Women in Music and Research: an Interdisciplinary Feminist Research Hub

Source: MPotočnik

On 25 May 2022, the F-List launched its new Gender in Music Research Hub, which aims to connect feminist researchers from all disciplines, who share an interest in music. The doors are now open: all researchers, wishing to join other feminist researchers, who investigate the under-representation of women (including all who identify as women) and gender minorities (women*) in the music sector, can create an F-Listing, under the category “Music Researcher.” The community will share everyone’s research, meet to discuss relevant issues, and explore opportunities for collaboration.


How did it all start?

In 2020, Vick Bain launched the F-List for Music, which builds is activism, advocacy, and drive for change on research, “into gender inequality for female and gender minority musicians,” to pursue the vision of “women in the music industry will be able to more successfully start and sustain their careers in music for longer because of The F-List.” Since 2021, the idea of an inclusive research community, connecting feminist and practice researchers start to emerge, and it all came together on 25 May 2022, with a rich demonstration of the synergies in research and music practices coming together.


What kind of research?

Through an inclusive approach (avoiding the narrow reading of academic research in REF terms), we combine feminist and practice research, across many disciplines. To illustrate the richness of the research community, we started the day with talks from the women on the Hub’s Steering Group (all of whom can be contacted, if you are interested to learn more about their research, or want to explore collaborative opportunities):
1. Vick Bain on Gendered Precarious Working in the UK Music Industry
2. Dr Jo Collinson-Scott on Songwriting-as-Research as/into Feminist Methodology
3. Sophie Daniels on Non-commercial Applications for Songwriting: Searching for Equality
4. Dr Laura Hamer and Dr Helen Minors Introducing WMLON: Women’s Leadership Online Network
5. Dr Linda Jankowska and Katherine Young on Co-composition in Boundarymind as a Feminist Methodology
6. Professor Samantha Parsley on In the Key of She: Women, Technology and Cultural Production and
7. Dr Metka Potočnik on Defining Music: a Feminist Critique of IP Law.


Just another conference?

It was a community-making day. In the afternoon, we heard from the community of Selextorhood, and musical talent at the School of Performing Arts, who will need our support now, more than ever. This hybrid event connected the audience in the Black Box Theatre, with audiences at home, through music and sharing of the lived experience. In two musical sessions, we heard music and origin stories of the women, across the globe:
1. On the piano, playing from her “Train on Fire” Annabelle Revak was accompanied by Lottie Grey, Lauren Paige Harding and Emily Sandford (all with SoPA).
2. On the guitar, Hannah Rose Platt.
3. On the piano, Anjali Perinparaja, aka Pokkisham.
4. On the piano, Sophie Daniels, aka Liberty’s Mother.
5. Recorded, and multimedia, Eva Petrič.
6. Recorded, and via link, Dr Catherine Davies, aka The Anchoress.

The golden thread was music, written by women*, for women*, to be shared with all. The lived experience driving the music includes women fighting for equal rights under the law, violence and sexual assault, baby loss, connection with the world and fight for individual voice and freedom. As researchers, we draw on this music, and its power, to build an inclusive, accessible, and equal world for all women*.


How does law connect to feminist or practice research?

Researching intellectual property (IP) law through a feminist lens is not a traditional route. As such, it can be an isolating path. More than that, researchers in the field do not use language, which is accessible to the community: the artists. This excludes the artists from fully participating in any inquiry into IP law (does it work, should it be changed, or how is it to change). To change that, I am combining the feminist inquiry into IP law, in particular the concepts of music and authorship in copyright, with an interdisciplinary method: working with practice research and music, to add a multi-dimensional inquiry into IP law.


What’s next?

If anything, that has been written here, interests you: please reach out! Connect with us via Twitter, email or by creating a Music Researcher F-Listing. By growing our community, we will support our advocacy for change.


References and links to follow up

The UK Directory of Female+ Musicians (with over 5,000 listings): https://thef-listmusic.uk.
The F-List Gender in Music Research Hub: https://thef-listmusic.uk/what-we-do/the-f-list-research-hub/.
Vick Bain: https://vbain.co.uk.
Research Excellence Framework is used in the UK, to assess the academic quality and rigour of research done at Higher Education (HE) Institutions: https://www.ref.ac.uk.
Includes: Bain, Daniels, Collinson-Scott, Hamer, Jankowska, Parsley, Mimi Harmer (https://twitter.com/mirandaharmer) and Potočnik.
Academic profile: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/busman/staff/phd/profiles/vick-bain.html.
Dr Jo Collinson Scott: https://research-portal.uws.ac.uk/en/persons/jo-scott.
Sophie Daniels: https://www.icmp.ac.uk/about-icmp/tutors/sophie-daniels.
Dr Laura Hamer: https://www.open.ac.uk/people/lah529.
Dr Helen Minors: https://www.kingston.ac.uk/staff/profile/dr-helen-julia-minors-39/
Project website: https://fass.open.ac.uk/research/projects/wmlon.
Dr Linda Jankowska: http://lindajankowska.com.
Katherine Young: http://music.emory.edu/home/people/biography/young-katherine.html.
Project website: https://www.boundarymind.com.
Professor Samantha Parsley: https://researchportal.port.ac.uk/en/persons/samantha-parsley.
Project website: https://inthekeyofshe.org.
Dr Metka Potočnik: https://researchers.wlv.ac.uk/m.potocnik.
A feminist DJ collective, based in Birmingham: http://selextorhood.com. We were joined by the founder Holly Hollister and Jae Tallawah.
We were joined by Teegan Crawford (https://thef-listmusic.uk/listing/teegan-rose/), Naomi Cunningham, and guided by Dr Maren Hancock (https://twitter.com/marenhancock).
SoPA is based in Walsall, part of the University of Wolverhampton: https://www.wlv.ac.uk/schools-and-institutes/faculty-of-arts-business-and-social-sciences/school-of-performing-arts/.
Hanna Platt: https://www.icmp.ac.uk/about-icmp/tutors/hannah-rose-platt. Artist’s website: https://www.hannahroseplatt.com.
Anjali Perinparaja: https://www.icmp.ac.uk/about-icmp/tutors/anjali-perinparaja.
Twitter: @PokkishamSongs.
Artist’s website: http://www.sophiedanielsmusic.com.
Artist’s website: https://www.eva-petric-evacuate.com.
Dr Catherine Davies: https://www.icmp.ac.uk/about-icmp/tutors/catherine-anne-davies.
Artist’s website: http://theanchoress.co.uk.
For several publications on Fem-IP, see: https://researchers.wlv.ac.uk/m.potocnik/publications or email m.potocnik@wlv.ac.uk.
If you are interest to collaborate on this, please do reach out (Twitter: @drmpWOLF or email: m.potocnik@wlv.ac.uk).
F-List (@theflistmusic) or any of the individual researchers, named in the blog (@vickbain, @SophieDMusic, @drmpWOLF).

Image info: from left to right: Sophie Daniels, Dr Metka Potočnik, Vick Bain, taken at the F-List Gender in Music Research Hub launch on 25 May 2022, at the Performance Hub Walsall, the University of Wolverhampton (with the courtesy of Sophie Daniels and Ben Mantle)