Welcome from the (Past) CSW Chair

On behalf of the SMT Committee on the Status of Women, welcome to our blog! We hope this site will serve as a dynamic, supportive space not just for women, but for all music theorists interested in understanding the challenges and rewards of being a female theorist in a male-dominated field, and helping to promote gender equity in academic life. Like the CSW page on the SMT website, this blog will provide information on our mandate and activities, including mentoring programs and conference events, but it also offers something new and exciting—the opportunity for interactive engagement.

In the Blog section, you will be able to read posts by committee members and other contributors—if you have an idea for a guest blog, let us know! If you want to share a link to a great article, send it in for our Resources and Links page. We have also included a link to our new and improved Bibliography on Women and Gender in Music. Since it is now a Wiki, if you have published an article on the subject, or we have missed an important reference, you can add it to the bibliography yourself to help keep the bibliography current and comprehensive.

To help all of us increase our awareness of what types of challenges and rewards women are experiencing as music theorists, our Share Your Stories section allows users to anonymously submit their own experiences for others to read on our blog. In this section of the blog, comments will be disabled, and to protect the identities of all concerned every story will be vetted by a blog administrator to remove details that might identify specific individuals or institutions. (This page was inspired by the blog What is it Like to be a Woman in Philosophy?.)

The Ask Me! area is our situational mentoring feature, where you can connect directly and anonymously with your choice of mentor to seek advice regarding gender-related issues, or even just a listening ear.

In a word, this site is solution-focused. In my time as Chair, I’ve received letters from female and male theorists who have either encountered or witnessed some form of gender inequity or discrimination; these issues affect all of us. When we look at how things have changed since the early years of our field, there is much to celebrate, but there is still a lot of distance to cover, so please join us in generating solutions to move us forward!

Laurel Parsons
Past Chair, SMT Committee on the Status of Women