On Diagnosis and Invisible Illness

The following link is shared with permission from the author, Katherine Meizel, who is an assistant professor of ethnomusicology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Katherine recently gave a paper at AMS Louisville (2015) on music and deafness, “Two Voices: Singers in the Hearing/ Deaf Borderlands”, and is the author of  Idolized: Music, Media, and Identity in American Idol. In the article linked below, Katherine writes for Scope, the Stanford medical blog, about her experience obtaining diagnoses of invisible illnesses. Although this is not a musical article, it furthers important work in disability activism, and disability awareness, which are important goals of the Music and Disability Study Group and the Society for Music Theory Interest Group.

“Belief brings relief — and sadness — after decades of doubt”

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News from the AMS Music and Disability Study Group

Greetings and Happy New Year!

I write to share some news from the AMS Music and Disability Study Group (MSDG), especially to those who weren’t able to attend AMS Louisville and our events there.

Firstly, as of 2016, I (Samantha Bassler) am now the chair of the study group. Jeannette DiBernardo Jones continues as the chair of the ad-hoc committee on accessibility and as our accessibility liaison with the AMS, and Michael Accinno has graciously agreed to serve as the social media officer. He and I will be updating the blog together this year, and next year he will take over the main duties.

Secondly, the MSDG introduced by-laws at our November 2015 meeting at the annual AMS conference. The By-Laws are available online here — DisMusBylaws — and we will also post another link that is easily accessible from the main page. We will leave them up for every member to review, and then conduct a vote at the AMS meeting in 2016 to either adopt or amend the by-laws. We will also provide a way for members who cannot attend to submit their vote online.

Thirdly, the MSDG has a very successful AMS conference this past year, with a well-attended panel on accessibility (many thanks to our panelists: Daniel Barolsky, William Cheng, James Deaville, Andrew Dell’Antonio, and Meghan Schrader), a panel on music and deafness (congratulations to Jeannette DiBernardo Jones, Anabel Maher, Jessica Holmes, and Katherine Meizel), and a lively breakfast business meeting. At the meeting, we discussed the new appointed officers, as well as the work accomplished in 2014-2015, which included the updated accessibility guidelines for the AMS, the publication of the Oxford Handbook on Music and Disability Studies, and new ventures in music and disability pedagogy.

On the topic of pedagogy, the MSDG is working closely with the Society for Music Theory Interest Group on Music and Disability (chair, Bruce Quaglia) to produce a panel on music, disability, and pedagogy for the AMS/SMT 2016. A full announcement and a CFP will be available on this web site and circulated widely in the next few weeks.

Please continue to check the blog regularly, and send myself (s.e.bassler at merton dot oxon dot org) any ideas for our on-going guest blog series on projects in music and disability studies.

Very best wishes, Samantha Bassler

Chair, AMS Study Group on Music and Disability Studies