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Interviews with Scholars of Music about their New Books

New Books in Music New Books Network

    • Muziek

Interviews with Scholars of Music about their New Books

    Kyle Devine, "Decomposed: The Political Ecology of Music" (MIT Press, 2019)

    Kyle Devine, "Decomposed: The Political Ecology of Music" (MIT Press, 2019)

    What is the human and environmental cost of music? In Decomposed: The Political Ecology of Music (MIT Press, 2019),Kyle Devine, an Associate Professor in the Department of Musicology at the University of Oslo, tells the material history of recorded music, counting the impact of music from the 78 to digital streaming. The book has a rich and detailed analysis of music’s contribution to our current environmental crisis, along with the human impact of making the materials that make our modern consumption of music possible. Offering a radically new perspective on music, the book is essential reading for everyone!
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    • 42 min.
    K. Linder et al., "Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers" (Stylus Publishing, 2020)

    K. Linder et al., "Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers" (Stylus Publishing, 2020)

    If you’re a grad student facing the ugly reality of finding a tenure-track job, you could easily be forgiven for thinking about a career change. However, if you’ve spent the last several years working on a PhD, or if you’re a faculty member whose career has basically consisted of higher ed, switching isn’t so easy. PhD holders are mostly trained to work as professors, and making easy connections to other careers is no mean feat. Because the people you know were generally trained to do the same sorts of things, an easy source of advice might not be there for you.
    Thankfully, for anybody who wishes there was a guidebook that would just break all of this down, that book has now been written. Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers (Stylus Publishing, 2020) by Kathryn E. Linder, Kevin Kelly, and Thomas J. Tobin offers practical advice and step-by-step instructions on how to decide if you want to leave behind academia and how to start searching for a new career. If a lot of career advice is too vague or too ambiguous, this book corrects that by outlining not just how to figure out what you might want to do, but critically, how you might go about accomplishing that.
    Zeb Larson is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University with a PhD in History. His research deals with the anti-apartheid movement in the United States. To suggest a recent title or to contact him, please send an e-mail to zeb.larson@gmail.com.
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    • 39 min.
    Mark Katz, "Build: The Power of Hip Hop Diplomacy in a Divided World" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Mark Katz, "Build: The Power of Hip Hop Diplomacy in a Divided World" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    In April 2014, a cohort of twenty-five hip hop artists assembled in Washington, D.C. for the first orientation meeting of a new cultural diplomacy program sponsored by the United States State Department. Next Level brings hip hop practitioners from the United States to other countries where they collaborate with local artists in workshops and other events in short residencies. Mark Katz, a hip hop scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, proposed the program and served as its first director.
    Build: The Power of Hip Hop Diplomacy in a Divided World (Oxford University Press, 2019) is Katz’s response to the first five years of this project. Cultural diplomacy has been part of the State Department’s outreach efforts since the 1940s, but hip hop was only included in the program when Toni Blackman became a cultural specialist in 2001. In his book, Katz takes on the hard questions prompted by the legacy of American imperialism abroad and racism at home that informs hip hop as a global art form and makes a Next Level residency a complex interaction between people that have something important in common, but also much that could divide them. He uses the insights he has gleaned from over thirty residencies around the world as he considers the sometimes conflicting agendas between artists and diplomats that can complicate cultural diplomacy. While defending the value of people-to-people exchanges as a way to bring about what he calls conflict transformation, Katz takes a hard look at what is beneficial as well as difficult about these types interactions.
    Mark Katz is Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the founding director of Next Level. His work centers on hip hop and the transformative effect of technology on music. In 2016 he was awarded the Dent Medal. Build is his fourth book.
    Kristen M. Turner, Ph.D. is a lecturer at North Carolina State University in the music department. Her work centers on American musical culture at the turn of the twentieth century and has been published in several journals and essay collections.
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    • 1 u.
    Jane D. Hatter, "Composing Community in Late Medieval Music: Self-Reference, Pedagogy, and Practice" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

    Jane D. Hatter, "Composing Community in Late Medieval Music: Self-Reference, Pedagogy, and Practice" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

    There are a handful of pieces from the Medieval and Renaissance periods that most music students learn about in their introductory history courses; among them are Guillaume Du Fay’s, Ave regina celorum III and Johannes Ockeghem’s Missa Prolationum. Some of these foundational compositions have been studied by musicologists for over one hundred years, but generally they have been examined in isolation as masterworks by great composers. In her new book Composing Community in Late Medieval Music: Self-Reference, Pedagogy, and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Jane D. Hatter effectively contextualizes these pieces within a larger repertory of motets and masses written between 1450 and 1550 that mention other musicians or explore complex theoretical topics. She sees these works as evidence of an international community of musicians that might have been separated geographically and isolated by their itinerant lifestyles, but who were connected through a shared attitude towards art and their own sense of themselves as composers and musicians. Connecting her insights to a similar phenomenon in the visual arts, Hatter shows that the repertory she studies reflects a musical culture that valued intergenerational connections between artists and compositional virtuosity based upon theoretical and pedagogical concepts that stretched back to antiquity, but that also permeated the musical training these composers received.
    Jane D. Hatter is a musicologist on faculty at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Jane has published on musical time in early sixteenth-century Italian paintings (Early Music, 2011) and also on intersections between popular devotions and ecclesiastical liturgy in Renaissance motets that include or quote the Ave Maria prayer (2012). More recently she has examined the persistence and conversion of music for women's churching ceremonies in both Catholic and Protestant contexts in the early Reformation period.
    Kristen M. Turner, Ph.D. is a lecturer at North Carolina State University in the music department. Her work centers on American musical culture at the turn of the twentieth century and has been published in several journals and essay collections.
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    • 56 min.
    Alberto Cairo, "How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information" (Norton, 2019)

    Alberto Cairo, "How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information" (Norton, 2019)

    We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if we don’t understand what we’re looking at? Social media has made charts, infographics, and diagrams ubiquitous―and easier to share than ever. We associate charts with science and reason; the flashy visuals are both appealing and persuasive. Pie charts, maps, bar and line graphs, and scatter plots (to name a few) can better inform us, revealing patterns and trends hidden behind the numbers we encounter in our lives. In short, good charts make us smarter―if we know how to read them.
    However, they can also lead us astray. Charts lie in a variety of ways―displaying incomplete or inaccurate data, suggesting misleading patterns, and concealing uncertainty―or are frequently misunderstood, such as the confusing cone of uncertainty maps shown on TV every hurricane season. To make matters worse, many of us are ill-equipped to interpret the visuals that politicians, journalists, advertisers, and even our employers present each day, enabling bad actors to easily manipulate them to promote their own agendas.
    In How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information (W. W. Norton, 2019), data visualization expert Alberto Cairo teaches us to not only spot the lies in deceptive visuals, but also to take advantage of good ones to understand complex stories. Public conversations are increasingly propelled by numbers, and to make sense of them we must be able to decode and use visual information. By examining contemporary examples ranging from election-result infographics to global GDP maps and box-office record charts, How Charts Lie demystifies an essential new literacy, one that will make us better equipped to navigate our data-driven world.
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    • 57 min.
    Laura K. T. Stokes, "Fanny Hensel: A Research and Information Guide" (Routledge, 2019)

    Laura K. T. Stokes, "Fanny Hensel: A Research and Information Guide" (Routledge, 2019)

    Nineteenth-century composer Fanny Hensel is the subject of more published research than any other woman of the period, with the possible exception of Clara Schumann. A prolific composer, salon hostess, and a member of a well-connected and prominent family, she was one of the first women composers that musicologists studied in depth. Yet, in some ways, the historiography of Hensel scholarship is as fascinating as her life and music. As musicological priorities and historical understandings of women’s roles in nineteenth-century Europe shifted, so too did the analysis of Hensel’s life and cultural significance. In Fanny Hensel: A Research and Information Guide (Routledge, 2019), Laura Stokes provides a comprehensive bibliography of Hensel scholarship but also confronts the ethical issues presented by the sometimes fraught scholarly work on Hensel through her annotations, the work she decided to include in the Guide, and the organizational structure she employed. In this interview, Dr. Stokes discusses Hensel’s life and music, and then the ethical issues she considered and the challenges she faced in writing the guide.
    Laura Stokes is the Performing Arts Librarian at Brown University and holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Indiana University. Her scholarly work examines music and cultural politics in nineteenth-century Germany.
    Kristen M. Turner, Ph.D. is a lecturer at North Carolina State University in the music department. Her work centers on American musical culture at the turn of the twentieth century and has been published in several journals and essay collections.
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    • 51 min.

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