Race-ing Queer Music Scholarship
A Symposium in conjunction with the 2016 AMS/SMT Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC
Featured keynote presentations by Deborah R. Vargas and Alisha Lola Jones.
Concert by Teiya Kasahara (voice) and Rachel Iwaasa (piano)
Within the academy—and not least music scholarship—the adjective queer is frequently deployed as a radical modifier: queering history, queering culture, queering the pitch. This usage presupposes an intrinsic alterity. As if queerness necessarily represents the largest measure of difference from the norm. As if queerness—in and of itself—carries with it a discursive perversity, without which “history,” “culture,” and “the pitch” remain neutral categories of knowledge.
One problem with this approach is the assumption of whiteness that it writes onto queerness, history, culture and pitch alike—an error rendered particularly acute in studies of the Western musical canon, though present in scholarship on music more broadly, historical, analytic, and ethnographic alike. The papers of the Race-ing Queer Music Scholarship Project confronted this problem head on. Rather than queering race studies in music scholarship, we aimed to race queer music scholarship, unpacking the structural ellipses and disciplinary violence of our current practice and sketching the outlines of a richer, critically stronger approach to our thinking about music and sound in its relationship with queer bodies.
Select papers from the conference will be published as a special issue of Women & Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture
Alisha Lola Jones
Deborah R. Vargas
Teiya Kasahara (voice)
Rachel Iwaasa (piano)
Rebekah Lobosco Gilli
Yun Emily Wang
Co-conveners: Hedy Law, Stephan Pennington, and Emily Wilbourne.
Program Committee: Emily Wilbourne, Tes Slominski, and Gavin Lee.
Sponsored by the LGBTQ Study Group of the AMS, the Queer Resource Group of the SMT, the Gender and Sexualities Taskforce of the SEM, the School of Music of the University of British Columbia, the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at UBC, the Department of Music at the Graduate Center in the City University of New York, and Women & Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture.