2016 In Review

2016 sucked, both in general and personally (for example, I lost two pets in three months of one another). But I also did a lot of work, in large part because I need to keep my job, and I’m the kind of girl who copes by throwing myself into work. So here’s what I did this year:

  1. I got a contract with Duke University Press for my manuscript The Sonic Episteme: acoustic resonance & post-identity biopolitics. Here’s the proposal/abstract, if you care to read. I’m really excited about working with the team at Duke; it’s also been a long-term goal of mine to publish with them, so I’m super happy about this. This project is really important to me because it argues that the turn to sound and/or resonance in a lot of theory (think about ‘resonant’ political ontologies from people like Cavarero, or new materialism’s obsession with acoustic phenomena like vibration and diffraction) naturalizes, at a conceptual level, the background conditions necessary for neoliberal biopolitics (i.e., statistics). So all these theories that use some notion of sound or resonance to overcome the limits of visual or verbal representationalism are just upgrading our metaphysics and ontology to accord with the realities produced by statistical thinking, governmentality, etc.
  2. My article “Is the post- in ‘post-identity’ the same as the post- in ‘post-genre’?” is in the pipeline at Popular Music; here’s the e-pub. Here’s the abstract: The ‘post-’ in both post-identity politics and post-genre musical practice refers to the same thing. Through readings of Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’, Diplo’s description of his practice as a DJ, producer and impresario, Sasha Frere-Jones’s infamous New Yorker piece on indie rock miscegenation, and critical race theorists Cristina Beltran and Jared Sexton’s critiques of post-racial politics, I demonstrate that progress past traditional commitments to white racial purity is both the defining characteristic of post-racial whiteness, and what makes multigenre pop practice count as post-genre. The ‘post-’ in post-identity is what distinguishes post-genre practice from supposedly more primitive forms of genre transgression, such as the love & theft-style cultural appropriation Eric Lott identifies in 19th century blackface minstrelsy or Pitbull’s Latin American style racial/musical mestizaje.
  3. I submitted another article to the Dancecult special issue on Women & Gender in EDMC. It’s out for review right now, so I won’t talk about the details here. Though if you’ve been keeping up with what I’ve been talking about at conferences, you can probably figure it out 🙂
  4. I wrote three pieces for SoundingOut!:
    1. Listening to Sounds in Post-Feminist Pop. One of the most important things I do here is trace the reasons why popular and academic feminist analysis focuses exclusively on visual and verbal dimensions of music videos: “With its commitments to free speech and equality of opportunity, mainstream Anglo-American feminist aesthetics translates liberalism’s concept of political representation into a concept of aesthetic representation. The outcome of this translation is a “realism focused on the content of artworks” (Musgrave 223; emphasis mine) and “the conviction that it is the job of art or creative work to get it right, to show how it ‘really’ is, to come clean of previously incorrect and ideologically weighted images” (226). A feminist aesthetics focused primarily on the representational content of artworks and the subjectivity (or objectification) of artists translates classical liberalism’s ideas of what politics, injustice, and equality are into artistic terms.”
    2. How Not to Listen to Lemonade This piece asked about the ethics of the “But (actually) what about the music?” question. Apparently people read it (though it would be nice to be credited for my own work…).
    3. Pop’s Chill Thrills Aren’t So Cheap This piece is about the political economy of “chill,” and how that at least partially explains why YOLO-style bangers are currently nowhere to be found in the Top 40.
  5. I wrote my first piece of non-theoretical music writing. It’s about The Clash’s Give ‘Em Enough Rope. I’d like to do more of this type of music writing (editors, get at me, especially after September 1, 2017).
  6. I started planning my next projects once the book manuscript is submitted in September 2017: One book about WOXY and the end of rock’s status as avant-garde, modern, and futural, and one edited collection on diverse practices and practitioners in the philosophy of music. I’m also thinking about working up a 33 1/3 proposal for Janet’s Rhythm Nation, and starting some research on machine listening/music cognition and 21st c scientific racism.
  7. I presented work at: SPEP, EMP, philoSOPHIA (where there was an amazing roundtable on my Resilience & Melancholy book), Columbia University, Ithaca College, and Connecticut College. I would LOVE to speak at your school or keynote your conference in 2017. I especially like guest-teaching other people’s classes (it’s like intellectual grandparenting: I get to have fun with students and leave all the unpleasant parts to the actual instructor).
  8. I proposed and/or prepared work to present in 2017 at: The APA Eastern (I was actually invited! To talk at the APA?!? So I decided to talk mostly about pop music); IASPM-US; IASPM-International; SPEP; NYU (in April 2017).
  9. I developed a brand new intro course on Philosophical Approaches to Death & Dying, and I did it in a way that focuses on social death, civil death, and necropolitics. We only read two cis white men all semester. In an intro to philosophy course. I also worked with two incredibly smart TAs who are already gifted teachers.
  10. I developed a course on Theories of Sound & Music, which I’ll deliver in Spring 2017. This is the first time–I’ve been teaching on the tenure track for 11 years!–I’ve ever taught a full class on my actual research specialization.
  11. I proposed an honors seminar that looks at the evolution of post-punk to modern rock, alternative, and indie in light of technological, material, and ideological changes of the 70s-early 00s.
  12. I turned my pop music survey into a hybrid course.
  13. I team-taught for the first time; it was a course on public philosophy & new media.
  14. I co-directed an MA paper that took a mad studies approach to the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia. I also sat on a comps committee in Communication Studies, and directed a university honors portfolio project.
  15. I sat on a lot of boring committees and went to a lot of meetings.
  16. I did some reviewing for journals and presses.


Oh, and I got a puppy.