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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Survey on Decolonizing Ethnomusicology for the SEM Student News

Participate and lend your voice to the upcoming issue of SEM Student News, Vol. 12, No. 2, which focuses on decolonizing ethnomusicology, by filling out a survey for the “Student Voices” column. “Student Voices,” operating in conjunction with the SEM Student Union, provides a space for ethnomusicology students to voice their thoughts and concerns in relation to each issue’s topic. As such, your participation is invaluable and vital to this venture, and your opinions and ideas submitted through this survey will be brought together and represented in editorial form within the issue and put in dialogue with other contributions. There is still time remaining to take part in the discussion, but the survey is only open until end-of-day tomorrowSaturday, October 1, so please follow this link and spread word to your colleagues!

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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NEA 2016 National Heritage Fellowship recipients

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced the 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellowship recipients! This award is considered the highest honor for the folk and traditional arts in the United States. According to the NEA, this annual award has recognized 413 recipients of various art forms and traditions since 1982.

heritage2016-collage

Photo borrowed from NEA website

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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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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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