Ethnomusicology Forum: Louise Meintjes (Duke University)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM


Free Event

Dr. Louise Meintjes (Music/Anthropology, Duke University) will present a talk titled “Ululation: Zulu Performance and Sound Studies” on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 from 3:30-5 pm in Music Room 1145. Dr. Meintjes will discuss her new ethnography of Zulu cultural politics and dance in post-apartheid South Africa, Dust of the Zulu: Ngoma Aesthetics after Apartheid. Sponsored by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music, Ethnomusicology Forum, and the African Studies Research Focus Group.


In rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, good ululators are appreciated, yet ululation is not considered performance. Ethnography of Zulu men’s song and dance performance prompts consideration of ululation as an artistic and social practice reverberating from the South. Its sound, in turn, invites a shift of attention from technology to the voice; it also genders Sound Studies and finds sympathetic vibrations with Black Studies, which is also curiously underplayed in the current evolution of Sound Studies.

About Louise Meintjes

Louise Meintjes is Associate Professor of Music and Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. She is the author of Sound of Africa! Making Music Zulu in a South African Studio (Duke, 2003), an ethnography of the politics of production of mbaqanga music in a state-of-the-art studio during South Africa’s transition years (1990-1994); and Dust of the Zulu: Ngoma Aesthetics after Apartheid (Duke, 2017); an ethnography of a team of migrant Zulu men, singer-dancers/warrior-soldiers, and their experience of post-apartheid South Africa.