Month: November 2015

Music Theory Online (MTO) – Call for Submissions on Feminist Music Theory

Call for submissions: Music Theory Online seeks new research for a special half-issue or issue on feminist music theory. Authors are invited to submit articles of approximately 8,000-12,000 words on the topics listed below by March 15, 2016. Submissions will undergo the journal’s standard blind-review process.

Potential topics are:
(1) feminist critiques of music theory, its methodologies, and/or terminology (either contemporary or historical)
(2) new feminist methodologies for analysis, or expansions or alterations of previous ones
(3) feminist analyses or reinterpretations of works using existing paradigms

Some examples of the kind of scholarship we seek are (this is not a comprehensive list):
– Suzanne Cusick, “Feminist Theory, Music Theory, and the Mind/Body Problem,” Perspectives of New Music 32/1 (1994)
– Marion Guck, “A Woman’s (Theoretical) Work,” Perspectives of New Music 32/1 (1994)
– Marianne Kielian-Gilbert, “Of Poetics and Poiesis, Pleasure and Politics-Music Theory and Modes of the Feminine,” Perspectives of New Music 32/1 (1994)
– Fred Maus, “Masculine Discourse in Music Theory,” Perspectives of New Music 31/2 (1993)

More generally, we publish work that makes a new contribution to scholarship on music theory and/or analysis, situates its contribution within the current published research on the topic, and is well organized and clearly written. We encourage authors to take advantage of our multimedia capabilities to include audio, color graphics, animation, video, and hyperlinks.

Articles may be submitted via email to mto-editor[at] consult our submission guidelines at Music Theory Online is the refereed open-access electronic journal of the Society for Music Theory.

Nicole Biamonte
Editor, Music Theory Online

Proposal Advising Program – New Program Coordinator/Deadlines

Dear Colleagues,

For the past ten years the Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) has sponsored a Proposal Advising Program aimed at increasing the number of women submitting proposals to SMT annual conferences and the number of proposals by women accepted.  In this program we pair up female graduate students and junior faculty with veterans of previous program committees and/or multiple successful paper proposals who will work with them to produce an outstanding conference proposal for the upcoming SMT conference.

At this time, we invite participants—both advisees (women) and advisors (women and men)—to join our program in preparation for next year’s meeting in Vancouver.

Please contact me as soon as possible if you would like to participate in this program, either as an advisor or advisee. Advisees must request an advisor before December 8; requests will be filled in the order they are received.  Please include the following information:

  • a brief description of your proposal topic (2–3 sentences);
  • your institutional affiliation;
  • the name(s) of any advisors with whom you’ve previously worked, if you’ve participated in the program before.

I hope to hear from many of you soon!


Sara Bakker
CSW Conference Proposal Advising Program Coordinator
Lecturer in Music Theory, Utah State University

LP’s Last Post: Reflections on the CSW 2012-15

One day in July 2012, I received an invitation from Harald Krebs, then-SMT president, to take over from Patrica Hall as chair of the CSW. The timing could not have been worse: three days earlier, I’d hit a low point in my career and believed (mistakenly, as it turned out) that my days as an employed music theorist were over. So I told Harald that I didn’t think it made sense for the Society to give me a leadership role. His response was a model of simple Krebsian grace and kindness: “I don’t see why that should be a problem.” And so began three years of working with a host of wonderful people both on the CSW itself, across the entire Society, and beyond.

This period of the CSW has been something of a roller coaster, from the lows of the smt-talk debacle sparked by sexist music theory terminology in April/May 2013 to highs like our leadership of the opening plenary session at this summer’s SMA conference, an international panel entitled “Mind the Gap: Women in the Field of Music Analysis.” But roller coasters always end back down where they began, and this is definitely not the case for the CSW in 2015. For example, I note from one of my first e-mails to Harald that the CSW Facebook group had 115 members but was virtually silent; if someone posted a question or a link to spark conversation, often there were no replies. Today, it has more than doubled in size to 264 and is an active site for discussion, announcements, and sometimes wicked wit!

But our online presence expanded even more with the launch of this blog, thanks to the excellent work of CSW grad student representative Stefanie Acevedo. The home to many resources including our mentoring programs and “Share Your Stories” page, it’s now had over 4,000 views not only from the US and Canada, but the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Australia, Finland, Austria, India, Italy, Singapore, Brazil, Hong Kong, Sweden, Spain, Japan, Belgium, Colombia, Turkey, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Micronesia, South Africa, Switzerland, Norway, Pakistan, Mexico, Costa Rica, Romania, Russia, Nigeria, Belize, Poland, and the Netherlands. Phew!

Our mentoring programs have tripled since 2012, when we only offered the proposal mentoring program that had been launched in the early 2000s. Now under the energetic leadership of Inessa Bazayev and most recently Rachel Lumsden, we also offer an Article Mentoring Program to boost women’s chances of publication success. And last year we added our Situational Mentoring Program, allowing all SMT members regardless of gender the opportunity to contact directly with the mentor of their choice to chat about gender-related career issues, anonymously if they wish.

“Share Your Stories” also allows all SMT members to anonymously share experiences related to women in the field of music theory. As more people contribute, we hope this will provide members or other interested individuals with a sense of the day-to-day issues still facing women in the field, as well as the rewards of a career in a vibrant field that is increasingly open to fresh perspectives. (Send in your story today!)

Finally, in response to continued reports of inappropriate questions to our members—male and female—during music theory position interviews, we’ve revived the process of sending out reminders to search committees. But in keeping with the intersectionality of these questions, we invited the Accessibility, Diversity, and Professional Development Committees as well as the Queer Resource Group to collaborate on a revision of this letter and to co-sponsor it from now on.

Throughout these past three years, the guiding words of the CSW throughout even the worst of times have been “constructive” and “solutions-focused.” In part through our efforts but also those of many others in the Society, women now represent 32% of the SMT membership, the highest annual result in its history, and while we still tend to under-submit research articles to our journals relative to that percentage, last year the numbers of submissions from women to MTO and MTS nearly doubled. Women also now represent 50% of SMT’s Executive Board and official committees, ensuring that we have a strong voice in its future directions.

Much remains to be done; just read a few of the shared stories on our blog if you need more convincing. But our meetings this past week at SMT St. Louis, led in part by incoming chair Jennifer Bain, generated some exciting new project ideas and I know the CSW will continue to play a positive, dynamic, and inspiring role in the Society.

In closing, thanks to all of my past committee members—Stefanie Acevedo, Sara Bakker, Inessa Bazayev, Jane Piper Clendinning, Eileen Hayes, Ted Latham, Wendy Lee, Charity Lofthouse, Rachel Lumsden, Brad Osborn, and Abby Shupe—for all your contributions. What a dynamic group of people I’ve been privileged to work with! Presidents Harald Krebs and Poundie Burstein, Vice-President Michael Buchler, Publications Committee chair Matthew Shaftel, and many, many others have also helped make this past three years terrifically rewarding. Finally, thanks to all of you for your insights, participation, and friendship.

That’s it for me—bye all. Now, over to Jennifer!


Laurel Parsons

“Mind the Gap!” The CSW Abroad

July 8, 2015 marked a highlight in the history of the CSW as we crossed the pond to lead the Society for Music Analysis conference’s opening plenary session at Keele University in England. Entitled “Mind the Gap: Women in the Field of Music Analysis,” our session explored such topics as the progress of women through the (leaky) academic pipeline from undergraduate to professorial levels in the UK (Anne Hyland, Manchester University), intersections of gender and interdisciplinarity (Stefanie Acevedo, Yale University), the role of the SMT CSW in improving the status of women in music theory (Laurel Parsons, CSW Chair), and the outstanding contributions of women analysts and theorists to the field (Amanda Bayley, Bath Spa University). Renowned music theorist Janet Schmalfeldt (Tufts University) ended the panel with an eloquent and rousing response. A lively audience discussion ensued, and over the course of the conference many attendees expressed appreciation to the panel for bringing to their attention both the shocking realities many women still experience in the field. Many also shared a new determination to work toward improvements in the status of women in their own professional environments, using the work of the CSW as an example. The SMA itself is committed to addressing gender imbalance, and toward this end its recent appointments to its editorial board were 50/50 female-male.

This plenary session was the brainchild of the SMA’s Nicholas Reyland (Keele University) who invited me to put the panel together. As conference organizer, Nick cleverly placed us at the beginning of the program in a room through which every conference attendee had to pass to get out of the registration and free breakfast room. There was no escaping us! Many thanks to Nick for his invitation and his warm hospitality at the conference, and to both the SMA and SMT for their assistance with travel costs.

Submitted by

Laurel Parsons, Past Chair, CSW