PGR Study Day (2 May 2015)
PhD student Martin Čurda writes about a recent PGR Study Day at the School of Music...
“On Saturday 2nd May 2015, the students and staff of the School of Music gathered for a Postgraduate Research Study Day – the sixth instalment of a series of biannual events designed to bring together the postgraduate research community in our department and to give the students the opportunity to practice their presentation skills in a friendly, semi-formal environment.
“Last but not least, PGR Study Days are a showcase of the diversity and quality of postgraduate research conducted in our department.
“Ethnomusicological papers constituted the majority of presentations in this term’s event. Jeff Charest analysed lute-naming traditions from a linguistic perspective. Nicky Maher focused on gender roles underpinning the pagenyria festivals in the region of Pogoni on the Greek-Albanian border.
“Rod Lawford analysed the continuing problems of social integration of Roma people in Romania from the middle ages to the present day. Sebastián Wanumen explored a diverse range of cultural, social, and political agenda of the Colombian folklore genre of carranga.
“Finally, Kate Neale problematised constructions of identity and community in the carolling tradition of Cornish diaspora in Australia.
“Musicological research was represented by Alessandra Palidda, who analysed the ideological function of music during republican public feasts in 1790s Jacobin Milan. My own paper brought a hermeneutic analysis of the 1940/41 Symphony by Pavel Haas, explaining the musical articulation of religious patriotism and grotesque ridicule.
“The last session of the day included two papers from the field of popular music studies. Sam Murray addressed issues of marketing and policy-making in his analysis of the musical scene of Portland, Oregon and its lack of middle-sized music venues.
“Finally, Alicia Stark discussed the character of Noodle from the virtual band Gorillaz from the perspectives of gender stereotypes and Orientalism.
“As always, one session of the day was dedicated to professional development. This time, the students had the chance to witness a mock lecturing job interview. Drs Clair Rowden, Amanda Villepastour and David Beard kindly offered to take on the role of the panel, and I played the role of the applicant.
“In the interest of authenticity, the interview was based on a real lecturing job specification, using a CV and supporting statement written specifically for this vacancy. The actual role-playing exercise was preceded by a short introduction by the members of staff and followed by a discussion, which reflected on the strengths and weaknesses of the interview.
“Finally, most of us went on to conclude the day informally over dinner and drink and celebrate the community of friends and colleagues. Speaking as an organiser of this event and as a final year student, I am delighted to say that it takes little more to create a successful and stimulating event than to bring people together and that I feel privileged to have been a member of the postgraduate community in this department.”