Marek Susdorf

Doctoral Research Fellow - Department of Musicology
Image of Marek Susdorf
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Room 337
Available hours By appointment
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Visiting address Sem Sælands vei 2 ZEB-bygningen 0371 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1017 Blindern 0315 OSLO

Bio

  • a Polish writer and artist; a graduate of Gdańsk University and RMA at Utrecht University; employed by Oslo University as a Research Fellow at the Department of Musicology to examine the musical relationship between the Netherlands and Suriname.

My Research

  • In my research, I investigate the history of how various discourses have used the notion of music to construct, cultivate, and propagate the category of the "proper," i.e. Western European, human by differentiating a variety of its others. I am exploring the colonial relationship between various Western European countries and the former Dutch colony of Suriname in South America. In the early period of the colonization of Suriname (17th and 18th century), the ways of using sounds by African enslaved people and indigenous populations were conceptualized by the Western oppressors as non-musical and less-than-human--they were therefore lawfully regulated or eradicated. In the 19th century, on the other hand, a variety of biopolitical mechanisms emerged, aiming at "tuning" the colonized with European principles of harmony and morality characterizing the "proper", i.e. Western, human being. The ethnomusicological enterprise of the 20th century, launched by Mieczyslaw Kolinski's analysis of the Maroon songs (in Frances and Melville Herskovits 1936), was yet another way of administering the population of the colony. It focused on the paradigmatic inclusion of non-Western otherness under the umbrella of the increasingly globalized Western human. This kind of what I call sonic colonizing tactics, as I argue, differed profoundly from the previous acoustic manners of governing the Surinamese colony but was also their consistent and strategic extension. Accordingly, in those years, the colonizing powers focused on the inclusion of non-Western sonic practices into a broader range of the global(ized) human repertoire, legitimized by the inherent willingness of representatives of all cultures to create or at least appreciate sound-based practices. Not only did it contribute to the reshaping of what the Western category of ''the human'' meant and could be used for; it also participated in the ensonification of the Surinamese nationhood according to the rules of global internationalism.

Academic interests

  • Posthumanism
  • Anti-, De- and Postcolonialism
  • Musicology
  • Gender Studies

Background

  • RMA in Gender Studies, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
  • MA in Slavistics, University of Gdańsk, Poland

 

Tags: Posthumanism, Musicology, Suriname, Postcolonialism, Gender Studies, Philosophy
Published Sep. 3, 2018 9:52 AM - Last modified Sep. 22, 2020 12:13 PM