09/21 - 01/22: University of Ghana
03/22 - 06/22: Harvard University
“Music is not a one-man show.” Young Instrumental Musicians in Accra, Ghana, and their (trans-)local creative Relations
In African contexts, youths are highly active in prosperous and internationally successful music scenes. Concurrently, youth is often diagnosed to be “prolonged” and “marginalized,“ not least due to neoliberal precarisation. Against this background, Katharina Gartner researches questions of “prolonged youth” and creativity in Ghana’s globally intertwined metropolis, Accra. She conducts an ethnographic study with young instrumental musicians who are active in in various genres (e.g. gospel, highlife, [afro-]pop, brass, neo-traditional). As relationships which they maintain within their music practice (e.g. with colleagues, students, mentors etc.) play an essential role for the creative process, Gartner analyzes these music relations in their local, translocal and transcontinental entanglements. In the process, she analytically combines perspectives from youth studies, ethnomusicology, and popular culture studies.
Katharina Gartner is a researcher and lecturer on youth and expressive cultures, with a special interest in music. She works at the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna, and at Vienna University of Economics and Business. Her current Ph.D. dissertation focuses on young instrumental musicians in Accra, Ghana, and traces questions of “prolonged youth” and creativity in a setting of rapid urbanization, increased precarity, digital revolution and accelerated global flows.
Katharina Gartner’s work stems from an international and interdisciplinary background. She studied in Vienna, Paris, and Accra: African studies, anthropology of music, psychoanalysis of youth and educational studies. In addition to Austria and France, her research led her to four African countries. Her scientific work is inspired by her practical experience as a counselor for youths and their families, and as a performing musician.
„Shiny Shabomen. Young Musicians in Accra, and Performances of Masculinities in Popular Music“, in: Gender, Place and Culture, 1.9.2020, Open Access: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0966369X.2020.1786016 (peer reviewed), 23 S.; gem. mit Kathrin Mackowski und Gerhard Kubik, "Musik verstehen: Transkulturelle Erkundungen des südafrikanischen Jazz", Interview in der Radiosendung Salzburger Nachtstudio, Radio Ö1, Wien, 11. Juli 2018; „Fernrohre tauschen. Kulturelle Verschiedenheiten in der Erziehungsberatung“, in: Psychologie in Österreich, 01/2012, S. 56–63.
Lehrbeauftragte am Institut für Afrikawissenschaften, Mag. Katharina Gartner, MA, arbeitete das letzte Jahr als Research Fellow in Harvard und Accra – beides im Rahmen ihres IFK_Junior_Abroad Fellowships am Internationalen Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften. Sie berichtet über diese zwei spannenden Erfahrungen!
Presenting: "It's too local." Young Instrumental Musicians from Ghana, and some Paradoxes of Globalisation
Katharina Gartner is a researcher and lecturer on youth and expressive cultures (especially music), following an interdisciplinary approach. She works as a Visiting Researcher at Harvard University’s AAAS in spring 2022, after a research semester at the University of Ghana. She is an IFK_Junior Fellow Abroad with the International Research Center for Cultural Studies (https://www.ifk.ac.at/fellows-detail-en/katharina-gartner.html).
As a National Resource Center for African Studies, the Harvard University Center for African Studies compiles Africa-related seminars, workshops, events, and conferences taking place in Cambridge, Boston, and Johannesburg, South Africa. We also include virtual Africa-related events and activities that are free and open to the public. The Center for African Studies will consider requests to host, coordinate, sponsor, or co-sponsor Africa-related events only if the event is supported by one of our faculty affiliates.
Aktuell erfahren Kunst, Musik und Populärkultur aus afrikanischen Kontexten internationale Hypes. Katharina Gartner forschte extensiv zu Musikproduktion in Ghanas Küstenmetropole Accra. Im Vortrag gibt sie Einblicke in transkontinentale Musikbeziehungen und fragt, wie diese auf die Kreativität junger Instrumentalisten wirken.