This blurb was originally posted in the SMT August 2016 Newsletter (39.2).
The mission of the Committee on the Status of Women is to promote gender equity in the Society. The Committee pursues this mission by hosting a number of mentoring programs, a Facebook page, and a blog, by sending a letter about illegal interview questions to all universities and colleges posting jobs in music theory, and by hosting both an informal brownbag lunch meeting, as well as a formal session every year at the annual meeting. Some of the formal sessions at the annual meeting have addressed professional issues for women in music theory, while others have been oriented around current scholarship, sometimes focused on recent work in feminist theory and/or on music composed by women. For the 2016 meeting in Vancouver, the session highlights the cornucopia of work produced by women in music theory, with an all-female session of twelve lightning talks that cover a wide range of topics and approaches in the field. With eight papers selected through a blind peer-review process and four invited speakers, the session contains four thematic groupings of papers: music analysis and dance, Russian music, analysis of twentieth-century music, and analysis of popular music. For each grouping there will be three 10-minute talks, followed by 15 minutes of discussion.
For the 2017 meeting in Arlington, Virginia the committee will mark the Fortieth anniversary of the Society and the Thirtieth anniversary of the Committee on the Status of Women by hosting a session on the music of renowned composer, Chen Yi (b.1953). Dr. Chen’s orchestral work, Si Ji (Four Seasons) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in music in 2006. Her music has been performed and commissioned by internationally acclaimed musicians and orchestras ranging from Yo-Yo Ma to Evelyn Glennie, from the Cleveland Orchestra to the New York Philharmonic, from the BBC and Singapore Symphonies to the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. Studies of her music have been published in English, Chinese, and German, including twenty-three completed doctoral dissertations in which she is named in the title. The Committee will be sending out a call for papers for this session soon, and is delighted that the composer herself will be able to attend the session. —Jennifer Bain (CSW Chair)