Morgan-Ellis publishes article with students
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A University of North Georgia (UNG) faculty member and her students have published a collaborative study in the Journal of Popular Music Education.
Under the direction of Dr. Esther Morgan-Ellis, associate professor of music history and assistant director of Academic Engagement, the class researched after-school programs highlighting Appalachian region music, specifically how they work and their curricula. Finally, they assessed their findings against the findings of Dr. David Whisnant.
Whisnant was a prominent scholar of Appalachian history and culture who authored “All that is Native and Fine” as well as several articles, all exploring the ways in which outsiders shaped so-called “traditional” Appalachian culture in the early 20th century, Morgan-Ellis said.
Those individuals who collected music, founded folk and settlement schools, and oversaw music festivals not only promoted traditional music and crafts but also curated them, eliminating some elements while promoting others. Whisnant terms this process “cultural intervention.”
“This was a research project that I designed to be undertaken by my entire Music in Appalachia class during the spring 2021 semester. It was scaffolded to unfold over the course of the class,” Morgan-Ellis said. “We read several of Whisnant’s publications in class and used his cultural intervention framework as the basis for our study.”
The project is about how the music programs not only help young musicians learn instruments and musical styling, but also how they preserve Appalachian music.
Abigail Marvel and Andrew Malphurs were the two students in the class who elected to contribute writing to the article.