DJ Hatfield

Assistant Professor

"This is an exciting time to be in the Liberal Arts Department at Berklee, because we are trying to rethink what it means to teach liberal arts at a music school. Part of that is the recognition that music isn't everything that you do; but at the same time, a lot of us are trying to place music within a broader social context. It's possible to hear sounds from all over the place and be able to work with them. But how do we learn to work with them in ways that are creative and ethical, and also fresh, progressive, and meaningful? These are all important questions. It's exciting to see musicians who are not only great technically but also in their ability to really think about music. That kind of synergy—thinking about music and making new music—is what I want to push forward."

What it means to be a good musician is more than technical proficiency. One of the things I think we can really offer is time to reflect and work through what it might mean to be a musician in contemporary society. Not all of us talk about music in our classes, and that's because a lot of what it means to be a good musician goes beyond music: it has to do with what it means to be a thinking person. I'd like to think of what we do not as a supplement, but as something that can really add to the ability of our students to think about where they can go as musicians."

"My teaching style is some combination of bells and whistles and creative chaos. I like doing things with multimedia. In a typical class, I try to have a variety of sound examples and visual examples. I also try to experiment with incorporating writing as a practice in the classroom, such having students do group work and produce a piece of writing. It can be scary, because it means at times that one has to relinquish control; I call it a time of chaos. I want every class to have a time of chaos."

 

 

Career Highlights

 

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology
  • Recent publications appearing in American Ethnologist, Anthropology and Humanism, and Harvard Asia Quarterly
  • Author of Taiwanese Pilgrimage to China: Ritual, Complicity, and Community
  • Ongoing research on the social history of popular music in Taiwan, indigeneity, the ethics of locality, and the Taiwanese Soundscapes Project