March 6 Life of the Mind lecture to once again address the topic of “Next”

life of the mind graphicLife of the Mind, interdisciplinary conversations with UC faculty, will return Wednesday, March 6, 2019 from 2:30-4:30pm, in TUC 400B with a lecture by Stephen Meyer, professor of musicology in the College-Conservatory of Music. Professor Meyer will speak on “Beyond Decanonization: The Future of Humanities in the Neoliberal University.”

Life of the Mind is a semi-annual lecture series that features a distinguished University of Cincinnati faculty member presenting his or her work and expertise. The series includes intriguing insights from diverse perspectives and encourages faculty and students from across the university to engage in further discourse. The presentation is not simply a recitation of the faculty member’s work but promotes an informed point of view.

Stephen Meyer specializes in early 19th-century opera, film music, music history pedagogy, music and medievalism and the history of recorded sound. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Music History Pedagogy.

stephen meyer
Stephen Meyer

Meyer’s presentation will build on his recently published work on transformations in the canon of works that served as the core of the music history curriculum for much of the 20th century. The hegemony of this canon — formed almost exclusively from the works of white, male composers — was challenged and at least partially deconstructed during the 1980s and ’90s. During these years, musicology was enriched by new critical approaches and methodologies that exposed the relationship between the historical canon and contemporary power structures. Ethnomusicology and popular music studies made new repertoires the subject of serious scholarly work, and the field seemed poised for a period of rapid expansion. And yet this expansion — at least insofar as it might be measured by an increase in the number of tenure-track positions allotted to musicology in North American universities — failed to materialize.

In this sense, what might be called the “de-institutionalization” of musicology participates in the so-called “crisis of the humanities”: the seemingly inexorable shift of resources away from the humanities and towards supposedly more profitable and applicable disciplines. Meyer’s presentation will use musicology as a case example through which to ponder the ways in which the humanities might reposition themselves in a post-canonic, multi-cultural and transformational society.

A panel of four UC faculty members will respond to and discuss the lecture from diverse perspectives. The March 6 Life of the Mind panel will consist of:

  • Alberto Espay, professor of neurology, College of Medicine
  • James Mack, professor of chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, associate dean, The Graduate School
  • Tamika Odum, assistant professor, behavioral sciences, UC Blue Ash College
  • Rebecca Williamson, associate professor, architecture and interior design, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning

Sponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, and organized by the University of Cincinnati Libraries and Faculty Senate, the mission of Life of the Mind is to celebrate UC faculty research, scholarship and creative output and to foster the free and open exchange of ideas and discourse. Life of the Mind is free and open to the public and attracts a broad audience including UC students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as people from the community.

More information about Life of the Mind is available online at www.libraries.uc.edu/lifeofthemind/.

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To continue the conversation on humanities and higher education, attend the Taft Center Lecture “Humanities Education at the Crossroads: Why the Liberal Arts are Fundamental to Democracy” presented by William Egginton, Thursday, March 7 at 3:00p.m.