Global Studies

As the latest technologies of communication and transportation increasingly seem to make the world a smaller place, the challenges posed by cultural diversity, and threats to global cultural heritage, have become more widely recognized in education and across society at large. Appreciation of the need to foster deeper awareness of activities in other parts of the world has even inspired the development of new fields of study. “Global Studies” is a recently emerging interdisciplinary field that seeks to examine an array of human challenges from a transnational perspective. Such topics as migration, ethnicity, transculturality, nationalism, and globalization can be most fruitfully explored from an interdisciplinary position. “Global Education” is an allied field that seeks to determine how such a global perspective can enhance the effectiveness and relevance of learning within all levels and forms of education.

While still primarily interested in music, I am currently at work on the editing of two contracted books that contribute in various ways to the broader aims of global studies and global education. One is called Translation, Education and Innovation in Japanese and Korean Societies (Springer, forthcoming, 2016), and the other is Music Glocalization: Heritage and Innovation in a Digital Age (Cambridge Scholars, forthcoming, 2016). Some of the work on these books will be completed over the coming weeks in Beijing, where I will also be planning development of the Open Global Music Academy in collaboration with music professors at China Conservatory and other institutions. Having worked for universities on five continents, I am able to draw on some unique and challenging experiences in efforts to produce meaningful intercultural comparisons and insights regarding social institutions, potentially with relevance not only for music specialists, but also those in other fields. It will be exciting to see how these books may be used by professors and students across various subjects in the humanities and social sciences, and whether they also help to inspire a broader perspective among specialists in music education and musicology.   

The image displayed above is a photo I took of part of Registan during my visit to Samarkand, Uzbekistan a few months ago to give a keynote speech for the Sharq Taronalari Festival's musicology symposium. To me, it is symbolic of the many beautiful contributions to global heritage to be found in the Middle East and Central Asia, regions that tend to be very little understood in other parts of the world.

No comments: