Subject: Reminder: Speaker Series - Kathleen Kuo - Oct 3rd, 5:30 PM, Natsagdorj library

ACMS Speaker Series
Mongolia’s Musical Memories and Moving Mementos: Audiovisual Archival Recordings as Cultural Heritage 
Speaker: Kathleen Kuo

5:30 PM, Tuesday October 3rd, 2017, American Corner, Ulaanbaatar public library

While audiovisual archives in Mongolia are often frequented by scholars looking to supplement their research, there are no English language ethnographic publications on the relationships between these archives and discourses of memory and heritage, much less on the work happening within these archives themselves. When we think of intangible cultural heritage in Mongolia, we tend to think of genres as separate from those individuals or materials who are responsible for sustaining them over time (long song, camel coaxing rituals, horsehead fiddle, etc.). But what about forms of cultural heritage and historical moments captured within the physical medium of a tape or record? Should we also treat these recordings as cultural heritage, or are they something else entirely? How is audiovisual cultural heritage in Mongolia collected, preserved, and shared with others, especially within the institutional setting of the archive? 

In this talk, Kathleen will present an overview of her project from the last six months studying archival and engineering efforts to collect, preserve, and share Mongolian audiovisual recordings. She will draw upon ethnographic case studies from her research and experience working in archives as well as from historical examples. Her talk will also include a discussion of the logistical and theoretical challenges to working with and framing audiovisual recordings as cultural heritage. In addition to contributing to public outreach for these resources and ongoing projects at these institutions, her hope is to draw more attention to the importance of preserving these materials and the significance of these experts' work.

Co-Sponsored by the American Cultural and Information Center, Ulaanbaatar
About the Presenter:  Kathleen Kuo

She is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology minoring in Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. In addition to her coursework at Indiana, she also worked at the Archives of Traditional Music for two years as a graduate assistant and conducted a research practicum at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures to catalog musical instruments from Afghanistan. Kathleen has spent the last six months in Mongolia as an ACMS Cultural Heritage Fellow where her research project centered on the role of audiovisual archives in preserving cultural heritage in the form of film and musical recordings. Some of her other research interests include cultural tourism, music education, and the psychology of music; she has past experience working in psychology labs at the University of Chicago and Goldsmiths College, University of London on projects related to congenital amusia and musical earworms (involuntary musical imagery). Kathleen hopes to return to Mongolia next year so that she can finish her dissertation research and continue taking shanz lessons.

For more information visit the ACMS website

Thank you to the American Corner and the Natsagdorj Library for sponsoring this event.


The American Center for Mongolian Studies is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting scholarship in Mongolian Studies.

ACMS, Ulaanbaatar Public Library - East entrance, Seoul street-7, Sukhbaatar District
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