Ethnomusicologist Dr. Philip Yampolsky may have visited Indonesia countless times. However, his recent visit to the country was particularly unique for him as it dubbed him as a “flying professor.” In just six weeks, he has visited dozens of universities in various parts of the archipelago.
Dr. Yampolsky, a scholar with extensive field research experience in Indonesia, was invited by the Association for Oral Tradition (ATL) through the Fulbright Specialist Program to give lectures and classes at the association’s university network from September – October 2017. He spent two weeks teaching at the University of Indonesia (UI), Depok; one week at the University of North Sumatra (USU), Medan; and shorter periods at various universities in Surabaya, Banyuwangi, Jember, Kendari, Yogyakarta, and Bandung. Students who ranged from undergraduates to graduate and faculty members coming from various humanistic disciplines, such as anthropology, cultural studies, performance studies, Indonesian literature, linguistics, and even some from “quantitative” fields like management and regional planning attended his lectures.
Dr. Yampolsky worked out two somewhat improvisatory “what is ethnomusicology” lectures, adjustable to different levels of experience and interest in the audience, and one more technical lecture describing some of his own research projects, with the aim not so much of teaching about the research results as demonstrating a few of the things that ethnomusicologists might concern themselves with.
He feels grateful for the opportunities to meet the dedicated students and faculty members in ATL’s network across the archipelago and to advocate for the respectful study and documentation of Indonesia’s myriad local traditions of music—and, by extension, all of this vast nation’s artistic traditions. ATL is dedicated to the study and support of all forms of art and local knowledge that are passed down from generation to generation in oral tradition. ATL sponsors undergraduate and graduate teaching programs at several universities, training students in the theory and practice of research into Indonesia’s abundant oral traditions.
If your institution would like to invite an expert from the US for the duration of two to six weeks through the Fulbright program, please visit this link for more information.
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