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Professional Development
Nov 21, 2021 11:00 AM - 12:50 PM(America/Chicago)
20211121T1100 20211121T1250 America/Chicago Can the White Page be Overwritten?: Race and Representation in Critical Editions

Within the musicological community there is increasing acknowledgment that a lack of equity is a hindrance that cannot be overcome merely by good intentions. Current AMS president Steve Swayne writes in his first presidential letter to the AMS that "our own times are not free from prejudices and blind spots that may keep us from utilizing all the ideas available to us that can make our work more robust than it already is." What part do the editors and publishers of critical editions play in reinforcing these blind spots, and what can we do to rectify them? In 2001 Guthrie P. Ramsay described a "deafening silence" on the lack of Black scholars in the growing field of Black vernacular music studies. Nineteen years later, in a special issue of the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Naomi André and Denise Von Glahn write that "In our most widely adopted history textbooks, contributions of African Americans and women are treated as add-ons and asides, if they are present at all." Certainly critical editions, as scholarly objects that physically merge the work of the musicologist with musical notation, must be sites that display existing biases; but for the same reason, critical editions also have the potential to be sites where new historiographic practices might be embraced. 

This roundtable will bring together scholars, editors, and publishers of critical editions to discuss the following questions: (1) Why are works by BIPOC composers underrepresented in critical editions? (2) Why are BIPOC scholars underrepresented among editors of critical editions? (3) What can we do to combat racist systems in the making of critical editions? And, finally, (4) What can scholars do to create and advocate for critical editio ...

AMS 2021 ams@amsmusicology.org

Within the musicological community there is increasing acknowledgment that a lack of equity is a hindrance that cannot be overcome merely by good intentions. Current AMS president Steve Swayne writes in his first presidential letter to the AMS that "our own times are not free from prejudices and blind spots that may keep us from utilizing all the ideas available to us that can make our work more robust than it already is." What part do the editors and publishers of critical editions play in reinforcing these blind spots, and what can we do to rectify them? In 2001 Guthrie P. Ramsay described a "deafening silence" on the lack of Black scholars in the growing field of Black vernacular music studies. Nineteen years later, in a special issue of the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Naomi André and Denise Von Glahn write that "In our most widely adopted history textbooks, contributions of African Americans and women are treated as add-ons and asides, if they are present at all." Certainly critical editions, as scholarly objects that physically merge the work of the musicologist with musical notation, must be sites that display existing biases; but for the same reason, critical editions also have the potential to be sites where new historiographic practices might be embraced. 

This roundtable will bring together scholars, editors, and publishers of critical editions to discuss the following questions: (1) Why are works by BIPOC composers underrepresented in critical editions? (2) Why are BIPOC scholars underrepresented among editors of critical editions? (3) What can we do to combat racist systems in the making of critical editions? And, finally, (4) What can scholars do to create and advocate for critical editions that resist racist historiographical norms?  

Miami University
University of Michigan, COPAM
University of Oxford
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Dr. Alexander Dean
A-R Editions
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