the world, in the academy, in music and sound studies), and an eye on the vitality of bodies and breath, how do we attend to the moment? What kind of research, analysis and writing succeeds in keeping the details of artistry that lend art its persuasive or affective power on the page? What approaches succeed in grasping the specific political efficacy of the arts, without reducing artistic process to a political act? In instances in which the pleasure of participation in the arts is limned by violence, what constitutes political efficacy? The series will emphasize ethnographies of music, performance, and sound and is open to addressing multi-modal ethnographic practices that focus on these particular arts. From working in the context of the legacy of apartheid to Black Lives Matter, from the slow violence of environmental degradation to the drama of climate events and the pandemic, what does an ethical analysis of the sonic arts look and sound like? (Louise Meintjes)

The Lecture Series (July 13–15)

In a series of three public lectures, held on three subsequent days, Louise Meintjes will consider ethnographic moments from her work in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, from sonic, aesthetic and political perspectives.

The Master Class (July 13–16)

The master class provides twelve researchers on PhD and Postdoc levels with the opportunity to present and discuss their work with Louise Meintjes and eight expert discussants from anthropology and ethnomusicology. We invite researchers with academic backgrounds in anthropology, (ethno-) musicology and related fields to apply for the master class. There are no restrictions in regard to the region of study or the kind of music or sound explored. However, applicants need to have engaged in ethnographic research on music or sound, as the attempt to relate profound ethnographic insight with advanced theory is a core concern of the series. We therefore ask applicants to clearly relate their empirical findings to the overall topic of the AoM–LS/MC 2022.

How to apply

The lecture series is public. To participate in the master class, we kindly ask you to apply. Please send

  • a brief academic CV, including your current affiliation,
  • a short outline of your general research project (300 words max.),
  • a title and short abstract of your presentation (300 words max.). Please make sure your presentation clearly relates to the series’ overall topic, and keep in mind that the focus of the master class is on theory.  

Please apply in electronic form to anthro-music(at) until March 31, 2022.

There is no tuition fee for the master class, and we will provide participants with accommodation, breakfast, and lunch. We encourage applications from countries of the ‘Global South’. In cases where the costs of transportation pose a challenge, we will aim for additional funding. Please inform us in your application, we will discuss possibilities once you are accepted.

If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us (anthro-music(at)

). You can also check our webpage for updates and further information:

We all look very much forward to meeting you in Mainz!
Anthropology of Music Working Group at ifeas
Markus Verne (Professor for Anthropology and Aesthetics)
Hauke Dorsch (Director of the African Music Archives/AMA)
Martin Büdel, Daniel Jákli, Anjuli Rotter, Tom Simmert, Clarissa Bach, Moritz Zielinski

See the Call for Applications (Pdf)