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Garrett Field

Garrett Field 2023 Haadshot


Interdisciplinary Arts

Garrett Field

Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology/Musicology

Garrett Field specializes in the history of Sinhala-language song and poetry in twentieth-century Sri Lanka. Regarding this subject he is the author of Modernizing Composition: Sinhala Song, Poetry, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Sri Lanka (University of California Press, 2017). It was published in the series, "South Asia Across the Disciplines." Field has published research articles in Modern Asian Studies, Anthropological LinguisticsAnalytical Approaches to World MusicThe Journal of Asian StudiesSouth Asia: Journal of South Asian StudiesThe South Asianist, Sagar: A South Asia Research JournalThe Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities, and Ethnomusicology Review.

Dr. Field has received support for his research from the Fulbright-Hays Award, Ohio University’s Baker Fund Award, and two Sinhala Language Instruction Grants from the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies. Field's current research centers attention on Dhivehi-language song and poetry of the Maldives. This book project is entitled "Cultivating Erudition: Dhivehi Aesthetic Forms in the Maldive Islands."

In addition to this research, Field also performs South Indian classical music and leads the Ohio University Indian Music Ensemble. His teachers were B. Balasubrahmaniyan, David Nelson, and Kalpana Venkat. Here is the Indian Music Ensemble's Facebook page.


Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • 2022. “Poetry for Linguistic Description: The Maldives Inside and Outside the Arabic Cosmopolis in 1890.” Modern Asian Studies 1-32. | PDF
  • 2021. "Scrambling Syllables in Sung Poetry of the Maldives." Anthropological Linguistics 61(3): 364-388. | PDF
  • 2018. "Improvising Rhythmic-Melodic Designs in South Indian Karnatak Music: U. Shrinivas Live in 1995." Analytical Approaches to World Music Journal 6(2): 1-23. | PDF
  • 2016. “Modern Contours: Sinhala Poetry in Sri Lanka, 1913–1956.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 39(2): 1–18. | PDF
  • 2015. “Veiling the Modular: Literary Language and Subjective Nationalism in Sinhala Radio Song of Sri Lanka, 1957–1964.” The South Asianist 4(1): 1–24. | PDF
  • 2014. “Music for Inner Domains: Sinhala Song and the Arya and Hela Schools of Cultural Nationalism in Colonial Sri Lanka.” The Journal of Asian Studies 73(4): 1043–58. | PDF
  • 2013. “‘Handa Eliya’ (The Moonlight): Mahagama Sekera’s Experimental Prose.” Sagar: A South Asia Research Journal XXI: 16–27. | PDF
  • 2012. "Commonalities of Creative Resistance: Regional Nationalism in Rapiyel Tennakoon’s Bat Language and Sunil Santha’s Song for the Mother Tongue.” The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities 38(1/2): 1–24. | PDF
  • 2010. “From Threatened by Modernity to Reinvented by Modernity: The History of the History of Indian Classical Music 1980–2006.” Ethnomusicology Review 15: 1–6. | PDF

Encyclopedic Entries

  • 2020. "Singing and Song." The International Encyclopedia of Linguistic Anthropology. Wiley. | PDF

Educational Background

Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Michigan
Master of Music, Wesleyan University
Doctor of Philosophy, Wesleyan University