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Ron Alexander Memorial Lectures in Musicology: Amy Cimini

Date and Time
Monday November 27th, 2023
4:30 - 6:00pm
Braun Music Center
541 Lasuen Mall, Stanford, CA 94305
Room 103
About this event

Topic: Maryanne Amacher’s Houses for Strange Life: Friendship, Citation and Some Returns to the Science Question

Abstract: Maryanne Amacher was a multidisciplinary artist whose interventions in auditory experience dramatize how conceptualizations of sound attach social value unevenly to bodies, materials and social relations. Spanning the early 1960s through the turn of the millennium, her work series, unrealized projects and musical thought have relevance across civic and environmental contestation, telecommunications and science and biotechnology in the late 20th century U.S. This talk examines the complex status of feminist science and technology studies in Amacher’s thought and practice and in music studies more broadly. Specifically, the talk examines how her fascination with sound at the conjuncture of speculative microbiologies and virtual transport collides with fractures, in then-recent feminist thought about race and changing intersectional hierarachies across technological divisions of labor. This inquiry reveals a citational practice in Amacher’s work where countertechnoscientific ways of knowing circulate among friends and opens musicological intersections with feminist STS in new directions.

Amy Cimini is musicologist, violist, teacher and Associate Professor of Music at UC San Diego. She works on questions of power, community and technology in 20th & 21st century experimental music, sound art and auditory culture. She is the author of  Wild Sound: Maryanne Amacher and the Tenses of Audible Life  (Oxford University Press 2022) and co-editor of Maryanne Amacher: Selected Writings and Interview (Blank Forms Editions 2020) with composer and theorist Bill Dietz. In other articles, she explores race and digital art curation; debates about feminist music theory; listening and border militarization and other topics. As a violist, she plays with composer Katherine Young in the duo Architeuthis Walks on Land and in improvised ensembles and experimental rock bands. She also makes solo music that critically explores local music and sound recording archives and soundscapes in the San Diego / Tijuana borderlands. Amy serves on the editorial board of the journal Women and Music as well as the Graduate Education Committee in the American Musicological Society. She is a founding member of the Music and Philosophy Study Group of the AMS and serves on the board of the Maryanne Amacher Foundation. 

Admission Information

  • Free admission
  • Note that Stanford University guidelines now state that masks are no longer required, but are strongly recommended. We encourage you to continue wearing masks for the comfort of our patrons, staff, and artists. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is no longer required.
Event Sponsor
Department of Music