Histories, aesthetics and politics of South African jazz

Histories, aesthetics, and politics of South African jazz: An indaba
convened by the Rhodes University/Mellon Jazz Heritage Project

Conference date: 17 – 18 January 2012
Music Department; Rhodes University; Grahamstown; South Africa

Since the 1920s South Africa has been home to an ever diversifying
tradition of jazz musicking and criticism that is arguably second only to
that of the United States’ in its historical, aesthetic and political scope.
Currently there are numerous South African jazzes that are variously elite,
disempowered, black, white, interracial, national, cosmopolitan,
commercial, avant-garde, etc. Scholarship on South African jazz reflects
this musical and social diversity and includes work from a range of
inter/disciplinary and theoretical perspectives – social-historical,
ethnomusicological, musical-analytical, literary-theoretical, etc – by
established and emerging researchers. Despite thematic continuities across
this work, the dispersed disciplinary, geographical and institutional loci
of researchers has made it difficult to develop more focused conversations
around South African jazz.

The Rhodes University/Mellon jazz heritage indaba seeks to address this
situation by striving to bring together scholars working on any aspect of
South African jazz. It is envisaged that a peer-reviewed selection of papers
presented will be collated within a special issue of SAMUS The keynote speaker is Ingrid Monson who is the Quincy Jones professor of African-American music at Harvard University.

Abstracts limited to 300 words should be sent before 30 September to Jared Lang j DOT lang AT ru DOT ac DOT za Rhodes University. Please attach your proposal as a pdf file without mentioning your name or affiliation, providing full
contact details in an accompanying e- mail only.

Abstracts will be blind-reviewed and applicants will be informed of acceptance by mid October at the latest. .

Organising Committee
Nishlyn Ramanna; Robbie van Niekerk; Jeff Brukman

The programme committee will be chaired by Jeff Brukman and Christopher Ballantine. There is no conference fee for presenters, but presenters will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses.