Researching Music: Interviewing, Ethnography, and Oral History
A seminar jointly convened by the Institute of Musical Research, the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, and the UK & Ireland branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.
Monday 6 June
Senate House, University of London
The Institute of Musical Research, the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, and the UK & Ireland branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music invite proposals from researchers interested in participating in a full-day seminar at Senate House, University of London, on Monday 6 June. The seminar will explore recent thinking about methods for researching music, from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, with a particular focus on interviewing, ethnography, oral history, and the relationship between them. Speakers will include Ruth Finnegan, Sara Cohen, Rachel Beckles Willson, Lucy Durán, Simone Krueger, Sue Onslow, and Jaime Jones.
Proposals or expressions of interest are particularly welcome from late-stage doctoral students and early career scholars, who are invited to share their recent experiences and insights with those near the beginning of their research. More senior scholars are also warmly invited to participate and exchange ideas with the next generation of researchers.
The seminar will include a mixture of practical sessions and critical discussion of methods. The organisers are not seeking full-length papers but rather shorter presentations or provocations (c. 10 minutes) – whether primarily theoretical or anecdotal – for inclusion on panels. The tenor of the event is intended to be informal and collegial, more workshop than conference; ideas in progress, methodological dilemmas, and confessions of mistakes are therefore welcome. Methodological expertise is less important than a willingness to discuss problems and explore solutions.
The primary aim of the seminar is to encourage the exchange of ideas concerning research methodologies between scholars working on music or sound within different disciplines (music, media, geography, sociology, anthropology, etc.) and sub-disciplines (ethnomusicology, popular music studies, musicology). The seminar is envisaged as a unique opportunity to promote the sharing of questions, experiences, good practice, and advice among scholars whose objects of study may be similar or even the same but whose methodological approaches may vary. It is also designed to assist researchers of music who seek to cross methodological boundaries between different disciplines and sub-disciplines – in particular those who are already engaging, or plan to engage in the near future, with research methods in which they may not have formal training or experience. In sum, the seminar is intended to strengthen the methodological foundation for the increasing interdisciplinarity of the study of music.
Proposals (max. 250 words) and enquiries should be sent to geoff.bakerrhul.ac.uk
Registration for attendees will be opened closer to the date. Information will be circulated via this list and the IMR website (www.the-imr.uk).