Conference Agenda

The Online Program of events for the 2023 AMS & SMT Joint Annual Meeting appears below. This program is subject to change. The final program will be published in early November.

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Session Overview
Overcoming Barriers, Using Assets as ADHD Scholars in Musicology
Saturday, 11/Nov/2023:
12:30pm - 2:00pm

Location: Plaza Ballroom F

Session Topics:
Disability, AMS

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Overcoming Barriers, Using Assets as ADHD Scholars in Musicology

Chair(s): Jeannette DiBernardo Jones (College of the Holy Cross)

Presenter(s): Peter Lamothe (Belmont University), Stephanie Frakes (University of Manitoba), Jeannette DiBernardo Jones (College of the Holy Cross)

Organized by the AMS Music and Disability Study Group

Thanks to the trailblazing work in Disability Studies over the past twenty years, we musicologists have become increasingly familiar with disability as experienced by musicians and perceived by society at large. Disability has been explored through the physical realities of blindness and deafness—spaces that demonstrate tangible effects of disability and our responses to them. More recently, the 2016 colloquy “On the Disability Aesthetics of Music” published in JAMS queried how we might become more open-minded about our methodologies and the results they yield. Specifically, Andrew Dell’Antonio and Elizabeth Grace’s auto-ethnographic approach presented interviews with autistic musicians as valuable emic data arising from within the community they inhabit.

It is encouraging to witness scholarly inquiry expand into the realm of the mind. But there remains a comparative lack of rigorous investigation into what it means to be an academic with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This in spite of the fact that currently in the United States around 10% of children aged 3-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Adults are being diagnosed with ADHD more and more frequently, and data indicates that it is everywhere—your students have it; your colleagues have it; you may even have it. It is time to move beyond the stigma and delve into the real-life experiences of musicologists diagnosed with ADHD.

Each of us on this panel has ADHD. We would like to initiate an auto-ethnographic line of inquiry, directing it first inwardly, then outwardly to answer the following questions: What practical, mental, and emotional thinking and learning barriers have we faced as academics and musicologists with ADHD? What advice can we give to colleagues in our field who have ADHD as they progress through a Ph. D. program and continue working in Musicology? Most importantly, how has our neurological make-up served us positively in the study of music?

Peter Lamothe will talk about being diagnosed with ADHD while working as a professor, and about learning to view ADHD as an asset rather than a liability. Jeannette DiBinardo Jones will discuss the benefits of the ADHD brain and what our neurodiversity brings to the table. Stephanie Frakes will explore the relationship between sensitivity, the development of ADHD, and musical insight. We hope that our lived experiences will encourage those who share our paths in some way and increase our collective ability to acknowledge—without shame or social stigma—the neuerodivergence within our ranks.

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