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Faculty Appointment: Dr. Joshua Pilzer
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Faculty of Music Appoints Dr. Joshua Pilzer

The University of Toronto Faculty of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Joshua Pilzer to the position of Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology. Dr. Pilzer is currently in the first year of a two-year Mellon Post-doctoral fellowship in Music at Columbia University, and consequently has opted to defer his starting date of employment to July 1, 2009. 

Dr. Pilzer received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2006.  His dissertation was entitled, "My heart, the number one: Song in the lives of Korean survivors of Japanese military sexual slavery."  He has been a Lecturer at the University of California in Santa Barbara and at the University of Chicago. His dissertation "is about song as a means of self-reconstruction for South Korean survivors of Japanese military sexual slavery during the Pacific War."  His current work "engages issues of music's role in social domination, traumatic experience, memory, and survival. It also engages concretely with Korean folk and popular processes of composition, improvisation, and appropriation (including survivors' appropriations of non-Korean based genres such as Japanese and Chinese popular song)."  His "writing is based on...original ethnographic and historical work in South Korea, during which, in the last five years, [he has] created an archive of 300 songs performed by survivors of Japanese military sexual slavery, and exhibited the songs all over South Korea and Japan  He has done extensive field work in Korea and Japan and speaks both Korean and Japanese. His next research project involves Korean survivors of the atomic bombing in Japan.  

Dr. Pilzer has an essay in The Courtesan's Arts: Cross-Cultural Perspectives, edited by Martha Feldman and Bonnie Gordon, which is the winner of the American Musicological Society's Ruth A. Solie Award for best multi-authored volume, 2006. He also has published in Ethnomusicology and Journal of the Asian Music Research Institute.  He won the Charles Seeger Prize for the best graduate paper at the international conference of the Society for Ethnomusicology in 2000.