Arts & Culture

UK to Host Midwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology April 1-3

The conference kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 1, in the John Jacob Niles Gallery, with a virtual performance and discussion featuring musical guests, AppalAsia.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2022) — Beginning Friday, April 1 through Sunday, April 3, the University of Kentucky Division of Musicology and Ethnomusicology will play host to the 2022 annual meeting of the Midwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology (MIDSEM) with a hybrid of in-person and virtual presentations.  

The conference kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 1, in the John Jacob Niles Gallery, with a virtual performance and discussion featuring musical guests, AppalAsia. This event is co-sponsored by the UK Appalachian Center & Appalachian Studies Program, the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, Passport to the World's Year of Cultures Without Borders, the Gaines Center for the Humanities and the Office of China Initiatives. It is presented in association with the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology. For more information, visit:  

UK’s own Donna Lee Kwon, associate professor of ethnomusicology, has been appointed the president of MIDSEM, and third-year graduate student, Hada Jang, has been appointed the student representative for 2022. In the spring of each year, the MIDSEM meets for their annual meeting that includes presentations, panels, performances, and opportunities for socializing. Each year, the chapter awards the JaFran Jones Award to the best student paper delivered at the annual meeting. 

This year’s MIDSEM keynote talk, “Arousing sense — embodying transmission and research,” will be given by Tomie Hahn, president of the Society for Ethnomusicoloy from 3-4 p.m. Saturday, April 2, presented via Zoom, streaming in the Niles Gallery. Hahn is an ethnomusicologist and performer of shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute), nihon buyo (Japanese traditional dance) and experimental performance. She is professor emerita of performance ethnology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In 2008 her book, "Sensational Knowledge: Embodying Culture through Japanese Dance" (Wesleyan University Press), was awarded the Alan P. Merriam prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology.  

Also on Saturday, following Hahn’s keynote, a roundtable discussion on “Decolonizing the Music Ensemble,” will be held from 4:30-6 p.m., presented in the Niles Gallery, streaming on Zoom, featuring Jon Silpayamanant (Indiana University Southeast), Angela Scharfenberger (Louisville Folk School), Thomas Turino (Emeritus, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Stefan Fiol (University of Cincinnati), Elizabeth DiSavino (Berea College), Emmanuel Stokes (Berea College) and Sam Gleaves (Berea College). Participants are welcome to stay after the roundtable for an open jam session beginning at 7 p.m. 

The Midwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology (MIDSEM) is a chapter organization of the Society for Ethnomusicology. The Society was founded in 1955 to promote the research, study, and performance of musical behavior in its cultural, social and political contexts. 

Pre-registration is required by April 1. For more details on the 2022 MIDSEM conference, visit 

For more information on the UK School of Music’s World Music Ensembles visit 

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