Quietude: A Musical Anthropology of "Korea's Hiroshima"

When and Where

Friday, March 31, 2023 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
room 130
Edward Johnson Building, Faculty of Music
80 Queen's Park


Joshua D. Pilzer


Quietude: A Musical Anthropology of "Korea's Hiroshima"
March 31, 2023 | 2:00PM - 4:00PM
The event will take place in room 130, Edward Johnson Building, U of T Faculty of Music, 80 Queen's Park.

Joshua Pilzer’s book launch, Quietude: A Musical Anthropology of "Korea's Hiroshima" (Oxford University Press, 2022).
*The presentation of the book will be followed by a reception*
About the book:
Based on nine years of intermittent fieldwork, Quietude recounts the stories, songs and other arts of survival of Korean atomic bomb survivors and their children in Hapcheon, Korea, offering a corrective to the enduring, multifaceted neglect and marginalization they have faced. Struck by the quiet of many atom bomb victims and their children, many of whom suffer from radiation-related illness and disability, I discuss its many sources: notions of Japanese soft-spokenness, vocal disability, the quiet contemplation of texts, the changes to the human heart as one grows older, the experience of war, social marginalization, traumatic experience, and various social movement discourses. I consider victims’ uses of voice, speech, song, and movement in the struggle for national and global recognition, in the ongoing work of negotiating the traumatic past, and in the effort to consolidate and maintain selves and relationships in the present.
About the author:
Joshua D. Pilzer is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the anthropology of sound and music in modern Korea and Japan, voice studies, and the relationships between music, everyday life, survival, memory, traumatic experience, marginalization, socialization, gendered violence, public culture, mass media, social practice and identity. He is particularly interested in the ethnography of the “everyday,” in the thresholds which link music to other forms of social expression, and in the vistas of ethnomusicology beyond music. His first book, Hearts of Pine, about singing in the lives of Korean survivors of the Japanese “comfort women” system, was published in 2012 by Oxford University Press. He is currently conducting fieldwork for an ethnography of the voice in everyday life in contemporary Japan, focused on the uses of speaking and singing voices in pedagogies of propriety, authority and legitimate violence.
Sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Korea and the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.


Contact Information


Asian Institute


80 Queen's Park