Special Events at the Society for Ethnomusicology 2016 Washington D.C. Conference

The SEM conference is almost here! Hopefully you remembered to register, found a hotel roommate to save you some green, and have already read the program book cover to cover out of excitement for this mid-semester vacation.

Since we all have to make up our minds about what events we plan to attend while in DC at the SEM conference, Jennie and Heather are here to make it easier for you! We’ve listed below a few events/meetings/panels we plan to attend as well as updates on a few events that have been sold out. We encourage you to go through the program and take advantage of as many opportunities as you can! More details on specific performances can be found here.

**Quick update: Thank you to those who have suggested more great things for us to see and participate in during SEM. We’ve added these suggestions (in purple).**

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Ethnomusicology and Parenthood

Since its inception, I have been an avid and enthusiastic reader of the “Parenthood and Ethnomusicology” blogs. A father of a three-year-old and a PhD Candidate, I have found great comfort and a sort of virtual camaraderie with the others in our field who, like me, are continually in the process of figuring out how to be both parents and ethnomusicologists.

Ben Dumbauld

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Professional Dress: The Suit-speriment

At the beginning of this year, I wrote about a little experiment my colleagues and I conducted regarding professional dress. To recap, many of the graduate students in the University of Maryland’s ethno/musicology division have teaching responsibilities, and we were noticing an increased discussion about what we wear while teaching classes and taking classes. The idea of business-casual attire had come up a number of times, and I wanted to know what would happen if we all dressed in such clothes for two weeks, although some kept the experiment going a bit longer.

Suit-speriment

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Dissertation Thoughts

I can’t stop freaking out about my dissertation, and I’m starting to enjoy that fact.

Some of you may have noticed that postings on our blog have been a little scant recently. We sincerely apologize for that and are continuing work on many awesome projects. The reality of the situation is, however, several of us have just finished thesis writing or are currently in the throes of dissertation writing, and for me at least, this has led to some strange occurrences in my life. I mentioned in a previous post how I had become convinced I needed to shunt health and sleep to the side in order to finish the dissertation. I have to admit that as much as writing that blog post did help me get some perspective on what I’m doing and why, I still have days where I feel like I’m not doing something right if I haven’t had at least one nervous breakdown. And that has led to another problem: I’m starting to enjoy this process.

Dissertation pile

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Two Years and Counting!

Liza, Ana, Jennie, Alice, and I are all very pleased to announce that the SEM SU Blog is now two years old! We’ve had a fantastic year and have many new awesome projects planned for 2016. Thank you all so much for your continued support! Thank you for letting us share our stories with you, and thank you most especially for sharing your stories with us!

Liza SEM 2015

Liza and friends at SEM 2015

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Dissertation Thoughts

One thing I didn’t learn in my now 20+ years of education was how to write a dissertation. Fellow students and professors have told me not to think of the dissertation as the end; it’s not my life’s work but only the beginning of my life’s work. I know they mean well, but whilst deep in the throes of dissertation writing—when my thoughts are sticky and globby, when I can’t understand the article I just read, when I’m not making sense to myself anymore—I think, “And this is only the beginning?!”

In a way, though, this kind of encouragement is misleading. The dissertation is an end of sorts. It’s the culmination of years of study, research, and fieldwork. It’s a liminal space (oh no, that word!), a place of becoming. One final rite of passage as a student. And as such, it’s freaking me out.

 

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Student Association Sandwich

I like to jump into any opportunity that mixes the best of both academic and social worlds. You know, having some fun while filling up those CV lines. I decided in August that I would do a solid for IU’s Ethnomusicology Student Association and serve as the liaison between the ethnomusicology/folklore graduate and undergraduate student associations.

Painted Stairs

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From the Field: Fieldwork, Health, and Stress

Maybe I should have expected it. When I get stressed, I tend to get sick, and fieldwork is a stressful time. Don’t get me wrong, fieldwork is awesome! I’m positive it’s one of the strongest reasons why we all got interested in ethnomusicology in the first place. The chance to see how people make and use their music. And we get to talk, play, sing, and dance WITH them! Where is the downside? Despite its awesomeness, however, fieldwork is always stressful for me, both physically and emotionally. I miss my husband and my family. I worry about making cultural faux pas even as I recognize that it is inevitable that I will do so. All my fieldwork has taken place in big cities, and I’m very much a small town girl.

P1040259

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2015 SEM Conference: Alice’s Tips

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Alice Rogers, and I am the outgoing secretary/treasurer of the SEM Student Union. I have been involved with the SEM Student Union for four years, starting when I attended my first national conference in New Orleans. Every year, I can’t help but get excited for the conference; I get to meet new people, learn about new trends and topics in ethnomusicology, and discuss important issues for our Society. Though I am still relatively new to the world of conference-going, I thought I would make a list of tips for first-time attendees.

Alice

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