This conference marks a great moment for IMSEA. Eleven years ago, longstanding aspirations to create an East Asian association of music scholars became a reality thanks to collective vision, outreach, dedication, and hard work. When I look at IMSEA’s beautiful logo, I see a powerful wave representing the groundswell of support that brought IMSEA into being and the multitude of personal efforts that coalesced into something bigger than any one individual. I see the power of a shared sense of purpose that produced five conferences and made the 2017 IMS Congress in Tokyo such a success.
But I also see in that splashy logo a blue wing and IMSEA taking flight, defying gravity. So much has changed since the founding of IMSEA. What was once imagined as a regional matrix for scholars located in East Asia has become a meeting place for scholars from around the world whose interests range from theory, analysis, media, and East Asian musics to cultural mobility, empire, and connected histories. A decade of visionary work has resulted in a magic amalgam writ large across this program, which promotes regional research agendas even while welcoming the world to an international conference with global reach. In this extraordinary mix of local, regional, and global, IMSEA models the very best of what the IMS itself aspires to be, a society for musicology that is unconstrained, at home everywhere, capacious, varied, and flexible. My warmest thanks to Jen-yen Chen and the IMSEA team, Youn Kim and her program committee, the local organizing committee chaired by Meebae Lee, our hosts at Jeonbuk National University, and Suk Won Yi and Yeoeun Lim of the Korean Society for Music Research for organizing and hosting a conference that so brilliantly captures the dynamic of musicology today and its future paths.
Kate van Orden
President of the International Musicological Society
Dwight P. Robinson Jr. Professor of Music