Andrew Weintraub with Rhoma Irama, The King of Dangdut, who will perform at Pitt on October 11.
Andrew Weintraub (Associate Professor, Ethnomusicology) has been awarded a 2008 Global Academic Partnership grant by the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) to organize an interdisciplinary international conference on Islam and Popular Culture in Indonesia and Malaysia. The conference will be held at the University of Pittsburgh, October 10-12. Fifteen scholars from six countries will address the dynamic, contested, and performative nature of Islam in contemporary Indonesia and Malaysia. In addition to scholarly presentations, the conference will feature the award-winning film Gubra directed by Yasmin Ahmad, and a concert by legendary dangdut superstar Rhoma Irama and his band Soneta. Additional support for the conference comes from the School of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Provost, Asian Studies Center, Indo-Pacific Council, Department of Music, Consortium for Education Resources on Islamic Studies (CERIS), Ohio University's Center for Southeast Asian Studies , and Falcon Interactive (Indonesia).
Weintraub and Sylvia Nannyonga-Tamusuza visit Sylvia's mother.
In May, 2008, Weintraub traveled to Kampala, Uganda to develop academic partnerships with administrators, faculty, and students at Makerere University. His visit to Uganda was sponsored by the American Embassy in Uganda, and the Department of Music, Dance, and Drama at Makerere University. The event was organized by Sylvia Nannyonga-Tamusuza, Senior Lecturer at Makerere University, who received her PhD from Pitt in Ethnomusicology (2001). Weintraub and Makerere faculty members discussed collaborative research projects, graduate education, and undergraduate exchange programs between Pitt and Makerere.
Composer and Makerere faculty member Charles Luwanga presents an endingidi (spike tube fiddle) to Weintraub as Sylvia's son Frances looks on.
Weintraub with the remaining members of the legendary band Sinar Kemala (Surabaya, 9 July 2008). Left to Right: Malik BZ, Abubakar, Said Alamus, Ali Alatas, Weintraub, H. Urip Santoso, Hj. Moerahwati (aka Ida Laila), Rubajak, and Imron.
Weintraub also traveled to Indonesia in July to meet with members of Indonesia's leading Malay orchestras during the 1950s-1970s including the bands Sinar Kemala, Candra Leka, Candra Lela, and Purnama. You can read Blogger Lambertus Hurek’s report on Sinar Kemala here.
Indonesian popular music continues to be a major focus of Weintraub’s research agenda and performance program. His band the Dangdut Cowboys will open for Rhoma Irama and Soneta at the conference concert on Oct. 11.