Please feel free to borrow ideas, quote, or redistribute for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit/cite me as the author.
- “Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism, and the Avant-Garde: The Significance of New Music Practice in a Revised Temporality of Class-Based Resistance” | Download PDF | Download powerpoint slides
Musicology and the Present: What We Talk About When We Talk About New Music
Part of panel titled “Economies of New Music”
UMass Amherst, 17-18 September, 2016
Abstract: In The Problem with Work, feminist Marxist scholar Kathi Weeks asks: “Why do we work so long and so hard? The mystery here is not that we are required to work or that we are required to devote so much time and energy to its pursuit, but rather that there is not more active resistance to this state of affairs.” As the central hegemonic ideology and structure of capitalist society, the meaning of work envelops all of us in American society. In this paper, I argue that the ways in which new music practitioners champion or challenge the hegemonic work ideologies of American capitalism have political impact beyond the world of the arts.
My reconstruction of Marxist class analysis privileges a processual temporality of resistance over an apocalyptic teleology of revolution, allowing working people such as artists, who had previously been sidelined from class analysis as inconsequential “dritte Personen,” to be recuperated into a revised class framework as critical classes. Critical classes’ work experiences straddle the structures of capitalist work and alternative productivity/ies. Thus, they offer everyday resistance to capitalism by sustaining alternative ideologies and structures of productivity and bringing them into regular negotiation with capitalist hegemonies of work. They serve as long-term sources of the revolutionary imagination that Marxist scholars claim is necessary for real systemic change.
Within the critical class of classical musicians, new music practitioners, as the recognizably avant-garde faction of the group, perform a special temporal function in political resistance. By championing entrepreneurship, innovation, “disruption,” and “newness” in the name of the arts, new music practitioners currently enhance capitalist hegemonies of work. Surprisingly to the contrary, the traditional classical music field’s combination of entrepreneurship with “oldness” wedges a rift between the neoliberal and neoconservative strands of capitalist ideology, destabilizing capitalist hegemonies.
- “The Emma Abbott Grand Opera Company presents Carmen”
Music Library Association 2011 Annual Meeting
Part of panel titled “Born-Digital Librarians: Research and Reflections from a New Generation”
UNPUBLISHED PAPERS (selected)
The following are the better papers from my undergraduate and graduate careers. In case they contain anything informative or of entertainment value for anyone, I am posting them here. Please forgive the somewhat overblown writing style in the earlier papers. What can I say — I was young(er) and still trying on my writing wings. Otherwise, enjoy, and please feel free to borrow ideas, quote, or redistribute for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit/cite me as the author.
- “Copyrighting Critical Editions: Copyright Law and the Musical Public” (May 2011) | Download PDF
Master’s Thesis for the Master of Arts in Music History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Thesis Committee: David Crook, Charles Dill, Kristin Eschenfelder
Summary: As a music librarian-in-training, I was becoming more and more interested in the complexities of music copyright when I came across a fascinating British copyright case, Lionel Sawkins v. Hyperion Records (2004). Unable to find any published analyses of the case, I decided that analyzing it on my own would be the perfect opportunity for me to teach myself the real-life complications of applying copyright law to unusual cultural materials. This paper was my attempt to explain for a non-legal audience the social and cultural implications of the Sawkins v. Hyperion ruling, complete with a summary of relevant copyright law as well as analysis of the court proceedings.
- “The Cat and the Literary Imagination” (May 2006) | Download PDF
Honors Thesis for the Bachelor of Arts in English at Oberlin College
Thesis Advisor: Jennifer Bryan
Summary: Ever wonder how book-loving people (e.g. writers, librarians) came to be stereotyped as “cat people”? I did. This was the paper that resulted. It builds upon my previous work to focus primarily on the manifestation of the cat in poetry, uncovering trends in the meanings that the cat, both as animal and symbol, has held for writers over the centuries.
- “Staves, Space, and Verbalmobiles: Romance in When Harry Met Sally and Lost in Translation” (December 2005) | Download PDF
Final term paper for The History of Film Music, an upper-level music history course at the Oberlin Conservatory
Summary: A comparative analysis of how each film’s distinctive soundtrack helps it navigate around the problems of gendered conversation and gendered space, thus moving their respective romantic narratives down different paths.
- “Mug[: A Word Biography]” (April 2005) | Download PDF
Paper for The History and Structure of the English Language, an English course at Oberlin College
Summary: A history of the word “mug” in all its muddy origins, variants, and offshoots. Probably the most fun I ever had writing a research paper.
- “How to Swing a Mouse: Intersections of Female and Feline in Medieval Europe” (December 2004) | Download PDF
Paper for Medieval Women Writers, an upper-level English course at Oberlin College
Summary: As a budding librarian, where better to start my feminist inquiries than by unpacking the stereotype of the “crazy cat lady”? This paper also marked the beginning of my interest in anthrozoology.
- “The Dreaming Tree[: An Analysis]” (May 2004) | Download PDF
Paper for Rhythmic Theory, an upper-level music theory course at the Oberlin Conservatory
Summary: A Krebs-ian analysis of Dave Matthews Band’s “The Dreaming Tree.” Music analysis never got more engaging for me than rhythmic theory, and this was my favorite paper from the course.