1- “Where you are Accepted, you Blossom:” Care Ethics in Jazz Pedagogies - Vanessa Blais-Tremblay, McGill University
10:30 AM, Saturday 25 May 2019 (2 hours)
Lunch 12:30 PM to 01:30 PM (1 hour)
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) - DS-1525
In this paper, I build on recent feminist scholarship on care-work and I focus on important figures in Montreal's jazz scene such as piano teacher Daisy Peterson Sweeney and dance teachers Olga Spencer and Ethel Bruneau to analyze how gender, race, sexuality and class intersected with motherwork and other gendered care-giving in the shaping of these women’s careers and legacies in jazz. I argue for a move towards care ethics in jazz historiography, where jazz artistry and care-giving are not mutually exclusive categories to be superimposed on a public vs private dichotomy, and where the teaching of music and dance can be shown to occur at the nexus between jazz participantship, motherwork, and othermothering in early-twentieth-century urban African-American communities. In this, I answer Sherrie Tucker’s call for narratives that eschew the trope of the “exceptional woman-in-jazz,” a discourse often structured on a “one-of-the-boys” rationale that insists on gendered deviance at the same time as it justifies the lack of attention that other women-in-jazz have received (Rustin and Tucker, 2008). Without casting aside the power dynamics at play in maintaining women, mothers and teachers at the margins of jazz historical narratives, I argue that such a focus uncovers extended homosocial and matricentric networks of women who sustained gendered practices of jazz apprenticeship and participantship throughout the twentieth-century.