The Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) promotes gender equity and feminist scholarship in areas related to music theory and serves as a repository of information about women and music. The CSW serves the Society for Music Theory in matters that are critical to all music theorists.
- Chair: Laurel Parsons (2015)
- Jane Clendinning (2014), Brad Osborn (2014), Rachel Lumsden (2015), Stefanie Acevedo (2016; graduate student), Wendy Lee (2016)
- Monitors and advocates for compliance with practices that promote gender equity, both within the Society and in the field of music theory in general.
- Sponsors a special session at the Annual Meeting.
- Holds a no-host luncheon at the Annual Meeting to discuss matters that relate to the mission of the CSW; all interested members of the SMT are invited to come to this.
- Maintains a CSW Affiliates Facebook group web page to help members stay current on CSW activities and to get involved in related discussions and events; all interested members of the SMT are invited to join this Facebook group.
- Maintains resources that relate to the mission of the CSW (see below).
- Maintains an email list discussion group.
2013 Conference Report
The CSW was active at the 2013 Annual Meeting in Charlotte. Our well-attended special evening session, “Addressing the Gender Imbalance II: A Five-Year Check-up and a Five-Year Plan,” featured short but powerful presentations by Brenda Ravenscroft, Jennifer Bain, Severine Neff, Poundie Burstein, and Jane Piper Clendinning, followed by lively breakout discussions that generated many excellent ideas. Attendance at our annual Brown Bag lunch was overflowing, and generated even more ideas. Over the next few months, we will be incorporating your contributions into a new five-year plan, with specific targets to achieve and actions to complete by 2018.
We have begun researching childcare possibilities for the Annual Meeting in Milwaukee. It will be crucial for us to have an estimate of how many members will need childcare, so if you anticipate needing childcare next year, please contact Laurel Parsons with the number and ages of children, and approximately how many days/hours you’d likely need this service. We look forward to seeing you all in Milwaukee in November!
One of the CSW’s goals is to ensure as far as possible that women theorists’ rates of publication in music theory journals and presentation at music theory conferences match their relative distribution within the profession. Toward this end, the Committee offers two mentoring programs to female graduate students and junior scholars. Each program matches a mentee with a completed conference proposal or research article draft with a volunteer mid-career or senior theorist, as described below.
- Proposal Mentoring Program
This program pairs a female music theory graduate student or junior scholar (the mentee) with a senior music theorist (the mentor) who will provide feedback on a conference proposal for the Society for Music Theory’s annual conference, or a regional music theory conference. The mentor will then provide her or his opinion on how the mentee can strengthen the proposal’s writing style, organization, etc., to maximize the proposal’s chances of being accepted.
- Article Mentoring Program
This program pairs a female music theory graduate student or junior scholar (the mentee) with a senior music theorist (the mentor) who will provide feedback on a complete draft of an article intended for submission to Music Theory Spectrum, Music Theory Online, or another major theory journal. The CSW will endeavor to find a mentor whose research corresponds as closely as possible with the subject of the mentee’s article, and who has previously published her or his research in one or more of these journals. The mentor will then provide her or his opinion on how the mentee can strengthen the article’s writing style, subject matter, organization, etc., to maximize the article’s chance of being accepted, and/or may offer recommendations as to best journal “fit.”
Please note that, in accordance with Item 2 of the SMT Mentoring Policy, the opinions expressed and advice given within both of the CSW’s mentoring programs are solely those of the individual mentor and do not represent the views or actions of the Society for Music Theory.
For details on becoming a mentee or mentor, please contact the Mentoring Program administrator Rachel Lumsden.
- CSW Blog: Women in Music Theory
- SMT Guidelines for Non-Sexist Language
- Guidelines for Interview Questions, both for those being interviewed and for those conducting interviews
- Five documents from the 2008 SMT conference in Nashville: CSW Report on Gender Imbalance, Gender in Theory Journals, and three PowerPoint presentations: Gender Online Survey, Gender in SMT, and Focus Group Findings.
- Related links
For questions about the CSW and its activities, please contact Laurel Parsons, CSW Chair.