AAA 2013 MSIG Meeting Notes

Music and Sound Interest Group Business Meeting Minutes

Nov. 22, 2013, 12:15-1:30 p.m., Chicago Hilton


Meeting convened by MSIG Convener Jerry Wever and Co-Convener Amanda Minks.  33 people were in attendance.  Minutes submitted by Amanda Minks.


Information and updates about MSIG


In 2013, membership of MSIG was 877 as of Oct. 30.  This was an increase of 113 members from the prior year.  In 2012, membership increased by 122 members.  This represents a steady increase of membership even without active recruitment.


We are allowed approximately one e-mail blast to our membership each month through AAA.  This can only be sent by conveners through AAA and has a 98% delivery rate.


Our listserv is operated through AAA and moderated by Amber Clifford (Clifford  We have about 433 listserv members.  AAA membership is not required to join the listserv.  You can manage your listserv subscription at the following site:


The MSIG website is located at


We can have one business meeting or special event at AAA.  We cannot sponsor sessions, but we can organize sessions, installations and innovents and submit them for review.  A panel can request MSIG as a secondary reviewer.  AAA is in the process of changing some interest group policies related to panels and we will keep the membership informed.


Outgoing Convener Jerry Wever put together a Convener guide which will make it easier to pass the torch and maintain continuity across years.


Report on events for AAA 2013 Chicago


There were many music and sound related panels at AAA 2013, but not officially under the banner of MSIG.  A selected list of relevant panels was circulated to the membership prior to the meeting.


MSIG founder David Novak was scheduled to discuss his book Japanoise with brief performances by Chicago electronic musicians on Friday Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. at Quimby’s Bookstore.


MSIG-SEM Liaison report (David Novak)


David Novak reported that we are working on greater coordination of MSIG and SEM (Society for Ethnomusicology).  There has been an effort to avoid having the conference dates overlap, and to publicize CFP’s across listservs.  A new joint initiative is a potential Anthropology of Sound symposium, which would involve inviting international scholars and others working in this area and would run simultaneously with the SEM conference in 2015 or 2016.  David is working with the SEM Executive Director Stephen Stuempfle to develop a Wenner-Gren proposal to support this symposium.  The attendees of the MSIG meeting voted in support of this initiative.


Next year’s meetings and future plans


The annual report is due March 15.  MSIG must be renewed every three years.  It was last renewed in 2012 and will need to be renewed in 2015.


We may want to revisit section vs. interest group status in preparation for renewal.  Some interest was expressed in pursuing a section in the long term, but we also emphasized the need to build MSIG further in the next few years.   A section would have a journal and could sponsor panels.


We will be working on improving our communication through the MSIG listserv and regular AAA e-mail blasts.  We have plans to develop our website as a source of information and promotion of members’ activities (e.g., new publications and graduate student research).  We will also explore the possibility of essay contributions to Anthropology News from MSIG members.


In response to a request for ideas and suggestions, members suggested scheduling the business meeting in the evening next year, perhaps Friday night, and combining it with a social, musical, and/or book-related event.  The conveners agreed to try to make this happen.


Introduction of new Co-conveners


Convener Jerry Wever stepped down and Amanda Minks took on the role of the convener for 2014.  We introduced the new co-convener, Ellen Gray.  We also discussed a plan to modify our governance by adding a co-convener elect, who would be Daniel Fisher.  The purpose of this was to facilitate more support for expanding our activities and more continuity across years, since in the future people will generally serve for three years rather than two.  We asked the membership if they were in support of this change, and they were.


Introduction of attendees and mingling


We went around the room with each person introducing him or herself.  We also asked attendees to put their e-mail addresses on an attendance sheet, in order to follow up on closing some of our communication gaps.





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