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Roundtable | Study Group
Nov 21, 2021 02:00 PM - 03:50 PM(America/Chicago)
20211121T1400 20211121T1550 America/Chicago Access in/to Musicology: Disability Justice Perspectives

The Music and Disability Study Group and Project Spectrum present a roundtable that applies Principles of Disability Justice to musicological pedagogy, scholarship, and professional development.

Higher education as a whole-and musicology in particular- systematically excludes voices of those whose bodyminds do not adhere to ideals established by those with power and privilege. Jay Dolmage writes, "Ableism is not a series of bad or sad anomalies, a series of discrete actions. It is a rhetoric in the fullest sense of the word: gestural, social, architectural, duplicitous and plain, malleable, and immovable. It requires agents. It requires actions and intentional inaction" (Academic Ableism, 46). Ableism is not unavoidable in academia; it is chosen. North American higher education is intertwined with eugenics, gatekeeping, and exclusion. Non-disabled supervisors and administrators often determine what accommodations are "reasonable" and limit access to the few disabled students, faculty, and staff who are deemed "deserving" (41–65). 

The Disability Rights Movement secured a legal basis for disability inclusion in schools and workplaces (ex: the Americans with Disabilities Act), but these gains only serve a portion of the disability community; disa ...

AMS 2021 ams@amsmusicology.org

The Music and Disability Study Group and Project Spectrum present a roundtable that applies Principles of Disability Justice to musicological pedagogy, scholarship, and professional development.

Higher education as a whole-and musicology in particular- systematically excludes voices of those whose bodyminds do not adhere to ideals established by those with power and privilege. Jay Dolmage writes, "Ableism is not a series of bad or sad anomalies, a series of discrete actions. It is a rhetoric in the fullest sense of the word: gestural, social, architectural, duplicitous and plain, malleable, and immovable. It requires agents. It requires actions and intentional inaction" (Academic Ableism, 46). Ableism is not unavoidable in academia; it is chosen. North American higher education is intertwined with eugenics, gatekeeping, and exclusion. Non-disabled supervisors and administrators often determine what accommodations are "reasonable" and limit access to the few disabled students, faculty, and staff who are deemed "deserving" (41–65). 

The Disability Rights Movement secured a legal basis for disability inclusion in schools and workplaces (ex: the Americans with Disabilities Act), but these gains only serve a portion of the disability community; disabled people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and those with socially stigmatized disabilities are often left behind, deemed less worthy of inclusion. In the early 21st century, queer BIPOC disabled activists in the Bay Area codified Disability Justice, a framework which recognizes ableism as one of many interlocking, interdependent systems of oppression-all must be dismantled together:

A disability justice framework understands that:

· All bodies are unique and essential.

· All bodies have strengths and needs that must be met.

· We are powerful, not despite the complexities of our bodies, but because of them.

· All bodies are confined by ability, race, gender, sexuality, class, nation state, religion, and more, and we cannot separate them.

(Sins Invalid, Skin, Tooth, and Bone, 2nd ed., 19)

With this roundtable, we discuss and acknowledge the systematic exclusion of disabled, LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and other scholars. Ignoring these perspectives corrodes our discipline, but supporting and amplifying them transforms us. We gather to forge a more radically inclusive profession. Please join us.

University of Texas at Austin
Independent Scholar
University of British Columbia
University of California, Los Angeles
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