Piled Higher and Deeper

6 Nov

I guess it’s time to start keeping a regular blog again, since I hate posting semi-annual Facebook notes about my life.  There is nothing in the world more passive-aggressive and attention-mongering than Facebook.  So I’m going to be a big grown-up girl and move all of my thoughts to a place that’s not influenced by FarmVille crops and pictures of drunk undergrads.

This is supposed to be a blog about what it’s like to be a scholar-in-training, but I imagine there will be plenty of cat pictures along the way.  That’s what the Internet is FOR.  I named the blog after my cat, Gus, for christ’s sake.

I’m currently a Ph.D. student in Musicology at a large Midwestern research university with a pretty good basketball team and an abysmally lousy football team.  I have a Master of Arts in Music History from the University of Idaho, where it snows in July.  I did my undergrad at a podunk little state school in Southeast Kansas.  Everyone needs to start somewhere.

I have delusions of scholarly grandeur, in that I want to grow up and become the female Alex Ross (see his blog at therestisnoise.com) and the female Alan Lomax in one rockin’ body.  (Lomax was the first American musicologist; Google him and you’ll get plenty of neat info.)  This blog will be about that journey and its assorted pitfalls and triumphs and bouts with depression and shots of whiskey.

There is a trend among musicologists that’s emerged in the last 20 years or so – the “New Musicology.”  Briefly, that’s a term for a changing of the guard in the field, which has historically been one of the stuffier academic disciplines.  So “New Musicology” basically means that there’s been an embracing of things like race, ethnicity and gender factors in the study of Western classical music.  For a long time, people who wanted to study such things were laughed at or sent packing off towards the Sociology department.  Now, it seems, we can study these things as MUSICIANS.  It’s a long-overdue development, and I’m thrilled to be jumping on the train at the right time.

With the rise of New Musicology, there has been an increase in the number of female musicologists.  Historically, if you were a female musicologist, it was because you were married to a male musicologist and that’s how you got anyone to pay attention to you.  Seriously.  Now, thankfully, we are starting to rest on our own merits.

Though if anyone knows of any sugar-daddy musicologists out there (HA!), send them my way.  I’m 5′ 9″, brown eyes…okay.  Just kidding.

I’m working on a detailed post called “So You Wanna Be a Scholar?” which is based on a series of emails I sent to a friend who is looking to enter the field.  It’ll give more of my backstory and how I got here, and a few tips for anyone who thinks they can hack it in this field that is rapidly growing more and more crowded.

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