Book Release Party for Dr. Jim Sykes

September 18, 2018 - 5:15pm
Dr. Jim Sykes
Lerner Center (201 South 34th Street), Room 102

Penn Assistant Professor Jim Sykes book:  The Musical Gift: Sonic Generosity in Post-War Sri Lanka (Oxford University Press, 2018) will be celebrated on September 18, 2018 at 5:15 p.m in Lerner Music Building, Room 102.  


The Musical Gift tells Sri Lanka's music history as a story of giving between humans and nonhumans, and between populations defined by difference. Author Jim Sykes argues that in the recent past, the genres we recognize today as Sri Lanka's esteemed traditional musics were not originally about ethnic or religious identity, but were gifts to gods and people intended to foster protection and/or healing. Noting that the currently assumed link between music and identity helped produce the narratives of ethnic difference that drove Sri Lanka's civil war (1983-2009), Sykes argues that the promotion of connected music histories has a role to play in post-war reconciliation.