Monday, 20 September 2010

Something Different

I'm finally finished with my masters dissertation! I know my blog has suffered as of late due to the last minute deadline craze, but it's all over. I thought that rather than post another "This Week's Picks", I should do something completely different. (This could also be because I'm lazy and this requires less work than a This Week's Picks entry.)

I thought I'd post my dissertation abstract, just in case anyone is interested in the topic. If you would like to read the dissertation, please send me an email and I'd be happy for forward you a copy. Please enjoy!


Sound Systems and Spirits: Music and Spirit Possession in Zanzibar

This paper is the result of preliminary field research on music and spirit possession in Stone Town, Zanzibar. The ceremonies I attended during my research revealed concepts of perception, the sacred, modernity, and identity existent within the phenomenon of spirit possession. I offer a critical review of the literature concerning spirit possession on the Swahili coast and music in spirit possession, demonstrating their ineffectiveness in discussing the concepts I encountered. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the literature and methodologies, this paper aims at developing a methodology suitable for further research of music and spirit possession in Zanzibar. The new methodology presented here provides further research with the means of investigating the sensitivity of the sacred, music technology, and musical geography. Offering a new approach, this paper then poses questions the new methodology should investigate.

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