Today I saw that the book, "The Politics of Diversity in Music Education" is published. This is open-access, meaning you can read my chapter (written with Vincent Bates and Anita Press) for free. In our chapter, Cultural Diversity, Ecodiversity, and Music Education, we take a hard look at how we consider diversity in scholarship and politics. There is a paradox to diversity, easily seen by opening our view to ecodiversity, where a shallow approach to diversity (such as is found in suburbia and many universities) appropriates diversity but transmogrifies all it appropriates into a single type. Consider, for instance, the loss of species as bacteria and viruses are carried by businesspeople and vacationers from place to place, destroying ecodiversity. For humans, it's the suburbanite. The globalist. We critique a sort of diversity that eats diversity and spits out uniformity. The 309 indigenous languages of Turtle Island, each with the potential to shed light on diverse ways of understanding music and challenge environmental destruction we all face in the 21st Century, are gobbled up and one language, English, or two, English & Spanish, are expectorated by a globalist-capitalist system of expropriation, waste, and destruction. In other words, diversity ≠ diversity. Diversity objectives made in suburbs, global boardrooms, and university departments looking to be global too often destroy diversity, teaching students to disrespect place and their ancestors, their diverse languages, foods, musics, farming practices, dances, spiritualities, and cultures, and to join the global white-collar suburbanite class.
In contrast, many people are saying "no" and refusing to participate in the type of "diversity" that destroys their diversity. In this chapter, I was blessed to write with Anita Prest, who has made an extensive study of particular indigenous groups on Turtle Island. Her contribution to the paper made the chapter possible. It became possible to connect my ecological philosophy to Vince Bate's new materialism in a way that might sustain both cultural diversity and ecodiversity, both of which are under attack by global industries, including universities where I and many of my friends work.