The Globalization of Irish Song

Wednesday, 10 April 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:25pm


Talk: Sean Williams will discuss traditional Irish song in Irish-Gaelic and English, exploring the differences within Ireland. Her talk will expand into the Irish song diaspora and its local impacts, including its presence in North America, South America, and East Asia. Williams will focus on the importance and limitations of the Irish-Gaelic repertoire in places where English prevails, and examine the ways in which language loss has implications for the diminishment of the corpus of songs.


PICTURE OF Sean Williams


Bio: Sean Williams teaches ethnomusicology and cultural studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Her interests include liminality, language, gender, religion, and food; she has worked with Irish, Indonesian, Brazilian and American musical genres. In addition to her articles and reviews in the field of ethnomusicology, she has written chapters on music and religion, music and revival, music and food, music and dance, and music and identity for several edited volumes. Her books include The Sound of the Ancestral Ship: Highland Music of West Java (Oxford, 2001); The Ethnomusicologists’ Cookbook (Routledge, 2006); Focus: Irish Traditional Music (Routledge, 2010); Bright Star of the West: Joe Heaney, Irish Song-Man (Oxford, 2011); The Ethnomusicologists’ Cookbook, vol. II (Routledge, 2015); and Musics of the World (Oxford, forthcoming). Her book on the Irish singer Joe Heaney won the Alan P. Merriam Prize in 2012 for the most distinguished, published English-language monograph in ethnomusicology.