Music History and Theory Forum: Joanna Demers

Event Date: 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:45pm

Event Date Details: 

Event Location: 

  • Music Room 1145 (UCSB)

Event Price: 

Admission is free.

Event Contact: 

Adriane Hill
Marketing and Communications Manager
UC Santa Barbara Department of Music
(805) 893-3230
As part of the Music History and Theory Forum, Joanna Demers (Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Southern California) will present her talk, "Fictions In and About Music Writing," on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 from 3:30-4:45pm in Music Room 1145. Admission is free.
Title: "Fictions In and About Music Writing"
An implicit expectation of academic writing is that it should stick to the facts, often through the assumption of an impersonal and critical voice.  After all, most scholarship is a special type of non-fiction, one steeped in close reading of primary and secondary sources, interviews and ethnography, and other privileged sorts of evidence.  But as writers ranging from W.G. Sebald and Umberto Eco to Haruki Murakami and Hua Hsu have demonstrated, creative writing and non-fiction needn't be cordoned off from one another, and can together profitably contribute to a discourse that furthers knowledge for both readers and writers. 
In this talk, I present a few examples of my own recent research, which assumes a fictional voice to discuss issues in contemporary music. I will read excerpts from Drone and Apocalypse: An Exhibit Catalog for the End of the World (Zero Books, 2015), and Anatomy of Thought-Fiction: CHS Report, 2214 (Zero Books, in press).  I hope to start a conversation about possible futures for scholarly writing about music.
Joanna Demers is Associate Professor and Chair of Musicology at the USC Thornton School of Music, where she teaches courses on post-1945 experimental and popular music, as well as on music and philosophy. She has written four books: Anatomy of Thought-Fiction: CHS Report, 2214 (forthcoming from Zero Books); Drone and Apocalypse: An Exhibit Catalog for the End of the World (Zero Books, 2015); Listening Through the Noise: The Aesthetics of Experimental Electronic Music (Oxford, 2010); and Steal This Music: How Intellectual Property Law Affects Musical Creativity (University of Georgia Press, 2006).  Her articles have appeared in Popular Music, Organised Sound, Current Musicology, and the Journal of Popular Music Studies.
Dr. Joanna Demers