AMS Study Group Election

The AMS Music and Disability Study Group is pleased to introduce the following slate of candidates for election:

Candidates for Chair

Please note: Jeannette D. Jones and Stefan Sunandan Honisch have agreed to run together and serve jointly as co-chairs.

Jeannette D. Jones is graduating this spring from Boston University with her PhD in historical musicology. Her primary research is in music, poetry, and networks in late fifteenth-century France, but she is also active in music and disability studies. She published an essay on music and Deaf culture in the Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies. Jeannette regularly teaches courses on music and disability studies, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, at College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA) and Brandeis University (Waltham, MA). Jeannette has been involved with the study group since 2011 and served as a chair of the ad hoc Committee on Accessibility, which served to rewrite the AMS standards of Accessibility. She works as advocate for Accessibility within the AMS, serving on a panel for gender and accessibility at the 2018 national AMS meeting. Jeannette maintains connections with her local Deaf community and with the Deaf musician community.

Stefan Sunandan Honisch is an Associate Fellow at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Studies in Religion and Society. He holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia, where he wrote a dissertation examining the critical and popular reception of pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii. Stefan provided the following the candidate statement:

I am excited by the opportunity to put my name forward for the Chair of the AMS Music and Disability Study Group. I bring perspectives shaped by my lived experiences as a disabled musician, researcher, and educator, connecting scholarship to its application in the classroom, teaching studio, and concert hall. Through my multi-faceted engagement with music, education, and disability spanning more than a decade, I have come to recognize that inclusion and access are open-ended processes, neither recipes, nor checklists, but instead, participatory and dialogical.

I look forward to bringing this combination of lived experience and engaged scholarship to addressing cross-disability accessibility in the work of our Study Group, and in the AMS more broadly. It would be a privilege to provide leadership and collaborate with colleagues to submit annual and semiannual reports, facilitate the annual meeting, organize scholarly initiatives, including the evening session at the annual AMS meetings, and find new ways of advocating for inclusion and access for scholars and students with disabilities.

My public scholarship contributions include blog posts for the AMS Music and Disability Study Group, for W.W. Norton’s Avid Listener, and for Public Disability History. I am active on social media platforms that advance Disability Studies pedagogy and scholarship, serving as co-moderator of the Teaching Disability Studies Facebook Group. In addition, I am a member of the Editorial Board of Public Disability History, and a member of the Journal of Teaching Disability Studies Review Board. Connecting scholarship to teaching is central to my work, as demonstrated in the graduate seminar I developed at Uppsala University, and the guest lectures I deliver for undergraduate and graduate seminars, and for survey-style courses.

As Chair of the Study Group, I would include explore possible synergies between the Public Philosophy Journal, for which I serve as a Field Editor on Disability Issues. Building on the Study Group’s previous work, I am interested in supporting capacity-building around the ongoing expansion of the Pedagogy page, drawing on Universal Design for Learning frameworks to promote accessible and inclusive documents for course syllabi, and at conferences. Going further, I would take an active role in providing expanded options for virtual participation in meetings and conferences, to ensure that our colleagues who manage chronic illness, disability, and complex health needs can participate fully in meetings, conferences, and can take up opportunities to serve in AMS in various roles. I would look forward to working with the Editor on developing topical blog series including disability in the academic job market, and technology in the classroom.

I would work with fellow Study Group officers including the Webmaster and Editor to ensure that multimedia posts on the Study group website, as well as links to external content are provided with textual descriptions, are compatible with screen readers, and that the website works towards becoming more neurodiversity inclusive. Toward that end, I would reach out to Study Group members via email to explore internal capacity for launching a supplementary resources page specifically for improving web content accessibility.

I have been actively involved with the Study Group since its inception, and I welcome the chance to build on its exciting and path-breaking interdisciplinary scholarship and pedagogy in serving as Chair.

Candidate for Secretary

Elizabeth McLain is a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, where she is writing her dissertation on Olivier Messiaen’s intellectual world and aesthetic agenda in the 1930s under the guidance of Jane F. Fulcher. Her most recent publication, “Messiaen’s L’Ascension: Musical Illumination of Spiritual Texts after the Model of Tournemire’s L’Orgue Mystique,” appears in Mystic Modern: The Music, Thought, and Legacy of Charles Tournemire, the most complete volume of Tournemire scholarship to date. McLain has presented conference papers on the subject of Messiaen’s early period, most notably “Dreams of the Soul: Olivier Messiaen’s Nonconformist Catholic Surrealism in Chants de terre et de ciel (1939)” at the Royal Music Association’s Crosscurrents of Music & Theology conference in 2013 and “Resurrection as Transcendence: Nonconformist Ideology in Olivier Messiaen’s Les Corps glorieux (1939)” at the Visions of the Beyond conference at the Southbank Centre in London in 2014.

Candidate for Blog Editor

James Deaville (School for Studies in Art & Culture: Music, Carleton University) is a Musicologist specializing in music, composers and musical practices and institutions of the 19th and 20th centuries, having published and spoken about such diverse topics as Franz Liszt, music criticism, television news music, African-American entertainers in turn-of-the-century Vienna and “fascist” Nordic composers during the Third Reich. He has published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Journal of the Society for American Music, 19th Century Music Review, Echo, Current Musicology, Hamburger Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft and Canadian University Music Review (among others).

Please cast your votes by March 29!

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Call for Officer Nominations

The AMS Music and Disability Study Group is currently accepting nominations for the following officer positions:

Chair: Manages the Study Group; submits annual reports to the AMS Board and semiannual reports to the AMS newsletter; presides over the annual business meeting; organizes the Study Group’s evening session at AMS annual meetings.

Secretary: Records the minutes of the annual business meeting and assists the Chair as needed.

Webmaster: Maintains the Study Group’s webpage, social media accounts, and listserv. Experience with WordPress is desirable.

Blog Editor: Solicits and edits post for the Study Group’s blog. The Blog Editor may also serve as the Webmaster.

Officers serve three­-year, overlapping terms. In the first year, the incoming officer serves jointly with the outgoing officer; in the second year, the officer serves alone; and in the third year, the outgoing officer serves jointly with the incoming officer.

Please submit nominations and self-nominations to disability.and.music@gmail.com no later than Friday, March 8.

P.S. If you are a graduate student working in the area of music and disability studies, we’d like to hear about you! Please send a brief description of your research and/or activist work to disability.and.music@gmail.com.

CFP: “Music and Physical Disability: From Instrument to Performance”

Web

A Call for Papers and Presentations

​Music & Physical Disability:
From Instrument to Performance


A Conference and Performance Event

On September 7th and 8th 2018, the OHMI Trust, in collaboration with Birmingham City University and Queen Mary University of London, will host a major conference exploring the barriers to music-making faced by people with physical disabilities. The event will also encompass the annual OHMI Competition awards.
 
The conference will bring together current multi-disciplinary research with, among others, the experiences of disabled musicians, teachers, charities, funders, and government agencies. Recently developed instrument designs will also be demonstrated.
 
​The challenge to enable full and undifferentiated participation in music for people with physical impairments is a subject only recently receiving attention. It is hoped that sharing knowledge through this conference will stimulate further and more rapid developments in the coming years.
Venue: The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire – www.bcu.ac.uk/conservatoire
Dates: September 7th and 8th 2018

Submissions:
 
The conference will interleave research papers with demonstrations and talks from instrument makers, teachers, students and other practitioners. We solicit three types of submission: (i) research presentations, (ii) practitioner presentations (which may include disabled musicians, parents, teachers, and professionals working in the field), and (iii) posters.
 
The conference subject necessarily involves a range of technical, musical, aesthetic, pedagogic, social and medical issues. Submissions may be on any subject that is directly relevant to the conference topic. Reflecting this, it is expected that submissions might address:

  • The adaptation of traditional instruments
  • Accessible digital musical instruments
  • The quality and form of electronic instruments, and their potential for virtuosity
  • Range, types and advances in sensor technologies
  • Human-computer interaction studies
  • Performance studies, and how they relate to people with physical disabilities
  • Pedagogical approaches to working with young people with a disability
  • Pedagogical practices and related issues in musical learning in different age groups
  • Assessment of learning processes, and forms of accreditation
  • Musical learning issues for young people with a physical impairment
  • Early experiences with music, and their consequences
  • Principles of social justice with respect to the barriers and opportunities for musical performance by people with physical disabilities.
  • Inclusion issues for disabled career musicians


Submission Process:

  • Using the forms available at www.ohmi.org.uk/submissions.html,  abstracts of maximum 500 words should be submitted by March 31st 2018
  • As requested on the form, it is essential that each submission state the name of author, contact details, and affiliation (if any).
  • Research papers and posters will be selected through a single blind peer review process
  • Practitioner presentations and posters will be selected by a review panel
  • The programme committee reserves the right to make final decisions about presentation format (talk or poster)
  • Review criteria will be: relevance to the conference subject, originality, clarity, academic rigour (for research papers), and coherence.
  • Each presentation should be no longer than 20 minutes.

Submissions must be received by March 31st 2018. 
Acceptance notifications will be on May 31st.

All selected abstracts will be published in the conference programme. Authors confirm their agreement by submitting their abstract. Following the conference, accepted authors and presenters may be invited to submit papers for publication in an edited book.
 
Registration

Registration date will be announced very soon.

Queries should be sent to admin@ohmi.org.uk

Program for Music and Disability Events at AMS 2017

Greetings, colleagues! We are looking forward to catching up with many of you at this week’s AMS conference in Rochester. Please find the attached program for the AMS Music and Disability Study Group’s session, to be held on Thursday from 8–11 PM in C: Highland A/K. 

AMS 2017 Panel Program

In addition, the study group will hold its business meeting on Friday from 12:15–1:15 PM in C: Highland, E/F. Please check our website later this week for business meeting documents.

 

 

 

Disability, Advocacy, and Musicology

We continue with the third in the series of blog posts from officers of the Music and Disability Study Group (MDSG). As always, we welcome responses and comments. Any questions about the blog series should be directed to its editor, James Deaville.

Disability, Advocacy, and Musicology
by Michael Accinno

“Disability could never happen to me.” Like many nondisabled people, I often used this assumption to make sense of my early encounters with disability. Whether staring at classmates with down syndrome or walking by the sidewalk placards of homeless Vietnam War veterans, I learned to define the borders of disability by placing myself—and my loved ones—squarely on the outside. I was wrong. As my grandparents aged and developed chronic illnesses, I watched as they slowly transformed before my eyes. Their bodily impairments (cancer; strokes; paralysis) often necessitated accommodation (home health aides; walkers) and care. Suddenly, disability did not seem like such a distant possibility anymore.

I can’t say for sure whether these disability encounters were on my mind when I first came across Joseph Straus’s book Extraordinary Measures (2011) in my university’s library. Since then, however, as my involvement in disability studies in musicology has grown, I frequently revisit my prior experiences with disabled family members, colleagues, and fellow citizens, seeking to further interrogate my own biases and misconceptions. As a nondisabled scholar, I always assume that disabled people are the most reliable sources of knowledge about their musical experience. To paraphrase my colleague Jessica Holmes, disabled musicians are “expert listeners” whose intuitions have yet to fully enrich musicology and its practitioners (Holmes, 2016).

In my own research, I use disability as vehicle to explore the musical culture of the United States during the nineteenth century. In my chapter on organ grinders in the Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies, I consider the role of disabled Union veterans, thousands of whom performed as street musicians in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War. More recently, I have shifted focus, completing a dissertation that examines the education of blind musicians at American schools for the blind (Accinno 2016). Currently, I am in the early stages of revising my dissertation into a book, tentatively titled “Gestures of Inclusion: Blindness, Music, and Pedagogy in the United States.” In it, I explore the lives of four figures who shaped emergent social understandings of blindness and music in the United States: Fanny Crosby, the prolific blind hymn lyricist; Samuel Gridley Howe, social reformer and founder of the Perkins School for the Blind; John Sullivan Dwight, music critic and Perkins trustee; and Francis Joseph Campbell, a blind teacher and music director at Perkins.

As I imagine it, the AMS Music and Disability Study Group will continue to foster collaborative projects within and without the AMS. Our shared online bibliography has continued to expand, and remains an important resource for graduate seminars and for scholars considering a disability-related project (to submit an update, please click here.)

I echo Samantha Bassler’s suggestion of a standalone conference on music and disability, and I would be prepared to co-organize a panel on blindness or disability in the nineteenth century. In a future national meeting, I would also like to suggest that the Study Group sponsor a lecture-recital by a disabled musician. Such a performance could prove attractive to other segments of the Society’s membership (especially with a coveted day-time conference slot!). Lastly, I hope that we musicologists continue to partner with disability activists and communities—to listen patiently to their expertise, and to collaborate with them as requested. I am thinking in particular of Andrew Dell’Antonio’s recent work with autistic activists Amy Sequenzia and Elizabeth “Ibby” Grace—important models of collaboration that benefit scholars and disability activists in equal measure (Sequenzia, 2015; Dell’Antonio and Grace, 2016).

In closing, I return to my original conceit: disability can (and will) happen to me, some day. Until then, I pledge to used my privileged position as a scholar of disability to advocate for improved care, accommodation, and above all—acceptance.

Michael Accinno is the social media officer of the AMS Music and Disability Study Group. He has presented papers on music and disability at the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, and the Society for Disability Studies. Currently, he is serving as a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Music at the University of California, Riverside.

Bibliography

Accinno, Michael. “Gestures of Inclusion: Blindness, Music, and Pedagogy in Nineteenth-Century Thought.” Ph.D. diss., University of California, Davis, 2016.

Dell’Antonio, Andrew and Elizabeth J. Grace. “No Musicking about Us without Us!” Journal of the American Musicological Society 69 (2016): 553–558.

Holmes, Jessica A. “Expert Listening beyond the Limits of Hearing: Music and Deafness.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 70 (Spring 2017): 171–220.

Straus, Joseph. Extraordinary Measures: Disability in Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Sequenzia, Amy. “Autistic and Epileptic, In a Rock Concert.” The Avid Listener, 26 October, 2015. http://www.theavidlistener.com/2015/10/autistic-and-epileptic-in-a-rock-concert.html

Call for Papers: Music, Disability, and Intersectionality

Call for Papers: evening session of the AMS Music and Disability Study Group in Rochester, New York, 9–12 November 2017

Since the 1990s, disability studies has shared the constructivist perspective of feminist theory, queer theory, and critical race theory: disability is a socially and environmentally bound form of difference, and not biologically determined, as it is often portrayed in medical discourse. Moreover, scholars and activists are increasingly attuned to the ways disability intersects with gender, sexuality, race, and other positions of marginality and categories of identity. These interlocking sites of difference shape musical experience in profound and unpredictable ways. Intersectionality is thus a fruitful and timely critical lens through which to examine the relationship between music and disability as our scholarship moves forward.

The Music and Disability Study Group will sponsor a session on the intersection of disability and other positions of identity, methodologies, and fields of study. We seek proposals that push the boundaries of studying music and disability, and engage in non-traditional methods of presentation. Submissions may be proposed for a variety of formats, including but not limited to: collaborative presentations, short position papers, longer research papers, workshops, interviews, and traditional conference presentations. Proposals should clearly describe (1) the argument you will make or the information you will convey, (2) the proposed format, and (3) the estimated duration of your presentation. Please submit abstracts of 250 words to disability.and.music@gmail.com no later than 16 April 2017. The proposals (with all identifying information removed) will be read by the officers of the Music and Disability Study Group: Samantha Bassler and Jessica Holmes (co-chairs), Michael Accinno (social media officer), and James Deaville (blog editor). You will receive notification on the final status of your proposal by 23 April 2017.