SoundKnowledge provides insights into the specific knowledge of Western Pacific music in its entanglement with pressing cultural and social issues of the early 21st century. In contributing to the theoretical debate on the knowledge of music, the project probes vital questions of knowledge resources and human futures. We operate based on a set of case studies. The case studies will explore the procedural knowledge concrete music-making practices of the Western Pacific hold with a view to three pressing social and cultural issues in the region: 1) Climate change in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM); 2) suicide, violence and social alienation in the Marshall Islands; and 3) (post-)coloniality in Guam.

The PI’s central study will synthesize the conceptual implications of the case studies and draw on and extend her longstanding fieldwork in Palau. It will trace the complex history of knowing through music in colonial and postcolonial Micronesia, and engage critically with the theoretical underpinnings, regional ramifications and methodological core issues expounded by SoundKnowledge. With this set of sub-studies, the project will open important vistas on the dynamics between the knowledge of music and the surrounding orders of knowledge the former stabilizes, destabilizes and reshapes.