Let’s talk about Public Musicology

Tomorrow I’m headed to Rider University for what promises to be a fabulous conference about Public Musicology called The Past, Present, and Future of Public Musicology. I will be giving two presentations. The first, called “‘Going ‘Rogue’: On Leaving the Academy and Taking Risks,” is part of a panel entitled “Going Public: Some Tough Questions of Public Musicology.” Together we (me, Amanda Sewell, James Zychowicz, and Christine Kyprianides) will address the nuts and bolts of working outside of the academy: why you might want to choose a non-academic path, how you get there, what you might do outside of the academy, etc. The goal, as Amanda Sewell wrote for our proposal, is “to initiate a conversation about how we as public musicologists relate to other musicologists, how we relate to the academy, and how we relate to the ‘real world’.”

After the conference I may post my paper here for public consumption. It’s been a surprisingly difficult paper to write. As I worked through a final round of editing a few days ago, I found I had used the word “trauma” no fewer than six time in my 10-page, double-spaced paper. I’m glad I will be presenting amongst friends.

My second paper is a joint presentation about The Avid Listener with Michael Fauver, managing editor of TAL (and general purveyor of awesomeness at W. W. Norton). We’re excited to share details about how the site got started, how we search for authors, how we develop the prose to be just the right mix of learned and accessible, and how we are working with instructors to integrate TAL into many kinds of classrooms. In case you’ve missed my earlier announcements: were still looking for authors. Contact me for more information!

I’m confident I will learn a tremendous amount this weekend. Next week I’ll share some of the big take-home points.

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