Journal of Schenkerian Studies
- 5/20a: Before applying to this position, we should have a better understanding of what is meant by "restructur[ing] and rebrand[ing]" the journal and "the current state of music theory as a field." This requires an acknowledgement of facts and history, some of which are covered here: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/01/28/professor-counters-allegations-racism-court In essence, a highly respected scholar was removed from his post and defamed (i.e., cancel culture) because his views--in defense of research-based argument--are not allowed. The prevailing trend in US academia is the total censorship and destruction of views and people who dare to go against the "woke" agenda. This is the reality, and it will lead to a further degradation of the field, of educational standards and outcomes more broadly, and a weakening of the US on the global stage, as long as scholars and others allow it to happen.
- 5/20b: Ah, yes, the yearly reminder that those eager to prop up the status quo still exist in this field -- or at least inject themselves into its discourse. I must admit that I'm surprised at how late it comes this season, as there are usually several accusations of "reverse discrimination" by now. Perhaps it's a sign that this flame is dying out.
- 5/20c: To 5/20a, the call for applications requests "a cover letter with expression of interest in the position, including the candidate’s goals for the journal" (emphasis mine). It seems to me that they're intentionally unclear with what they mean by "restructur[ing] and rebrand[ing]" the journal because they're using it as a way to vet candidates. That's hardly a reason for controversy, in my opinion.
- 5/21a: After looking into Philip Ewell, I tend to understand 5/20a's point. I would strongly disagree with his statement that Beethoven is an above average composer but nothing more. (see: https://musictheoryswhiteracialframe.wordpress.com/2020/04/24/beethoven-was-an-above-average-composer-lets-leave-it-at-that/#comments) In fact, I can't believe that anyone who's serious about music would make such a claim. Looking over what he's written, he comes off as an angry, jealous person with deep-seated resentment. I don't know the origin of his psychological issues, but I think if I had to pick whose side to support, I'd side with Beethoven over this guy.
- "As someone who has never heard of Philip Ewell yet knows to comment on the talk page of the music theory jobs wiki one day after the first comment, I have to agree with the OP, who never mentioned Philip Ewell at all. Obviously, no serious musician would say that Beethoven is a great composer but not a genius; Philip Ewell said that so therefore he cannot be a serious musician, and we can disregard his contributions to music theory on that basis. To Ewell's point that whiteness promotes conformism and hero worship and is unwelcoming to outsiders, I can only say that he does not understand the genius that everyone else agrees upon and he is only critiquing the field because he does not truly belong, which isn't proving his point at all."
- 5/21b: To 5/21a, the racist trope of the "angry/crazy Black man" is not welcome here. As an educated, employed, and published theorist -- a real "serious" musician -- I agree with Ewell's assessment. And I speak as someone who has relied heavily on Beethoven's repertoire to expound theories of meaning.
- 5/21c: To 5/21a, so you are siding instead with Jackson, who thinks that we need to start "bringing Blacks up to 'standard'"?
- 5/24 I don't think "never heard of Philip Ewell" is the defense you think it is. Sounds like you've got some homework to do.
- For sure! But the undated comment was a satirical paraphrase of 5/21a, not my own opinion. I've moved it to make that more clear.