Music and the Concept of the Paracolonial: MUSTECIO (Project ID 263643) Final Summary Report

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Katherine Butler Schofield. 2016. "Musical Transitions to European Colonialism in the Eastern Indian Ocean: Final Summary Report." European Research Council. Project ID 263643; Principal Investigator Katherine Butler Schofield. <>. The main finding of our project was that "precolonial knowledge systems did not consecutively give way to transitional, then colonial knowledge systems. Instead, reformism was but one strand among many thriving lineages of knowledge that competed for precedence in dynamic musical economies during the colonial era. These streams were facilitated or altered in their course by colonial presence and action, but the vast majority were not beholden to colonial epistemologies. In seeking to account for these economies while never losing sight of the coercive colonial context that shaped them, we have developed the concept of “paracolonial” knowledge systems (after Stephanie Newell), denoting lineages of knowledge that continued, developed, and were born and died alongside and beyond the colonial. The paracolonial enables us to account for the many otherwise unaccountable regional musical practices and knowledges that coexisted, waxed, and waned in differing relations to European power and culture during the years conventionally marked off as the “colonial period”. It also makes sense of the persistence of older forms and ideas long after independence in India and the Malay world." (Katherine Butler Schofield, 2016)
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputEuropean Research Council website
Place of Publication
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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