From Your Ivory Tower, Inspired Me
This past weekend, I gave a presentation at the Harvard Graduate Music Forum conference on my good friend Mike Hamad’s Phishmaps. The theme of the conference was “Musical Cartographies,” so I felt like this was a perfect topic. This was the first time that I’d given a scholarly presentation on Phish to other academics who were not themselves Phish- or Dead-heads. For me, it felt like a little bit of a coming out, because Phish is still so highly stigmatized in popular culture, and in academia.
Still, there’s been a shift among the younger generation of scholars that if you apply a rigorous scholarly apparatus to your subject, any and all aspects of popular culture should be examined and can yield good results. I hope that I’ve done that here. The first 20 minutes are me reading my paper (sorry for the vertical camera orientation!!) and then there’s about 10 minutes of Q&A. Professor Emily Dolan from Harvard is the session chair who introduces me and asks the first question.
Thanks to everyone who came to this, to everyone who cheered me on virtually, and to Etha Williams of Harvard for organizing a great conference.
And special thanks to my mom for videotaping the talk, even though she didn’t figure out how to zoom in until close to the end!