(not) Live Blogging AMS/SMT

November 12, 2008 at 8:23 pm 3 comments

Thursday, November 6, 2008:

5:40pm – RRB arrives on-site to find the opening reception in full-swing.  For some reason (dissertation), I didn’t set up any meetings to discuss my work/life with colleagues.  Over the course of the next 30 minutes I have one expensive and bad beer and make four appointments.  I mutually agree with several additional friends/colleagues to make plans at some unnamed point to make plans to meet up.  In most cases this ends up being a failed strategy.  Such is the pace of AMS.

9:15pm – RRB and DM attend Committee on Career Related issues panel on publications:  Our takeaways:

1. Even if JAMS rejects you, if you are in the top 75% of their submissions (last year they had only 60), you will get free, extensive feedback from top readers on your subject.

2. We’re not old enough to write a textbook…yet.

10:45pm – With promises of beer and yet-unseen AMS friends, DM tricks RRB into entering a line-dancing club.  Hilarity ensues.

Friday, November 7, 2008:

9:45am – RRB is sitting on the floor at the back of the overstuffed room in which Mary Davis is presenting on the Diaghilev/Balanchine Ballets Russes production of Le Bal (1929).  I am again very impressed with the way Davis assembles and presents her material and reminded of the myriad directions one’s larger project (here her fabulous book Urban Chic) and how I can’t wait for her soon to be published volume on Jimmie Rodgers.

4:45pm – RRB raises his hand makes his first ever comment following an AMS paper…not really so much of a comment on the paper as much as a response to another comment.  Is that better or worse than an “I have more of a comment than a question” response?

11:10pm – RRB arrives fashionably late to the Harvard reception.  Notes the large number of non-Harvard folks there as well as their institutions so he feels justified in attending their parties the following night.

Saturday, November 8, 2008:

7:35am – RRB attends Committee on Cultural Diversity meeting for 22.5 seconds before realizing he is at SMT’s CCD meeting, not AMS’s.  Apparently I am not the first to make this mistake this morning.  I didn’t know that SMT had a CCD.  As I dash over to my correct meeting location, I wonder why didn’t the two groups get together and run a joint panel on diversity at this meeting?

9:00am – RRB laughs at the note Carolyn Abbate has added to her academic affiliation listed on the title slide of her powerpoint presentation: “University of Pennsylvania, really.  (Though I still love my friends at Harvard too).” This will prompt many over the course of the day to ask me what this means.  I explain that she no longer was at Harvard, but the program book editor apparently didn’t get the message.  They look confused and reply that they didn’t know she had left Princeton.

10:00am – RRB escapes the hotel/conference center hears an awesome reading by author John Irving at the famous Ryman Auditorium.  Irving walks out on stage and says, “If I were ever tempted to sing, it wouldn’t be here.”  Nice.

11:45am – RRB continues to play hooky from the conference and enjoys the Country Music Hall of Fame (CMHF).  I want to know why AMS/SMT didn’t to more to better promote the fact that we were in Music City, USA.  The outing to hear the Fisk Jubilee Singers was a step in the right direction, but what about a panel inviting some of the local musicians to talk with academics about what they think is important for us to investigate/notice.  Or, what about a tour of what appears to be an incredible archive at the CMHF?

2:45pm – DM begins his presentation on Charles Ives and John Kirkpatrick.

3:06pm – Upon turning to figure 1 in their handout, those attending DM’s paper are dazzled by his Sibelius skills.

3:35pm – RRB thinks Phil Ford has a lot of fun with his research.  Great paper, Phil!

8:00pm – RRB thinks Travis Stimeling also has a lot of fun with his research.  Great paper, Travis!

10pm –  RRB recalls those schools he saw at the Harvard party the night before and returns the favor.

Sunday, November 9, 2008:

11:15am – RRB thinks DJ Scratch Daddy (aka Professor Mark Katz) has a lot of fun with his research.  Great paper, Scratch!

3:25pm – RRB enjoys a conversation with AMS executive director Bob Judd, on the flight from Nashville to Detroit.  Bob asks if I’m still blogging, I tell him that Drew and I have a new plan and we hope to get things back up to speed soon.  Thanks for the great meeting, Dr. Judd!

Entry filed under: conferences, live blogging. Tags: .

Ryan and Drew Reevaluate/Reemerge (even less) Live Blogging AMS 2008


  • 1. Melissa J. de Graaf  |  November 15, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Posted by Melissa J. de Graaf at 2008-11-12 09:42

    Nice job, Ryan. I almost feel like I was there…

  • 2. Ralph Locke  |  November 17, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Glad to learn about some papers (and side trips) that I didn’t manage to get to myself! I did stumble by a Grand Ole Opry concert at the Ryman Auditorium (Thursday evening) that I had not seen mentioned anywhere: Ronnie Milsap and a great backup group.

    Bravo to the Amusicology for reviving itself after a lull of some months and for its new format!

  • 3. Dan Wang  |  November 26, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    John Irving was in Nashville? THAT should have been emphasized on the website.


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