2010 Business Meeting Minutes

Business Meeting Minutes
November 11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California


Outgoing Section Chair Paul Greene called the meeting to order, welcoming everyone and thanking them for being there. He recognized and thanked the outgoing PMSSEM webmaster and listserv manager, Anthony Guest-Scott. Paul introduced Jennifer Milioto Matsue and Jeremy Wallach as incoming and current chairs, respectively.

Current Section Chair Jeremy Wallach took the podium. He noted that the minutes of the 2009 business meeting were available in hard copy during the meeting and are accessible through a link on the PMSSEM website at the following address:

The Chair asked if there were any questions about or amendments to the 2009 business meeting minutes that required consideration. There were none, and we moved to approve them.

The Chair asked if there were any objections to Jennifer Milioto Matsue filling in as Interim Secretary. There were none.


Chair (Jeremy Wallach)

The Chair’s Annual Report to SEM is attached to the 2009 business meeting minutes (distributed at the meeting in hard copy) and accessible through a link on the PMSSEM website at the following address:

The chair noted that with PMSSEM membership over 600, we are the largest national organization dedicated to the study of popular music in the world.

As of September 2010, the PMSSEM had a total of $6,668. The section drew on these funds for the purchase of refreshments served at a reception just before the 2010 business meeting. A substantial sum remains to devote to other projects. Dues are voluntary, collected through the SEM membership application/renewal form, and provide financial support for a number of important section activities, including the Lise Waxer Prize, the Richard Waterman Prize, and the annual PMSSEM lecture. The lecturer at the 2010 annual meeting is Maureen Mahon. The 9th annual Lise Waxer Prize competition begins tonight. Papers should be submitted to the chair of the prize committee tonight, or you may submit them before the SEM annual meeting ends.

Kevin Fellezs agreed to serve another term as Chair of the Lise Waxer Prize Committee.

Waxer Prize Committee (Kevin Fellezs)

Committee members: Kevin Fellezs (chair), Joshua Duchan, Kariann Goldschmitt

The Lise Waxer Prize was awarded to Andrew Mall for his paper “Lost in the Sound of Separation: Mainstreams and Undergrounds at a Christian Rock Festival.”

Committee’s report:
Mall's paper was a fascinating look inside the Cornerstone Festival as well as an insightful reexamination of the theoretical models we use to understand the relationship between "underground" and "mainstream." Christian rock, in general, remains an understudied segment of the popular music world and underlines Mall’s thesis about notions of center/periphery in popular music scholarship. Overall, his thinking through the “problem” of mainstream/underground as center/periphery is pursued logically and systematically.

Jeremy Wallach offered additional comments about Lise Waxer to those in the room who did not know her; he passed around her two books.

Richard Waterman Prize Committee (Leslie Gay, on behalf of Frank Gunderson)

Committee members: Frank Gunderson (chair), Leslie Gay, Paul Greene

Les Gay reviewed the purpose of the award and encouraged everyone to continue to nominate good work, including their own.

The Richard Waterman Prize was awarded to Kiri Miller of Brown University, for her article “Schizophonic Performance: Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Virtual Virtuosity,” published in the Journal of the Society for American Music (2009).

Committee’s report:
This year, one article really rocked the committee. We were impressed with the article's sophisticated engagement with performance studies, popular music studies, and media scholarship to enhance the article's strong ethnomusicological and ethnographic approach. Indeed, the article is remarkable in how it takes an old question in ethnomusicology — the nature of socio-musical and performative authenticity — and reworks it for the world of gameplay found in Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

To compete in the 2011 competition, submit an article to Lyn Pittman in the SEM business office by April 1.

Listserv Manager and Website Editor (Anthony Guest-Scott)

Anthony had recently set up a wiki for SEM's Archiving SIG (powered by MediaWiki using the SEM Webserve account at IU). He offered to work with his successor as PMSSEM website editor to set up a wiki for the PMSSEM to facilitate sharing bibliographies, syllabi, reviews of books, profiles to replace the website's member directory, etc.

Lecture Committee (Jeremy Wallach, for Meryl Krieger)

Jeremy noted that Meryl Krieger would be arriving the following day. He reviewed the names of past lecturers and stated that the committee would solicit nominations for 2011 speakers online.

No other reports offered.


Nominations for Committees

The Chair minuted appreciation for the work done in 2009-2010 by outgoing committee members and chairs.

Kiri Miller was nominated and elected to become Secretary.

Trevor Harvey was nominated and elected to be website editor and wiki guru.

Phyllis Tang was nominated and elected to be listserv manager.

Meg Jackson and Ann Morrison Spinney were nominated and elected to the Lise Waxer Prize Committee (with Kariann Goldschmitt and Kevin Fellezs continuing).

Greg Booth, Gordon Thompson, and Jennifer Milioto Matsue were nominated and elected to the Richard Waterman Prize Committee.


Jeremy Wallach raised the issue of whether PMSSEM should be renamed. After a brief discussion, the membership voted to retain the current name.

Gordon Thompson raised the idea of developing research grants for students out of our funds.
T.M. Scruggs suggested paying the website guru for what has expanded into a considerable task.

Gordon Thompson volunteered to be on a committee to develop research grants for students. Jeremy Wallach, Esther Clinton, and Paul Greene also volunteered for this committee.

Paul Greene raised the point that despite the fact that our section has grown, the number of jobs for people specializing in popular music has not increased at the same rate. He therefore proposed that we take an activist approach. For example, we could write a letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education. He suggested that we form a committee to address this issue. This raised several enthusiastic comments from the floor.

Paul Greene suggested that a committee be formed to draft a statement that affirms the value of what we do with popular music and scholarship. Jennifer Milioto Matsue reminded the membership that this statement needs to be formally reviewed by the membership. Les Gay added that it will need to be brought up with the SEM Board.

TM Scruggs, Kevin Fellezs, Dennis Rathnaw, and Paul Greene volunteered to serve on this committee and draft such a statement.

From the floor: we should be thinking about possible panel plans for New Orleans when SEM, AMS, and SMT will be meeting together.


Jeremy Wallach announced MIDSEM Music and Everyday Life conference at BGSU April 8-10 with keynote by Harry Berger. Harry Berger invited applications to the new MA program in Performance Studies at TAMU. Other regional meetings were announced.

Meeting adjourned.

Minutes were taken by Jennifer Milioto Matsue and finalized by incoming secretary Kiri Miller.