Call for Papers: Can I sing my song? African Perspectives on Musical Arts Education

DESCRIPTION OF BOOK PROPOSAL

The arts are a gift. Dance, drama, music, literature, media, and visual arts practice in Africa have much to offer. Yet, scholarship is lacking on African musical arts’ contribution to education. The assumption that Africans share common ways of being has long been the basis for scholarly discourse, nurturing the detrimental absolutist notion of Africa as a country rather than a continent. Singing, dancing, telling stories, and so on may be central to living; our ways differ from community to community offering distinct contributions. We are groping in the dark, trying to find answers to how, why, and what to do. Indeed, the answer may be in front of us, inviting us to consider a road less traveled. What is the point of African musical arts education? Why do we need to consider what African voices bring to the table? What are some African perspectives on arts (plural is intentional), and how might they inform arts teaching and learning? What responsibility does the rest of the scholarly community have in response to African voices? What is the distinction between the Black experience in the Global North and an African aesthetics or African perspective on the arts?

This book is about reimagining and repositioning African arts education as central to the discourse on arts education worldwide. The main question is: What would arts education look like from an African perspective? Agreeing with Senghor that we cannot fully comprehend “Africa art without understanding the metaphysics from which it proceeds,” Diagne asserts that African arts philosophy is original and intuitive.[1] Indeed, African arts expressions demonstrate awareness and evidence of creativity, values, being, and knowing beyond the artist’s ethnicity. African arts are integral to African cosmology. Thus, the interconnected, interrelated, and interdependent African universe underscores the unique perspectives African scholars bring to the table.[2]

While the significance of African voices in arts education may not raise eyebrows, they are vital in the post-pandemic moment. African scholars in Africa debate how to bring together school and community to nurture creative expression, problem-solving and critical thinking toward economic development. Likewise, non-African scholars and African Scholars in the diaspora are engaged in a parallel debate with preferences on social justice, racial reconciliation, and reduction in police violence. Further, African voices in conversations about diversity, inclusion, and social justice in music education research publications in the Global North have been minimal.[3] These issues assume that social development can occur simply with revised curricula, social programs, and funding to support these ventures, rather than conceptualizing them in philosophical thought. Such reasoning fails to consider the implications of African arts as central metaphors for all forms of education.

Can I sing my song? African Perspectives on Musical Arts Education offers a new approach to address the significance of African Arts in world education. The book sets aside colonialism to address central concepts demonstrating how reconceptualizing and envisioning scholars and educators can use musical arts education from an African standpoint to answer the questions of our current existence. In doing so, this work challenges and broadens existing conceptions of education and offers an alternative framework for arts education from an African perspective. Therefore, the editors invite African scholars on the continent and diaspora to have a new and fresh conversation about education and the arts. African scholars include a broad range of Africans in the diaspora, such as African American, Black British Afro Brazilian, or African Caribbean scholars, and so on. Rather than worshiping shrines made by others, this book invites scholars to write freely, unfettered from colonial restrictions on writing or established knowledge institutions.

SUGGESTED TOPICS

  1. Music and arts in Africa
  2. Musical arts in African cosmology
  3. Music and sociopolitical consciousness
  4. Music, health, wellbeing, and spirituality – etc. &, etc.
  5. African Musical Arts education
  6. Musical Arts and Teacher Education
  7. Instructional pedagogies in African Musical Arts Education
  8. Technology and African Musical Arts
  9. Research in African Musical Arts
  10. Musical Arts, Creativity, Improvisation, and Composition
  11. Teaching dance through African music
  12. Music and the new (social) media in Africa
  13. Arabic music in Education in North Africa
  14. Music in socializing and educating Muslim women in Africa
  15. Racial upheaval, Ethnicity, and Music educators
  16. African philosophical thought and Whiteness in music education

*In addition to this list of ideas, other topics are welcome.

TIMELINE:

  • Please submit a 500-word abstract and titles to [email protected] by: November 15, 2021.
  • Notification of Abstract acceptance: December 7, 2021
  • Date for full-length chapter drafts, if accepted: April 15, 2022

The Counterpoints: Music and Education series is committed to publishing multidisciplinary scholarship that explores the many ways that music instruction takes place within the context of musical and educational practices at all levels and under the purview of such institutions as religion, family, politics, economics, and the music profession. The series focuses on the ways that music educators can and should think about what they do, and it invites submissions that address these issues from interdisciplinary perspectives.

 EDITORS:  Akosua Obuo Addo,  Omiunota N. Ukpokodu,  & Peter Ukpokodu

[1] Diagne, S. B. (2011). African art as philosophy: Senghor, Bergson and the idea of negritude.

  1. 55.

[2] Karanja Keita Carroll, “An introduction to African-centered sociology: Worldview, epistemology, and social theory.” Critical Sociology, 40, no. 2, (2014): 257-270.

[3] Consider how Deb Bradley grapples with racial representation in music education as rooted in colonialism. Bradley, D. (2007) “The sounds of silence: Talking race in music education” Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education 6/4: 132-162. http://act.maydaygroup.org/articles/Bradley6_4.pdf