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Sunday Recommendations Sep. 15

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

I found a YouTube channel which has been very helpful in my essay writing, particularly in how to collect (and organize!) sources. I can recommend the Marble Jar channel if your research needs some strong technical methods: (

Thus I´ve been collecting sources for an essay I´m writing, and I thought sharing both the quotes and the essays themselves could be interesting for my "Sunday Recommendation" series.

First, " Musicology and Feminism - Reshaping a Discipline" by Susan McClary. A very thorough review of the history and the contemporary (as of 1993) strands of feminist theory in musicology. In general I find them so interesting as they each contribute to a breaking down of standard modes of thought, revealing new avenues with which we can make music, or think about some of our most fixed assumptions.

Quotes from McClary´s essay:

  • "...the resulting masculine identity of institutional musicology in the United States has led to the establishment of implicit gendered hierarchies within american musical life that systematically devalue music performance and music education. Musicology presumes to speak for performers, educators, composers and for the music itself, while remaining serenely above the sweaty work of converting notes into sound…."

  • "…[On Eva Tiger ´s Frau, Musik, und Männerschaft]examines the various ways musicians have gendered (and thereby assigned value to) their activities, and she was among the first to analyze the language used to describe such „ideal forms“ as sonata (in which „masculine“ themes are aggressive, while „feminine“ themes are passive and in need of resolution). "

  • "—critics such as Jacques Derrida also have revealed how discourses are grounded in assumptions about the world that often remain invisible, albert transmitted indefinitely through cultural transactions. Thus, another aspect of deconstructionist project is to make us aware of how language - in both our habits of speech and our literary texts-participates in producing and reproducing a particular kind of social world“

In, "Conceptual Art and Feminism: Martha Rosler, Adrian Piper, Eleanor Antin, and Martha Wilson" by Jayne Wark

  • "Conceptual artists considered themselves cultural critics--of the prevailing modes of art production on the one hand, and of its larger system of display, reception, and commodification on the other. With respect to the the prevailing modes of art production, it was an aesthetic negation and refusal of modernism."

  • "With regard to the system of display, reception, and commodification, conceptual artists sought to establish a link between art practice and the ideological and institutional structures in which it is embed."

  • "This new political understanding led inevitably to a skepticism among artists like Rosler, Piper, Antin, and Wilson about the adequacy of Conceptual art, with its insular focus on aesthetic debate, to articulate their emerging concerns with problematic social relations. They did, nevertheless, recognize the potential of subjecting Conceptual art's strategies and methodological premises to modifications that would advance the fundamentally different critical ethos informing their works."

  • "As is evident from Rosler's and Piper's work, Conceptual art offered women artists a potent resource of methods and strategies. But, at the same time, Conceptual art's dominant preoccupations posed considerable limitations to the articulation of many feminist concerns, such as Rosler's insistence upon the previously unexamined links between the public sphere of politics and the private sphere of domestic life. Similarly, the subjective basis of Piper's work ran counter to conceptualism's prohibition against subject- centered ..."

In "The Feminism Factor: Video and Its Relation to Feminism" by Martha Gever

  • On Linda Nochlin´s "Why Are there No Great Women Artists?" "Not only does Nochlin point out the disadvantages faced by aspiring female artists in terms of education, social expectations, and critical reception, but she extends her argument to challenge one of the concepts at the heart of Western art: artistic genius. In the process, she exposes the convergence of the values associated with artistic genius and with conventional masculinity - and thus the advantages accorded men in pursuing the career of Great Artist."

  • " Since neither tape seems overly concerned with exploring the fiction of autobiography, but rather with describing and analyzing distinct social phenomena, these signs can be read as connections between the emotional content of individual stories and larger social configuration of power."

In "Significant Others: Social Documentary as Personal Portraiture in Women´s Video of the 1980s" by Christine Tamblyn

  • Actually quoting artist Shelly Millner from an interview in Afterimage magazine: "As a feminist, it seemed important to insist that daily life is as much a site for art making as all the other apparently exalted realms, that the mundane is no less significant a subject matter than the metaphysical. But I´m not so much interested in individual psychology or in starting from autobiography in its marrowly psychological basis, but rather from my material life as a representation of social - sexual, emotional -contradictions."

  • "Feminists have tended to valorize difference rather than homogeneity, fragmentation instead of wholeness, and fiction versus abstract discourse....A decentering of the polarities proliferating from the basic opposition of male/female (i.e. mind/body, culture/nature, same/other) has replaced the stabilized model of a centrifugal structure."

  • "Poststructuralist philosophy has consequently afforded the insight that the inferior social and political position of women has been reinforced by the logical processes through which meaning is produced. As long as dichotomies govern conceptual processes, one term will inevitably be privileged over its opposite. Attempts to reverse the positive and negative poles will have no effect on the maintenance of a hierarchy of oppression. As nietzsche observed, no matter how often masters trade places with their slaves, the institution of slavery itself will continue to be perpetuated."


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