The Society for American Music’s 2012 meeting will include a seminar on Music & Disability. Joseph Straus (CUNY) will be a respondent for both meetings of the seminar during the conference.
In recent years, musicologists and music theorists, as well as other scholars, have created a considerable body of scholarship examining the intersection of music and disability. Music and disability studies, drawing heavily on pioneering work done in disability studies (which seeks to identify and interrogate social, political, and cultural constructions of disability), has developed into a robust but still expanding sub-discipline within musicology, music theory, and other areas of the humanities. Music and disability is a complex and broadly construed topic, encompassing research from several scholarly approaches. The musicological/historical perspective can be represented by recent work focusing on narrativity and disability in music (Honisch, 2009), the performance of disability, or musical significations of disability (Rogers, 2006). Ethnomusicological research includes studies on cultures of blindness (Rowden, 2009) and Deaf/deafness as well as other groups and communities of disabled individuals, including disability activists, the disability arts movement, and bands comprised of disabled musicians or whose music focuses on disability. Theoretical approaches to music and disability are exemplified by analyses of disability and late style and disability and “normalizing” (Straus, 2006, 2008); pedagogy/academia, which includes the examination of teaching techniques and approaches for universal access such as discussed in the context of popular music by Challis (2009) and the practices and experiences of faculty and staff with disabilities; and scientific inquiry, represented by research on amusia, autism and pitch (Brown, et. al., 2003), and the neurology of music perception and creation (Marin and Perry, 2009). Americanists have also taken up disability studies as a method of understanding our cultural and political heritage as members of both U.S. (Longmore, 2003) and North American or Pan-American societies. While disability interest groups have made presentations and sponsored sessions at other music conferences, we have not yet seen such events at the national SAM meetings. This seminar will help fill that need and speak to the many SAM scholars who have interests in the field.
All seminar proposals should be submitted online at http://www.american-music.org/conferences/Charlotte/CallForPapers.php by June 15, 2011, and the specific seminar topic should be clearly specified. Unless the author specifies otherwise, abstracts not accepted for either of the two seminars will be considered by the program committee for one of the regular sessions.
Although papers for the seminars will not be "read" in the traditional sense, the act of participating in the seminar as a presenter and defending the ideas of one's paper constitutes the same level of participation in an academic conference as would a normal paper. For this reason, those submitting abstracts toward a seminar cannot also submit toward a regular session. Learn more about the seminar format.
Presenters must be members of the Society and are required to register for the entire conference. The committee encourages proposals from those who did not present at the 2011 Cincinnati meeting, but all proposals will be judged primarily on merit. An individual may submit only one proposal. With the exception of concerts and lecture-performances, all proposals should be submitted only through the online electronic submission process.
Proposers for all except concerts or lecture-performances must specify whether the proposal is for 1) paper, 2) poster, or 3) either presentation format, the latter to be determined by the Program Committee as it builds sessions. Individual or joint papers and papers in organized panels should be no longer than twenty minutes. Concerts and lecture-performances should be no longer than thirty minutes. For organized panel session proposals, the organizer should include an additional statement explaining the rationale for the session, in addition to proposals and abstracts for each paper.
Include the following for ALL submissions:
--Proposer’s name, e-mail address, and institutional affiliation or city of residence
-- 250-word proposal
-- 100-word version of your proposal suitable for publication in the conference program (.txt or .rtf format). Include proposer's name and email, and the proposal title in this file.
-- Audio and visual needs selected from the following list only: CD player, overhead projector, DVD player, digital projector. Due to logistics and the high cost of renting this equipment, we cannot accommodate AV changes once a proposal is accepted.
-- Specify whether you are a student (and therefore eligible for certain student grants or awards) or are eligible for the Cambridge Award.
All materials must be electronically date-stamped by 15 June 2011. Questions about the submission process may be sent to: email@example.com.
How the Seminar Will Work
A final paper and 500-word abstract for that paper will be due from each accepted participant no later than January 15, 2012 and should be sent to the seminar's chair, Kendra Preston Leonard, at kendraprestonleonard[at]gmail[dot]com and posted to this wiki. Each seminar participant will also write a 250-word response to the papers in their specific sessions by March 1. These responses will be circulated prior to the meeting so that the focus of the seminar session at the SAM meeting can be discussion rather than summation of participants' work. Abstracts for all papers will be made available for the seminar audience. The seminar session will include panel discussion about the papers and audience discussion about the topics of the session.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to reading the submissions!
Extraordinary Measures by Joseph N. Straus
We are pleased to announce the recent publication of Extraordinary Measures: Disability in Music, by Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and leading scholar of Music Theory, Joseph N. Straus. A pioneering book that brings the insights of Disability Studies to bear on the study of music, Extraordinary Measures approaches disability as a cultural construction rather than a medical pathology, studying the impact of disability and concepts of disability on composers, performers, and listeners with disabilities, as well as on discourse about music and works of music themselves. Praised as “engaging and moving” and “a major landmark,” Extraordinary Measures is at once music history, theory, and manifesto about the need for change in music’s relationship to disability. For more information or to order, please see Oxford University Press, Amazon.com, www.bn.com, or your local bookstore.
Disability Studies Forum at the University of Utah
I’d like to draw your attention to the upcoming Disability Studies Forum at the University of Utah and invite anybody in the area who is interested to join us. The event is sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Program at the University of Utah. It is free and open to the general public. The Forum will be held on March 18th and the topic this year is “Understanding Disability Through Music.” The Forum will include the following artists and scholars as featured speakers and performers: Stefan Honisch (University of British Columbia), Alex Lubet (University of Minnesota), Joseph N. Straus (CUNY Graduate Center), each of whom will also be in residence in the School of Music on the days preceding this Forum. I have attached a schedule (pdf) for the Forum to this message, if you are interested in any of the other events in the School of Music, please contact me directly.
With kind regards,
Bruce Quaglia PhD
Associate Professor Lecturer
School of Music, University of Utah
We have four promising ideas for special sessions at either AMS (San
Francisco) or SMT (Minneapolis) in 2011.
1. Auditory impairment in the classroom (analogous to our successful
session in Indianapolis on visual impairment). A practical, pedagogical
2. Deaf Music. Music plays a significant role in Deaf culture, and Deaf
music making (composing, performing, listening) has distinctive features
that are worth studying. Representations of deafness in music
(especially opera) are also of great interest. This would be a more
theoretical session than #1, but the two might possibly be combined in
3. Disability in Opera. Another fascinating topic--think about the
profusion of prominent operatic characters with disabilities, including
cognitive impairment (holy, pure fools), stuttering, blindness, deafness
(usually played for laughs), and disfigurement (esp. hunchbacks with or
without short stature).
4. Performing Disability/Performing Music. We had a proposal on this topic for AMS in Philadelphia (participants were Michael Beckerman, Stefan Honisch, Blake Howe, Stephanie Jensen-Moulton, Bruce Quaglia, and Laurie Stras). It was rejected, but we could and should resurrect it at some point.