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date: 20 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

How might an ethnomusicology of autism best serve to cultivate an epistemological landscape in which autistic voices are central to contemporary discourses on autistic personhood, civil rights, and ontology? The inherent integrity and dignity of autistic ways of being have been attacked and marginalized for as long as the term “autism” has been in existence. Reversing that course is an essential move toward autistic repatriation, and to contribute to the documentation and dissemination of autistic voices speaking on their own behalf through ethnography—and also through music and discourses about music—is to engage in a form of advocacy archiving that fosters repatriation. It is to such a form of repatriation that this chapter is dedicated, and that work is achieved here principally through the re-presentation (as opposed to representation) of chat messaging-based dialogues between the author and one of his principal autistic musician collaborators, the pseudonymous Donald Rindale.

Keywords: autism, autism spectrum, autistic musicians, Asperger’s syndrome, re-presentation, online ethnography, ethnomusicology, neurodiversity

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