Autoethnography, Self-Reflexivity, and Personal Experience as Academic Research

‘BEYOND “MESEARCH”: AUTOETHNOGRAPHY, SELF-REFLEXIVITY, AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AS ACADEMIC RESEARCH IN MUSIC STUDIES’

Institute of Musical Research (IMR) Study Day

in association with the School of Advanced Study, University of London

16-17 April 2018, Senate House, London

*NB This event has now been expanded to a two-day conference*

Registration: https://store.surrey.ac.uk/conferences-and-events/fass-faculty-of-arts-social-sciences/conferences/autoethnography-selfreflexivity-and-personal-experience-in-music-studies-1617-april-2018

Provisional Programme: https://christopherwiley.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/imr-conference-programme-provisional-16-17-04-18.pdf

Website: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/department-music-media/research-department/autoethnography-and-self-reflexivity-music-studies

Keynote Speakers: Professor Neil Heyde (Royal Academy of Music, London); Professor Darla Crispin (Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo); Ian Pace (City, University of London)

CFP: deadline for submissions 12 January 2018

The advent of autoethnography, a form of qualitative social science research that combines an author’s narrative self-reflection with analytical interpretation of the broader contexts in which that individual operates (e.g. Etherington, 2004; Chang, 2008), has come at a critical time for the discipline of music. In the UK, the expectation of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) that creative practice outputs will be contextualised through an accompanying commentary signals the urgency for establishing scholarly structures suited to the discussion of one’s own work by performers, composers, and music technologists alike.

The recent inauguration of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), meanwhile, places a renewed emphasis on pedagogic research, for which autoethnography will increasingly prove to be critical in facilitating discourse on individual teachers’ experiences, in anticipation of the upcoming subject pilot for TEF and discipline-level evaluation being implemented more widely thereafter. As a methodology, autoethnography also yields enormous breadth of potential elsewhere in music studies, with the capacity to support academic enquiry encompassing individual experiences as listener or concert-goer, habits and modes of music consumption, and conduct as fans or aficionados.

While autoethnographic approaches have received significant application to the discipline of music internationally, for instance in Australia (Bartleet & Ellis, 2009) and the US (Manovski, 2014), this study day aims to raise its visibility at such a timely juncture in the UK. It will thereby consolidate the seminal contributions made by isolated studies in areas such as music education (Wiley & Franklin, 2017; Kinchin & Wiley, 2017), sonic arts (Findlay-Walsh, 2018), and composition and performance (Armstrong & Desbruslais, 2014). It also offers significant opportunity to initiate dialogue with academic fields as disparate as the social sciences, education, and health studies, in which autoethnography is more substantively practised.

At the same time, this study day will bring together composers, performers, musicologists, and music teachers, seeking to explore different modes of autoethnography with a view to establishing an analytical vein in continuation of previous work undertaken within music studies (e.g. Bartleet & Ellis, 2009). With an emphasis on transcending the production of so-called ‘mesearch’ – work that merely draws upon the author’s autobiographical description in an academic context – the event will cultivate modes of engagement in music research that enable scholar-practitioners at all levels to locate their experiences within a robust intellectual framework as well as to articulate their relationship to wider sociocultural contexts.

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

20-minute papers (plus 10 minutes for questions) are invited on any aspect relevant to the study day’s themes.

Proposals for panels of 3–4 papers (1.5–2 hours) on a closely related topic are also warmly welcomed, as are proposals for roundtables (3–5 participants, 1 hour duration). The latter should be thematically integrated and dialogue-based rather than simply a series of unconnected mini-papers.

Note that papers will be expected to offer some critical self-reflection on method, and not merely to set out ground covered in an individual’s own practice. Those that adopt non-traditional formats, or incorporate a practice as research component, will be warmly welcomed.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be e-mailed by 12 January 2018 to Christopher Wiley, c.wiley@surrey.ac.uk (enquiries to the same address). Decisions will be communicated to speakers by 5 February 2018.

The registration fee will be £20 per person (reduced rates of £10 available for students/the unwaged), including lunch and refreshments. A limited number of bursaries will be offered to students/the unwaged to offset travel costs, up to a maximum of £60 each.

Organising Committee: Christopher Wiley (University of Surrey, Chair), Iain Findlay-Walsh (University of Glasgow), Tom Armstrong (University of Surrey)

Study Day Supporters: Institute of Musical Research, in association with the School of Advanced Study, University of London, Senate House (funding supplied by Nick Baker)

Further information: Dr Christopher Wiley (University of Surrey): c.wiley@surrey.ac.uk

Symposium on Music, Education and Social Inclusion

London, 20th-21st July 2017

A symposium is to be held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London on July 20th and 21st 2017 to launch the Music, Education and Social Inclusion Study Group under the auspices of the ICTM.

Founding members include musicians, senior scholars and academics from Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, North America and Asia, reflecting the multicultural nature of the collective.

Historically excluded groups such as women and girls, ethnic minorities, vulnerabilities including disabilities and other marginalities have been systematically un- or under-represented in education, reflecting wider socially discriminatory practices that in turn are perpetrated and transmitted within the school system, shaping society at large beyond schools and academic institutions.

The symposium will focus on exploring multifaceted educational practices in relation to a wider spectrum of broader issues and thinking, such as:
• Education and Representation
• Issues of Identity in Education
• Social inclusion and Education
• Education and International Development
• Ethnomusicology, Transmission Practices (teaching/learning) and Social Inclusion
Other topics that might sit well within the broader agenda are welcome and encouraged.

Papers should be 20 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes of discussion and Q&A. Abstracts should be from 200 to 250 words in length and written in English; other languages might be considered on a case-by-case basis and only where the level of English is not sufficient to express concepts fully.
Alternative presentations – other than individual papers – are welcome and length can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Submissions in other forms (such as video) should be no longer than 5 minutes.

In order to make participation inclusive, and aware that traveling might not be an option for many who are interested in participating, a limited number of remote presentations through Skype will be considered, so applicants are encouraged to apply even in case they might not be able to attend in person.

Deadline for submission of proposals is 20th March 2017; please submit abstracts to Keith Howard (kh@soas.ac.uk) or Sara Selleri (Sara_Selleri@soas.ac.uk). Participants will be notified by the end of April 2017.

Improvisation: Educational Perspectives (1-day workshop)

Improvisation: Educational Perspectives (1 day workshop)
22nd of April
St Cecilia’s Hall
University of Edinburgh
(Admission free but booking essential)

BOOKING:  http://bit.ly/improveducation

Improvisation is taught and formally assessed in higher education institutions (HEIs) throughout the world, yet there are a number of intrinsic difficulties in teaching and assessing improvisation that may impact on the pedagogical process.  This event is a one-day workshop that will give academics and practitioners working in this area the opportunity to share ideas, practices and methods specifically related to the teaching, learning and assessment of improvisation in higher education.

The sorts of questions and topics we expect to cover include:

• What is improvisation?
• Can improvisation be taught and, if so, how?
• What scope and range can/should HEI curricula include?
• Should improvisation be assessed?  If so, how do we do this effectively?
• Is assessor subjectivity an important concern?  If so, is this more or less problematic than in traditional ‘recital’ assessment?
• Idiomatic versus ‘generic’ issues in improvisation pedagogy.
• Assessing the process of improvisation rather than the outputs.

(NB Lunch and refreshments will be provided so please be sure to inform us of any special requirements when you book [http://bit.ly/improveducation])

Speakers: 

Prof Raymond MacDonald (University of Edinburgh)

Improvisation and all that Jazz

Improvisation, as a universally accessible form of creativity, can facilitate innovative artistic collaborations that are both transdisciplinary and cross cultural. This presentation explores these unique features and also poses some key questions that are aligned with improvisation’s growing emergence within higher education. These questions include: what is improvisation; can it be taught and how can it be assessed.

Dr Michael Duch (Department of Music, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Composing Improvisation: Composed experimental music as improvisational exercises.

Can improvisation be composed and what is required of the performer? In the 1960’s experimental composers such as Cornelius Cardew and Christian Wolff made musical scores inspired by improvisation. Many of these pieces intended to diminish or blur the boundaries between composer and performer, but also between composed and improvised music.

Dr Paul Kleiman (Higher Education Academy)

Taking a Note for a Walk: Improvising assessment and assessing improvisation

Of all arts-based forms, improvisation provides a particular challenge to assessment regimes based on normative pedagogic discourses and practices. This contribution explores some of those challenges and offers some creative approaches to assessing on the edge of chaos.

Dr Zack Moir (University of Edinburgh)

‘Just like Clarence’ or ‘Just like Jimi’: Issues surrounding creativity, originality and pedagogy in pop and rock improvisation.

This presentation will begin by considering the nature of improvisation in pop and rock music with particular focus on creativity and originality.  The pedagogical implications of such issues will then be discussed by way of understanding the teaching, learning and assessment of improvisation in this idiom.

Dr Philippa Derrington (Queen Margaret University)

Making connections through improvisation in music therapy.

What is the purpose of improvisation in music therapy? How do music therapists improvise? This presentation will look at ways that improvisation is used to engage clients in interactive live music-making and how therapists are trained.