University of Pittsburgh
October 8, 2003

Pitt Professor to Organize International Conference on Historical, Political, and Economic Factors Driving The Globalization of Culture

Conference to explore how music is distributed and consumed throughout the world

PITTSBURGH—Music may make the world go 'round, but Bell Yung, director of the University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center and professor of music, plans to explore how the process of globalization impacts music.

Yung was awarded an $80,000 grant by The Ford Foundation Knowledge, Creativity, and Freedom Program to organize an international conference titled "Cultural Rights and Academic Responsibility: Politics and Economics in the Globalization of Music." The grant also will fund the publication of a volume of essays based on conference proceedings.

Scheduled for fall 2004 or winter 2005, the conference will address the historical, political, and economic factors that drive the globalization of culture. Music provides an excellent case study for analyzing the processes of globalization, said Yung.

"Music—the most personal yet also the most public of emotional, artistic, and social expressions—is, in this global arena, distributed and consumed throughout the world," said Yung. "It is often transformed according to technological advancement, market demands, and political forces far from its home ground. As certain forms of music enjoy worldwide popularity, other forms of music mutate, sink into obscurity, and even cease to exist."

The conference will explore the interplay between music and economic and political forces as well as determine the responsibility of academicians in this global process.

Yung will codirect this project with University of Pittsburgh Assistant Professor of Music Andrew Weintraub.