A few years ago, taking a seminar with Dr. Patricia Hall, I took it upon myself to write a term paper on Frank Zappa’s orchestral piece Pedro’s Dowry. I loved the research and the analysis was a lot of fun, but along the way I made an interesting discovery. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but at the time I was shocked to find that almost no serious research was being done on Zappa and his music! Dr. Hall was the first to suggest a Zappa dissertation…
And well… Here I am, four years later. Drafts of two of the chapters (out of five) are more or less complete. And after much deliberation, I’ve decided to throw modesty to the wind and start keeping a blog. I know, I know. But rest assured, dear reader, this blog isn’t the usual vessel of self-glorification.
No. This blog has loftier goals in mind. (< admitted self glorification)
While the immediate purpose of the blog is to document my research and progress with my dissertation, I hope to provide some kind of catalyst for discussion as well. Academic research in the humanities (in my opinion) is in dire need of embracing collaborative research. Hopefully this is a step in that direction.
I was inspired by New Yorker music critic Alex Ross’s blog, The Rest Is Noise. Leading up to and following the publication of his eponymous book, Ross kept a great blog documenting the publication process, his own interests, and other musical ephemera. This was one of my first experiences with the intersection of (pseudo) academic publishing and collaborative web culture. And I was sold.
I’d like to do something similar here. I’ll be blogging about research issues (victories and foibles), questions that come to mind, tangential interests, and may even publish completed chapters under Creative Commons licensing. (Concerns about the politics and intricacies of the academic publishing process may make me rethink the latter, though I hate to say it.)
Feedback is strongly encouraged. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and concerns and always welcome constructive criticism. I love this music and I’m guessing you like it too. Like he said, “Music is the best!”