peace & welcome to my blog.

I would tell you what this blog is about, but I’m not sure yet. Its purpose in my research and life is still emerging. I know that I want a space to talk about this year long field trip I’m on in Atlanta, or the complications of being a person who researches other people, or where great music is being played in Atlanta, or what music I (or you) and currently stuck on, or just the vicissitudes of being a person trying to get two steps ahead in her life.

I know that’s a lot. Fledging academics are often overzealous, and for that I apologize.

But year long field trip you ask? Yes. I’m a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology at Indiana University who is working on finishing her dissertation research in Atlanta, Georgia.

So how is this “research” going right now? At the moment it’s not. In the few weeks that I’ve been back in Atlanta I’ve become somewhat overwhelmed with the muddy issues of doing field research, accepting the autonomy I now have over my life (no classes to attend or teach), and the loneliness of being physically separated from my academic community.

Cry you a river, right?

Such is the nature of life’s blessings. There are always associated annoying complications and delightful surprises. At the end of the day, I’m tremendously blessed. The reason I’m currently in Atlanta is because I achieved the intermediate milestone of passing my courses and subsequent qualifying exams. Thus, my reward is that I get to spend about 8 months going to clubs, talking to people, picking the brains of promoters, and listening to DJ’s spin, and tell me about their view from the DJ booth.

Not a bad gig if you can get it.

The annoying complication is that at the end of it all I’m somehow going to have to can my rich, multi-faceted yearlong field trip experience into a dissertation. (I’m really not as cynical about that process as that sentence reads.) But in the meantime, I’ve got to roll up my sleeves and get to work talking, listening, transcribing, and dancing.

As far as my dissertation goes the painless way for me to think about it is in terms of a cluster of impinging issues. Today (because it might change tomorrow) those issues include: Black identities, music genre, DJ performance, night clubs, and Atlanta.

Out of all those issues, currently I’m most interested in Atlanta. What is the real character of this city? What is it heart of its allure for African Americans?

So that’s my research & me. I’m an ethnomusicologist/football zealot/writer/beginner runner/music lover/quasi-vagabond./full-time trash talker type. I’m sure that all those lives will seep into my sanitized academic life at some point. I hope you stick around that long.