MP6 Jazz and Culture


The Jazz and Culture Writing Group will support new and ongoing writing projects through workshops for scholars examining issues relating to jazz and culture. We also hope to promote interaction among jazz scholars within the CNY Humanities Corridor.


Active since: 2020

  • University of Rochester
  • Skidmore College
  • St. Lawrence University

Collaborative Goals

The Jazz and Culture Writing Group has two main goals: to help scholars of jazz within the CNY Humanities Corridor strengthen new and ongoing writing projects, and to promote interaction between these scholars by providing a forum for them to engage critically with works-in-progress. Since the late 1990s, an interdisciplinary cohort of scholars interested in jazz have explored a wide range of pressing historical, cultural, and theoretical issues. These scholars focus on the content, creation, and circulation of the music to examine pressing matters of humanistic scholarship, even as they also use a broad range of cultural theory to rethink jazz. Jazz studies remains a robust academic field, with scholars exploring many subjects, including how musical practice encodes cultural differences, especially race and gender; how music acts as a form of political resistance and social change; how musical performance enacts cultural meaning; and how critical discourse, visual aesthetics, and literature intersect with musical practice. In short, recent jazz scholarship has increasingly become a field that explores how the music informs, and is informed by, the social world we inhabit. The primary goal of this group is to support new and ongoing writing on jazz. Through two writing workshops in fall 2020 and spring 2021, our group will allow participants to circulate and discuss articles and book-chapters in-progress. For the first workshop at the University of Rochester, the group will invite a jazz scholar from outside of the CNY Humanities Corridor to facilitate our discussion. Workshop participants will collectively offer comments on each of the submitted drafts, offering suggestions for improvements in the writing and framing of the argument. The second workshop at St. Lawrence University will serve as a follow-up to see how participants respond to the discussions of the first workshop. Together, these two events will offer both a degree of accountability for participants to complete drafts and, more importantly, a chance for engaged and focused discussion on strategies for revising the drafts they circulate. While the group’s main purpose is to support writing, its secondary goal is to promote a sustainable network among scholars of jazz across different institutions. In particular, we hope the group will help begin broader, interdisciplinary conversations that will inform how participants think, write, and teach, about issues relating to jazz and culture.

Group Organizers

Frederick Schenker

Assistant Professor of Music

Darren Mueller

Assistant Professor of Musicology