Amusicology goes to AMS 2011

November 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm 2 comments

The annual national meeting of the American Musicological Society (AMS) is taking place this Thursday through Sunday in San Francisco.  Full details along with the program can be found here.

I (Ryan) will be tweeting @amusicology with the #AMSSanFran hashtag.

There is no official Amusicology gathering this year–we just didn’t get ourselves organized in time.  However, keep your ears open/watch the twitter feed for a possible impromptu gathering inspired by this year’s Amusicology buttons.

Yes: We have buttons!  Find Drew or I for your own piece of the amusicological blogosphere.

Speaking of the blogosphere, I would like to call attention to a few AMS presentations by our fellow travelers:

  • Amusicology contributor Lincoln Ballard will present a San Francisco-related paper on The Fillmore on Thursday evening at 8:45 pm.
  • Fellow blogger Phil Gentry will present a paper on the “Cage and Friends” panel Friday at 11:15 am.
  • Fellow blogger Matthew Mugmon will present a paper on Mahler and Boulanger on Friday afternoon at 2:45 pm.
  • Amusicology contributor Sarah Gerk will present a paper on Amy Beach’s Gaelic Symphony on Saturday morning at 9:00 am.
  • I am a panel member for a Saturday lunch-time panel called “How to Secure a Tenure Track Position” presented by the Committee on Career-Related Issues, the Committee on Cultural Diversity, and the Committee on Women and Gender.
  • Amusicology contributor Ralph Locke will present a paper on Exoticism in the 16th and 17th centuries on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm.

I hope I haven’t left any of our blogging friends off the list.  If so, please comment and I’ll update accordingly.

I really look forward to the AMS meeting each year.  First and foremost it is a chance to reconnect with my ever-growing network of musicological friends and colleagues.  I appreciate this more than ever since completing graduate school and moving to the other side of the country.  Not only does AMS offer a chance to catch up socially, it also allows me to stay up-to-date with what my friends and colleagues’ own research.  Though time constraints have made paper attendance increasingly difficult in recent years.

One reason I may have inadvertently missed someone in my rundown of blogger-presenters is that there are almost too many papers to keep track of.  Last year the AMS program committee  made the switch to nine [NINE!] simultaneous paper sessions.  Although this allows for a wider range of coverage and greater number of speakers each year, I find it frustrating that many of the papers I wish to attend occur simultaneously.  I know that conflicts always emerge, but going through the program this year I find even more than last year.  I appreciate the efforts of the program committee–to review 700+ abstracts (a 13% increase on last year) and assemble the finalists into individual sessions is a remarkable task.  Furthermore, I appreciate the marked change in coverage that has resulted from the additional sessions.  However, I wonder if there is a way to pair it back to less simultaneous sessions while maintaining the breadth of coverage.  Here are three  potentially unpopular suggestions that might help to get us there:

1) Make all selections anonymous–no more reserving spots for well-known scholars with bad abstracts.

2) You can only present every three years instead of every other year.

3) Put graduate students on the program committee.  OK, too far?  Put junior faculty on the program committee.

This meeting marks the 10th anniversary of my first AMS meeting (Atlanta, 2001).  Although I haven’t been to every meeting since then, I have enjoyed seeing the changes that have taken place over the course of a decade and participating in that process.  I wonder if others have thoughts about the meeting–either now or over time.  Perhaps a series of brief blog posts here and on other blogs about the AMS meeting is in order.  Any takers?

Safe travels to all those going San Francisco.  Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

Entry filed under: conferences, musicology, professional development, Ryan Raul Bañagale, Thinking Out Loud. Tags: , , , , , , .

Better Late than Never: Musicology Job Wiki Roundup 2011 Guest Post by Ralph Locke – Post-AMS Ponderings: Structure of the Official Daytime Paper Sessions


  • 1. Dan Wang  |  November 13, 2011 at 2:24 am

    Hi Ryan! Failing attendance at AMS, this blog is at least keeping us current with your whereabouts and goings-on. I’m happy to hear your post-grad track is going well! Might you be able to post your notes for the lunchtime panel here? As a pre-job grad student and a soon-to-be member of the CCD, I am especially bummed about missing that session.

    Have a great time in SF, and hope we can catch up in person sometime soon! Dan

  • 2. Ryan Raul Bañagale  |  November 14, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Hello Dan,
    We missed seeing you at AMS. If you want to relive the magic, check out the hash tag #AMSSanFran on twitter. I do plan to add a post about my comments from the jobs panel very soon. Hopefully this week. Great to hear you are going to be on the CCD! I look forward to catching up soon.


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