Here’s a run-down of the papers that musicology and theory faculty and students are delivering this fall:
Marian Wilson Kimber presented a paper, “Li’l Brown Baby: Paul Laurence Dunbar, Dialect Verse, and Musically-Accompanied Recitation by Women” at the fall meeting of the Midwest Chapter of the American Musicological Society in Chicago. The paper explored the use of music in the spoken-word performances of the African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, and role that the widespread popularity of his poetry with female elocutionists and composers played in its reception. Historical Dunbar and Douglass poster courtesy Ohio History Center, Columbus Ohio.
Jennifer Iverson presented a paper, “Preparing Electronic Music” at the national meeting of the Society for Music Theory in St. Louis. The paper explored the reception of John Cage‘s prepared piano music in West Germany between 1952-54. Before the aleatory debates of the later 1950s, Cage’s prepared piano had a profound effect on both the sound and the temporal structure of early WDR electronic music.
Kelsey McGinnis, a PhD student in musicology, gave a presentation titled “Intersections: Music, Human Rights, and Cultural Diplomacy in an Iowa POW Camp” at the International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in the United Nations. The conference was hosted at the United Nations headquarters and other UN consulates in New York, bringing together academic and political professionals. Kelsey presented her work on the musical activities of German POWs in Iowa during WWII as a case study in the history of U.S. cultural diplomacy.