The Society for American Music has recently chosen musicologist Marian Wilson Kimber as the recipient of a publication subvention–an award that will defray the costs of publishing a book–for her monograph Feminine Entertainments: Women, Music and the Spoken Word (forthcoming from University of Illinois Press). The H. Earle Johnson Publication Subvention is “intended to support the costs of the publication of a significant monograph on an important topic in American Music.” This is quite a significant award, as SAM awards only two subventions per year of $2500 each. Wilson Kimber’s book offers a detailed look at the under examined, gendered practice of elocution in the 19th century. She shows that elocution was a touchstone for women’s participation in a host of creative literary, dramatic, musical and dance activities. Wilson Kimber uniquely reveals the 19th-century American woman to have used the art of the spoken word not just for artistic and musical expression but also as a space to exert moral and cultural authority. At the same meeting, music theorist Robert Cook received an honorable mention for the Irving Lowens Memorial Article Award for his article “The Vocal Ecology of Crumb’s Crickets” in JSAM volume 7. An earlier post about that article is here.
Current and former University of Iowa faculty and students also made strong research presentations. At the conference’s opening session, School of Music Assistant Professor Nathan Platte presented new historical findings on the “Tara” theme from Gone With the Wind. Alumna Katheryn Lawson (MA, Musicology, 2013) hosted a discussion panel titled “Childhood and American Music.” Alumnus Michael Accinno (MA, Musicology, 2010) presented a paper on musical activity at the Perkins School for the Blind in the nineteenth century. At a special ceremony that featured a performance of his Piano Trio, UI alumnus Olly Wilson (Ph.D., Composition, 1964) received an Honorary Membership Award from the Society for his “inestimable contributions to American musical culture through his compositions, his teaching, and his championing of African-American music.” Further news about Iowa contributions at the 2015 SAM meeting are here.
Hearty congratulations to Professors Wilson Kimber, Cook, Platte, and other University of Iowa affiliates for such strong work in American music!