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Keynote Speaker
Dr. Kim Rockell
Associate Professor in Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Komazawa University, Tokyo

Title of talk

‘Noh-ing’ English through Ethnomusicology

Kim Rockell is an associate professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Komazawa University, Tokyo, and also teaches in the Music Liberal Arts program at Tokyo College of Music. He is an ethnomusicologist whose research interests encompass plucked-string traditions, Philippine rondalla, Hispanic musical influences in the Asia Pacific, migrant music and music in diaspora, and the music/language nexus. While learning to perform traditional Japan Noh theatre, he began to explore the educational potential of English language Noh to empower the voices of undergraduate computer science students in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Japan.

Abstract of talk


What does the discipline of ethnomusicology involve? This presentation broadly introduces its history, fundamental issues, procedures, and more recent problems in the post-human context. It narrates more specifically the personal challenge of learning Japanese Noh as non-Japanese and combining traditional Japanese performing arts and English language education while working with computer science students in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima. These experiences formed the basis for current research on Linking Japan to the World through Performing Arts through collective ethnography and semiotic clusters [JP20K01193], the gradual progress of which during the recent COVID-19 pandemic is also discussed during the presentation.

Keywords: Ethnomusicology, Japan, Noh, language education, performing arts

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