The Journals: Management and Publishing Solutions department (J:MaPS) is beginning a new adventure: exploring the world of blogging! This monthly J:MaPS update will inform you of the latest news including awards, editorial board changes, and new issue releases. This month’s highlight features Emily Wilbourne, the new Editor in Chief of Women and Music.
J:MaPS: What is your history with Women and Music (WAM)?
Emily Wilbourne: I first started with WAM as a managing editor in 2004 and then spent ten years working under Suzanne G. Cusick’s editorship. Ellie Hisama took over as Editor in Chief in 2014, and she was graceful enough to let me guest edit the 2015 issue. With that practice under my belt, I threw my hat in the ring as Ellie’s three-year term came to an end, and was thrilled to be chosen by the selection committee.
J:MaPS: What are your plans for the journal and how will you achieve them?
EW: I have a lot of plans! WAM has been such a force for good in my life and in the life of the feminist musicological community at large. I really want to see it thrive on all kinds of levels. Firstly, I’m really thrilled to say that submissions are up. And the new issue (vol. 21, 2017), which we just submitted to UNP to begin production, is a real bumper issue. I think that the current intellectual and political climate (in North America in particular, but across the world) has added a new urgency to critical and theoretical projects of many sorts, not least, in thinking through the relationship of sound, music, and performance to the gendered, raced, nationalized, and otherwise differentiated experiences of our shared humanity. WAM provides a forum for sophisticated thinking about music and identity that has no direct parallel within musicological scholarship, and I hope to amplify the range of voices heard in WAM as much as possible.
In an era of ever increasing digital access, I want to bring something different to the publication of WAM. Often, when looking for material, scholars follow a trail of keywords and internet searches, pulling out the articles that are most relevant to their specific topic. When this happens, I want them to notice that something special is happening in WAM, and that the rest of the issue is also worthy of attention. I want our readers to look out for the appearance of the issue each year, and to jump over to check out exactly what is inside. One of the ways I plan to make this happen is to have more special issues. The first special issue, vol. 19 (2015), a festschrift in honor of Suzanne G. Cusick, was a huge success, and we have a second one slated for next year, vol. 22 (2018), with papers from the Race-ing Queer Music Scholarship Project, sponsored by the LGBTQ Study Group of the American Musicological Society (AMS), and held in Vancouver during the last AMS conference. I also called for the submission of short scores for inclusion in the forthcoming issue—and had an encouraging response. I think the presence of short musical pieces alongside the scholarly articles does a lot of work for us: making the issue more interesting to look at and page through; bringing back the early roots of scholarship on music and women (most of which involved work on female composers); hopefully introducing these composers to a wider circle of interested readers/listeners/scholars; and showcasing the special ability of music to intervene in and shape our experience of the world.
For me, personally, the kinds of scholarship that I read between the covers of WAM served as inspirational models of how my own intellectual labor might unfold. Working as the managing editor gave me an enormous insight into the workings of academic publications, which made me a savvy advocate for my work in various forums. As one of the lucky few who have managed to secure a tenured academic position, my work as Editor-in-Chief gives me an extraordinary joy. It is a genuine privilege to facilitate the publication and distribution of such great work, very often by young, untenured faculty, independent scholars, and graduate students. The articles in the forthcoming issue touch on the intersection of race, gender, politics, representation, sound, and affect. And there are compositions, too! This is really important work, and to feel responsible—in a good way—for its existence in print is a real honor.
“What is it?”
Last month, Joyce Gettman, our Marketing and Fulfillment Manager, attended and staffed the J:MaPS booth at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference held in Washington D.C.
Anyone who has run a booth knows the difficulty that is trying to stand out in a sea of people, booths, book signings, and more. How does one compete for attention? The answer is simple: free stuff. Everyone loves freebies, whether it’s a pen, a piece of candy, or a notepad. To really stand out, the more unique or interesting the stuff, the better. The freebie Joyce brought (photo below) was so unique, people didn’t know what it was! The obscurity of the object resulted in many people starting conversations with her just to get an answer. She heard wild guesses such as “whistle” and “kazoo,” and was continually asked, “What is it?”
The answer: a cord tunnel, a simple tool for organizing one’s power cables and headphone cords. They were a hit and some people even came back for more.
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