Featured Scholar - March 2021
What are you watching/streaming?
I don't tend to watch many shows. When I do, I usually prefer series along the lines of Game of Thrones or The Handmaid's Tale. However, since Christmas, I've been trying lighter fare--first Derry Girls, then Bridgerton, and now Schitt's Creek. Several years ago, one of my students told me that Schitt's Creek matched my sense of humor. I've devoured the series, and I won't contest that! Each week I also watch an episode of the Great British Bakeoff with my calico cat, Mylena, who absolutely loves this show or any other where she can see food being prepared. It's the only time of the week she consistently sits on my lap.
What games are you playing?
I've been playing Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride. I love German and German-style board games--they never grow boring, and they are so beautifully produced. After spending a long day at the computer, I love being able to escape into another world. Really, though, I don't play games that much. I'm more likely to go out on a walk and admire architecture or take photos of landscapes.
What are you listening to?
Ha! It's more like, "What am I not listening to?" I'm captivated by all sorts of music and soundscapes. As a musicologist, I am always listening to music for my classes and research. One day last week, I went straight from teaching a symphony by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to discussing Charlie Parker and the origins of bebop. Although my taste is eclectic, generally I prefer listening to instrumental music.
What are you reading?
I spend a lot of my day reading, but most of it is directly related to work. Knowing my love of travel writing, my brother gave me a stack of travelogues for Christmas--The Journey through Wales by the medieval scholar Gerald of Wales, Sovietstan by Erika Fatland, and Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire by Simon Winchester. These are my fun reading right now.
What are you writing/thinking about?
In terms of my work, I'm completing a book proposal, including sample chapters, related to my research on the Myers Family Music Collection and musical life in early-nineteenth-century Norfolk, Virginia. I am also finishing a related conference paper in which I am exploring how the Myers' music collectorship profoundly was shaped by their seasonal journeys to avoid yellow fever, malaria, and similar diseases. I had known that port cities in the mid-Atlantic like Norfolk regularly experienced deadly epidemics in the nineteenth century, and I had realized that wealthy residents like the Myers often went inland and northwards in the summers, but I hadn't realized just how much these sojourns shaped their experience of culture and society. I also have several conference and publication projects related to my continuing research on music in nineteenth-century Paris.
Outside of work, I'm keenly interested in topics of government, medicine, healthcare, and climate, so there has been much to ponder of late. I try to balance these out with less stressful chains of thought, which often lead back to my calico cat, Mylena.