William Matczynski

William Matczynski is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ethnomusicology whose dissertation research focuses on festivals, sound/urban space, and media in Accra, Ghana—specifically in the city’s traditional Ga-Dangme communities along the Atlantic coast. Centering on the annual Ga Homowo Festival, his dissertation project interrogates how festivals provide a unique frame for action by a constellation of local and state actors, shape understandings of community and senses of place, and assert the relevance of an ethnic minority’s cultural heritage within multiethnic Ghana. William received a BA in music, anthropology, and African studies from Macalester College (2011) and an MA in Ethnomusicology from UCLA (2017). At UCLA, he pursued a concentration in music and anthropology, served as reviews editor for the journal Ethnomusicology Review, and served as president of the Ethnomusicology Graduate Student Organization. William’s dissertation research is supported by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) through a Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship, and he has presented his work at national conferences and regional chapters of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the African Studies Association. As a percussionist and guitarist, he has studied and taught Ghanaian music since 2007 with a specialization in hand percussion and guitar-band highlife.

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