What's Queer about Musicology Now?

By Lewis, Rachel | Women & Music, Annual 2009 | Go to article overview

What's Queer about Musicology Now?


Lewis, Rachel, Women & Music


THE THREE ARTICLES FEATURED IN THIS "Queer Vibrations" special section of Women & Music initially emerged as a result of an interdisciplinary graduate student conference on music and queer performance held at Cornell University in March 2007. (1) Jointly funded by the Lesbian, Bisexual, and Gay Studies Program and the Department of Music, the conference brought together graduate students and faculty working within the fields of musicology, women's and gender studies, theater studies, and performance studies. "Queer Vibrations" proved to be an exciting event in terms of both the scope and the quality of the papers presented. These ranged from conversations on gay and lesbian historiography and musical reception (Samuel Dorf, Emily Wilbourne, and Tekla Babyak) to representations of queer male sexualities in popular culture and opera (Samuel Dwinell, Jeremy Mikush, and Kevin Schwandt) and from accounts of queer performance in terms of disidentification (Katie Brewer Ball, Tina Majkowski, and Zarko Cvejic) to keynote speeches on David Bowie and Andy Warhol (Judith Peraino) and the use of music as a form of torture at Guantanamo Bay (Suzanne Cusick). The "Queer Vibrations" conference also served to raise some fundamental questions about the relationship between femininity, transsexuality, and embodiment in the context of both women's music festivals and Third Wave feminism (Elizabeth K. Keenan), in Zarah Ersoff's reading of transsexual subjectivity in the music of Dana Baitz, and in Baitz's own account of queer musicology's fraught relation to transsexual embodiment. In short, I can only use this opportunity to thank all those who participated in the conference--both graduate students and faculty alike--for their commitment to LGBTQ musicology and for helping "Queer Vibrations" live up to its name.

The existence of "Queer Vibrations" is also strongly indebted to Judith Peraino, without whose presence in the Department of Music at Cornell a conference devoted to queer musicology would have been scarcely imaginable, let alone possible. Indeed, when Amy Villarejo first invited me to organize a graduate student conference on music and queer identities for the Lesbian, Bisexual, and Gay Studies Program at Cornell, I was forced to confront the somewhat disturbing (though perhaps not altogether surprising) reality that "Queer Vibrations" would be only the second queer musicology conference to date. The first queer musicology conference, "Anything Goes," which took place in 1992 at the University of California, Berkeley, was also a graduate-run conference. Organized by Judith Peraino, herself a graduate student at the time, "Anything Goes" featured the keynote speakers Philip Brett and Suzanne Cusick. (2) This initial conference on music and sexuality was enabled by the kind of feminist theorizing that took place both within and outside the field of musicology during the late 1980s. In much the same way that second wave feminist theory and, later, poststructuralist feminism facilitated the emergence of queer theory by challenging the relationship between categories of sex, gender, and sexuality, it was the work of feminist musicologists like Susan McClary and Ruth Solie that paved the way for what we have now come to refer to as LGBTQ musicology. (3) Indeed, many of the articles published in the groundbreaking collection of essays Queering the Pitch: The New Gay and Lesbian Musicology were initially presented at the first "Feminist Theory and Music" conference in 1991, organized by Lydia Hamessley and Susan McClary. (4) More recent LGBTQ musicology, including book-length studies of music and queer identity by Nadine Hubbs and Judith Peraino, along with the edited collections of essays, Queer Episodes in Music and Modern Identity and Queering the Popular Pitch, also retains a strong feminist core. (5) In the absence of separate conferences and journals, queer work tends to be presented at feminist musicology conferences like the biannual "Feminist Theory and Music" and published in journals such as Women & Music. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What's Queer about Musicology Now?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.