FACULTY PERSPECTIVE DR. TREVOR HARVEY
Associate Professor of Instruction in Ethnomusicology
W hen we returned to in- person instruction amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in Fall 2021, two large, multi-story outdoor murals had been painted across from the Voxman Music Building. Called the Oracles of Iowa City and developed by the Center for Afrofuturist Studies at Public Space One in partnership with artists Antoine Williams and Donté K. Hayes, one of these murals—the one closest to the main entrance of Voxman and visible through the large windows on all floors—includes the words, “Weaponize
As I see it, the invitation is to actively engage in using the incredible resources we have within the School of Music to broaden our engagement with diverse musical bodies—including performers, audiences, musical works, and traditions—thereby creating a School of Music that’s more equitable, diverse, and inclusive. A place where all may belong. If curiosity and creativity are core components of a quality education, then diversity might be a barometer by which we can measure the quality of our
your privilege to save Black bodies.”
Just as diversity is crucial to the sustainability and long-term health of a variety of systems, from economic investment to ecology to political democracies, we need to invest in musical futures by embracing, encouraging, and supporting diverse ways of being musical. As we seek, embrace, and celebrate musical diversity, we will find ourselves much more successful in our ability to be inclusive, create spaces for belonging, and engage more equitably with all types of musicians and forms of musicking.
As I’ve looked at and pondered that mural over the past two semesters, I’ve seen it as both an indictment of and an invitation
If curiosity and creativity are core components of a quality education, then diversity might be a barometer by which we can measure the quality of our educational endeavors. – Trevor Harvey
to all of us—faculty, students, staff,
I feel an incredible amount of privilege to work with, study, teach, and listen to the incredible music and scholarship explored and developed within the Voxman Music Building. Yet few (if any) UI departments are more narrowly focused on white European traditions to the exclusion of the exploration and study of the tremendous diversity available within a given field.
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