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On Listening Positionality

With Professor Dylan Robinson (Associate Professor at Queen’s University, Stó:lō scholar and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts)
April 16, 2021 - 4:00pm, Password: Listen2021

How do we see, hear, and sense the materialization of colonialism in institutional and more quotidian daily structures of relation? Within the context of settler colonialism, perception is often guided by what Robinson calls hungry listening, a set of extractive listening practices indexed by the term xwelítem (starving person) that xwélmexw (Stó:lō people) use to describe settlers. Yet hungry listening is only one of many ways in which positionality and perception intertwine. Positionality is always in flux, through an ever-shifting relationship with that which is listened to, and the context of listening. To engage in practices of critical listening positionality, then, requires learning to notice different moments of intersection. It requires becoming better attuned to how race, class, gender, ability, cultural background, and sexuality guide our listening capacities, habits, and biases. This presentation considers the challenge and capacity of improvising with positionality.

Free and open to the public. 

Ethnomusicology Colloquium, Co-Sponsored by American Indian Studies and History