Events calendar

Book Launch: Music and Digital Media - A planetary anthropology
Tuesday 28 November 2023, 04:00pm - 06:00pm
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Tuesday 28 November 2023,  4.00-6.00pm GMT


This is a hybrid event. 

To join us in Person at the RAI, please register here   (Address below)

To join us online on Zoom, please register here


Music and Digital Media

A planetary anthropology

with editor
Prof Georgina Born (University College London)

Prof Tom Boellstorff (Department of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine)
Dr Gavin Williams (Department of Music, Kings College London)

chaired by Prof Ann R David (University of Roehampton)

Anthropology has neglected the study of music. Music and Digital Media shows how and why this should be redressed. It does so by enabling music to expand the horizons of digital anthropology, demonstrating how the field can build interdisciplinary links to music and sound studies, digital/media studies, and science and technology studies.

Music and Digital Media is the first comparative ethnographic study of the impact of digital media on music worldwide. It offers a radical and lucid new theoretical framework for understanding digital media through music, showing that music is today where the promises and problems of the digital assume clamouring audibility. The book contains ten chapters, eight of which present comprehensive original ethnographies; they are bookended by an authoritative introduction and a comparative postlude. Five chapters address popular, folk, art and crossover musics in the global South and North, including Kenya, Argentina, India, Canada and the UK. Three chapters bring the digital experimentally to the fore, presenting pioneering ethnographies of an extra-legal peer-to-peer site and the streaming platform Spotify, a series of prominent internet-mediated music genres, and the first ethnography of a global software package, the interactive music platform Max.

The book is unique in bringing ethnographic research on popular, folk, art and crossover musics from the global North and South into a comparative framework on a large scale, and creates an innovative new paradigm for comparative anthropology. It shows how music enlarges anthropology while demanding to be understood with reference to classic themes of anthropological theory.


The book is published by UCL Press. Find more info on the publisher's page here and the open access version here.



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