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Re: <nettime> hypocritical theory
John von Seggern on Tue, 29 Apr 2003 20:54:34 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> hypocritical theory


I just wanted to say that in my discipline, ethnomusicology, Wark's
analysis is exactly right.

Ethnomusicology takes as its subject of study all the musics of the world.
Yet for historical reasons it is a sub-branch of the discipline of
musicology, which [of course] only studies Western classical music.  
Thus, the institutional matrix within which most ethnomusicologists work
is inherently racist/imperialist at its very core. We are not supposed to
mention this, however, for fear of damaging our careers.

Further, a typical employment situation for an ethnomusicologist would be
working on his or her own in an entire department of musicology faculty.
Perhaps not the best situation to start asking pointed questions!

There have been only a few music academics willing to go against the grain
and speak the simple truth about this situation -- that European art music
is one music among many and its 'truths' are just as contingent as any
other. In some cases, the cost of speaking out has been the destruction of
that person's subsequent academic career...something of the sort seems to
have happened to Henry Kingsbury, for example, author of *'Music, Talent &
Performance A Conservatory Cultural System', and I know of others.

John



*
McKenzie Wark wrote:

>Critical theory becomes hypocritical theory when it fails to examine its
>own conditions of production and reception. For theory to be critical, it
>must turn its talents, first and last, on itself.
>
>When critical theory becomes institutionalized, it necessrarily becomes
>hypocritical theory. It is a condition of the installation of theory in
>bourgeois institutions that *not* turn itself upon those institutions,
>which have become its conditions of production.
>


-- 
John von Seggern

producer - DJ - researcher

email  <johnvon at digitalcutuplounge dot com>
bio    <http://www.digitalcutuplounge.com/newsite/jvsremix.htm>
home   <http://www.digitalcutuplounge.com>
school <http://ethnomus.ucr.edu/jvs/bio.html>


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