Professor, University of Pittsburgh
Indonesia is a major focus of Andrew Weintraub's research, particularly the musical, narrative, and theatrical practices of Sundanese people in West Java. In his first book, Power Plays, he wrote about the art of Sundanese rod-puppet theater wayang golek and its adjustment to political pressures and economic opportunities in a rapidly modernizing society. Several digital media projects grew out of this work including a CD that accompanies Power Plays and a 6-CD recording of one wayang golek performance.
Weintraub's interest in music as a force for social change is reflected in a book he co-edited with Bell Yung entitled Music and Cultural Rights. Cultural rights have become increasingly prominent in discourses of human rights, international law, and struggles for social justice throughout the world. Music and Cultural Rights investigates how music has become an integral part of the languages, cultures, and social institutions of rights in diverse societies around the world.
A second edited volume of essays entitled Islam and Popular Culture in Indonesia and Malaysia shed light on the popular culture of Islam, an element that is often hidden from view in mainstream American media. His ongoing projects include collaborations with scholars and institutions in Uganda and the Netherlands. He is working with scholars, musicians, and policymakers in Uganda to repatriate historical sound recordings to their place of origin.