Sharon Graf, associate professor of ethnomusicology at University of Illinois Springfield, will speak on the culture of the little known geographic area of Tonga. Her presentation is based on participant observation data collected in Tonga and other Pacific islands in 2010-11 and follow-up fieldwork completed in 2017. Graf will examine the interactions between local artists, community members and visitors as a social encounter that forges connections between Tonga and the world beyond its beaches. Her perspective as a scholar of American folk art, a musician, a sailor and a visitor to numerous Pacific islands, offers depth to the insights on the role of the arts in helping Tongans meet the challenges of being an independent kingdom while remaining connected to greater networks over the Pacific Ocean. The presentation is part of the Illinois State Museum’s Brown Bag Series.

Brown Bag Series
Wednesday, July 17, 12-1:00pm
Illinois State Museum
Research and Collections Center
1011 E. Ash St.

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