ISM Fellows Interview | Sumarsam’s Journey, Wayang Puppet Play, and the Songs to Ward Off Evil Spirits

April 27, 2020

ISM Fellows program manager Eben Graves and Sumarsam—current ISM fellow, expert in Indonesian music, theater, and gamelan, and professor of music at Wesleyan University—discuss Javanese shadow puppetry in the time of COVID-19. Video goes live on Wednesday, April 27 at 1PM.


Sumarsam is the Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, where he teaches the history, theory, and practice of Indonesian music and theater and gamelan performance. 

Eben Graves holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas at Austin and has held fellowships at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Columbia University. He currently directs the ISM Fellows program and oversees various research initiatives and events at the ISM. His research on devotional song in South Asia has appeared in the journals Ethnomusicology and the Journal of Hindu Studies, among other publications, and his current research focuses on connections between musical performance, devotional practice, and social time in contemporary West Bengal.

This conversation is part of a series of talks with ISM faculty and fellows done via Zoom while working from home in spring 2020You can find all the currently available discussions on the Reflections from Quarantine seriesLook out for more videos as they become available.