Three Claflin University students have been selected to travel abroad to conduct research in ethnomusicology. Akilah Morgan, Jacqueline Pleasant and Ar'Darius Stewart will participate in research on why and how people make music.
Morgan and Pleasant will travel to Trinidad, Tobago and Barbados with Dr. Alison McLetchie, an assistant professor of sociology at Claflin. Morgan is a rising senior with a double major in music and sociology. Pleasant is a rising senior, majoring in biochemistry with a minor in music. McLetchie’s project, "Let My People Sing: Toward an Ethnomusicology of Catholic Musical Indigeneity in Trinidad," will engage Morgan and Pleasant in a broad cultural survey of Catholic Church musicians across three geographically similar, yet culturally distinct, Caribbean islands.
Stewart and Dr. Peter Hoesing will visit the East African nation of Uganda. Steward is a mass communications major with a minor in theater. Hoesing is an assistant professor of music history and ethnomusicology at Claflin. His project, "Archiving Africa: Critical Perspectives in Post-Colonial Digital Humanities," will immerse Stewart in a research collaboration at the Klaus Wachsmann Music Archive at Makerere University. Hoesing and Stewart will support the Archive’s efforts to catalogue and digitize their holdings.
“Both archival and qualitative techniques like ethnography — writing about people — are essential components of research in the humanities and social sciences,” Hoesing said. “Thanks to Claflin’s Global Leadership Program, these students will have unprecedented access to international perspectives on this kind of research.”
The Claflin University Visionary Leadership Institute prepares its graduates to be globally-engaged, visionary leaders. The Global Leadership Program supports the goals of the VLI by preparing students for leadership roles in their chosen fields and offering opportunities to develop international as well as interdisciplinary leadership skills.
“These students will be working with some outstanding academics and practitioners on these trips," said Dr. Mc Letchie. "Even if they never become archivists, ethnographers or professional musicians, we are confident that they will become better global citizens and students.”