The students of the Department of Music at the Graduate Center, CUNY, are pleased to announce the 2014 Graduate Students in Music (GSIM) conference in New York City on Friday and Saturday, March 14–15, 2014. The theme for this year’s conference will be Music and Normativity.
In addition to traditional paper sessions and lecture recitals, the conference will include a workshop/seminar for participants and conference attendees led by independent scholar Kendra Preston Leonard entitled “Scoring Disability Narratives” (more details below).
In this workshop, we will discuss the ways in which the idea of normativity is constructed, applied, employed, and deconstructed in our various scholarly musical disciplines, and how it can (or cannot) serve as a tool for meaningful analysis in terms of music and disability in screen works. The concept and perceptions of normate and non-normate representations in music have been widely debated in recent years. While many scholars find these frameworks useful, others have resisted, suggesting that codifying something as normate is to continue to apply hierarchies of compulsory able-bodiedness, race, class, gender, sexuality, and other markers of identity. The musical signification of normativity and otherness seems to play an especially large role in film, television, and internet shows, particularly those that feature disability narratives. This extends from fiction film to documentaries and works based on actual persons or events; often the disability narrative is tied to the sobriquet of “inspirational” in screen works, and music contributes heavily to these presentations and interpretations. Our readings will include studies of music and scoring in regard to the non-normate body in the horror genre; the correlation of disability and femininity; and narratives of self-identification and normativity. We will also discuss participants’ work and projects; the workshop is open to anyone with interests in this or related areas.
Kendra Preston Leonard is the author of The Conservatoire Américain: a History and Shakespeare, Madness, and Music: Scoring Insanity in Cinematic Adaptations. Recent and forthcoming publications include “Rosalind’s Musical Identities in Branagh’s and Doyle’s As You Like It,” Upstart Crow, January 2013; “Music for Richard III: Cinematic Scoring for the Early Modern Monstrous,” The Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies (2014); “From “Angel of Music” to “that Monster”: Music for Phantoms and Villains,” Studies in Gothic Fiction (2014); and Louise Talma: A Life in Composition (Ashgate, 2014).