Musicology in the Archives

The Spring 2020 semester is off to a roaring start with curricular engagement in the Archives & Special Collections. In addition to several classes visiting the archives for introductory sessions, return visits for collections use, and weekly sessions about memory and the recorded past, the UConn archives is taking part in teaching a School of Music seminar for the first time this semester. Currently, Archivist Graham Stinnett is co-teaching Music 3410W on Archives, Music, Memory and Culture with Prof. Jesús Ramos-Kittrell, Assistant Professor in Residence of Music History and Ethnomusicology in the UConn School of Fine Arts.

Students have engaged with assigned readings from popular culture scholars to critical theorists, amateur historians and archivists, as well as producers in the record business and public librarians. The course works with three major musical genres, the Country Blues, Psychedelic Rock, and Punk Rock drawing from the respective collecting areas at the UConn Archives: Samuel and Ann Charters Archives of Blues and African American Vernacular Musical Culture; Alternative Press Collection; Joe Snow Punk Rock Collection. Students are asked to engage with primary sources to investigate the production of a musical culture through its recorded past. As a writing class requirement the students will produce a research project and presentation drawing on topics found in the archives as well as their personal experiences with music in the digital age and notions of their own personal archives as far as the materialist commodity of music is concerned.

We look forward to working with students this semester to develop their critical learning skills through archives and producing unique and engaging projects that shed light on how young adults engage with music and make it their own.

Louise Menzies: Time to Think Like a Mountain

Louise Menzies, a New Zealand artist, has returned to Archives & Special Collections to explore the extensive holdings in the Alternative Press Collection, with the help of curators Graham Stinnett, Melissa Watterworth Batt, and Kristin Eshelman. Louise Menzies Ms. Menzies’ new exhibition is a “series of new photographic and paper-based works that merge form and content, raising subtle questions about the values inhabiting certain processes and styles, as seen [in] the predominantly activist and underground press material that comprise the collection.” (Professor Barry Rosenberg).  Ms. Menzies will also present a 16mm film from 2013, entitled The Press, Kodak Eastman 5222.

Ms. Menzies gave a gallery talk on Time to Think Like a Mountain on Wednesday, Oct. 8 to an appreciative audience in the Contemporary Art Galleries, Art Building.  The exhibition will run through November 21, 2014,  For more information contact Professor Rosenberg at 860.486.1511.