CONNER SINGH VANDERBEEK
ethnomusicologist // media artist
On the condition of being multiple places (2018)
I am a mixed Punjabi-Sikh and American ethnomusicologist based somewhere between California, Ann Arbor, Vancouver, and Toronto. I am a scholar of Punjabi diasporic art and culture, a composer and pianist, and a media artist. I also play harmonium and Javanese Gamelan, sew stuffed animals and study South Asian textiles, and moonlight as a collaborative artist.
My art explores narratives of trauma, belonging, Sikh identity, and mundanity through styles ranging from jazz and classical to performance art and noise.
My dissertation research engages diversity policy in Canadian arts and its relationship to the commodification and tokenization of Punjabi-Canadian artists. I also focus on cultural memory and identity politics in the Sikh diaspora. I am a PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology at University of Michigan, and I hold a MA in South Asian Studies from University of Michigan ('21) and a BA/BM dual-degree in Asian Languages & Civilizations, Music Composition, and Musicology from Northwestern University ('15).