Olszanowski, M. 2012. What to Ask Women Composers: Feminist Fieldwork in Electronic Dance Music.

Olszanowski, Magdalena. 2012. “What to Ask Women Composers: Feminist Fieldwork in Electronic Dance Music. DanceCult 4(2): 3-26.

Reflects upon research methods (theoretical, methodological) behind microfemininewarfare, a documentary/database of female EDM artists. Use of research-creation and friendship-as-method (see Tillmann-Healy 2003) as effective feminist research methods for EDM fieldwork.

Essl (2003); Friz (2004); Farrugia (2010); Kirn (2011) – “EDM as a phallocentric practice of individual DJ-virtuosity and talent” (4) — when EDM is discussed (in rarity), women are frequently omitted from these narratives (see also Pini 1997, for examples countering this see Farrugia 2010, Bradshaw 2010).

Must Read: Rodgers (2010) – Pink Noises. However, only focusing (read: isolating) the female artist may be essentialist (also Rodgers 2010). Instead of “What’s it like to be in a male-dominated field,” asks open-ended items like “What’s it like to be a female composer” – thus not bringing in counterproductive gender biases or foci – giving women to speak agentically (instead of on their oppressions?)

*** Recall for HF paper – application of Friedman and Fuchs (1992) as they discuss women writers: “[V]iewing these [female] writers as a separate tradition is not isolationist; rather, it is a strategy in recovering them, in making them an object of discourse.  Separation is a means of offering women writers visibility that they would not otherwise possess and enabling discussions that could not otherwise proceed” (41, here 10).

Friendship-as-method: assists a “collaborative approach to the research which engages both the interviewer and the respondent in a joint enterprise” (Oakley 1988: 44, here 15), instead of detaching interviewing – built upon reciprocity, ongoing relationships, support, admiration, camaraderie — to “set up a system in which both parties (the researcher and the subject) engage in a dialogue about their hopes and desires in relation to the project” (15). Disclosing personal information/establishing common experiences (Dunlap and Lowenthal 2010), storytelling (Lowenthal 2008) as a means to connect to others.

“Making and creating are some of the ways through which we can interrogate oppressive and reductive representations” (18, see also Battier 2003).


Battier, Marc. 2003. “A Constructivist Approach to the Analysis of Electronic Music and Audio Art – Between Instruments and Faktura.” Organised Sound 8(3): 249-255.

Bradshaw, Melissa. 2010. “Hyperdub 2010 and Kode 9 The Knight of the Living Bassheads.” The Quietus, 8 January. <http://thequietus.com/articles/03493-hyperdub-2010-a-state-of-the-bass-nation-address&gt; (accessed 2 Sept 2012).

Dunlap, Joanna C. and Patrick R. Lowenthal. 2010. “From Pixel on a Screen to Real Person in your Students’ Lives: Establishing Social Presence using Digital Storytelling.” The Internet and Higher Education 13(1-2): 70-72.

Essl, Georg. 2003. “On Gender in New Music Interface Technology.” Organised Sound 8(1): 19-30.

Farrugia, Rebekah. 2010. “’Let’s Have At It!’: Conversations with EDM Producers Kate Simko and DJ Denise.” DanceCult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture 1(2): 87-93. < http://dx.doi.org/10.12801/1947-5403.2010.01.02.06&gt;.

Friedman, Ellen G. and Miriam Fuchs. 1992. Breaking the Sequence: Women’s Experimental Fiction. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Friz, Anna. 2004. “Heard but Unscene, Women in Electronic Music.” dpi: Studio XX Electronic Review 5. <http://dpi.studioxx.org/index.php?id=37/&gt; (accessed 1 May 2012).

Kirn, Peter (ed.) 2011. The Evolution of Electronic Dance Music. Milwaukie: Backbeat Books.

Lowenthal, Patrick R. 2008. “Online Faculty Development and Storytelling: An Unlikely Solution to Improving Teacher Quality.” Journal of Online Learning and Teaching 4(3): 349-365.

Oakley, Ann. 1988. “Interviewing Women: a Contradiction in Terms.” Pp. 30-61 in Doing Feminist Research, edited by Helen Roberts. London: Routledge.

Pini, Maria. 1997. “Women and the Early British Rave Scene.” Pp. 152-169 in Back to Reality?: Social Experience and Cultural Studies, edited by Angela McRobbie. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press.

Rodgers, Tara. 2010. Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Tillmann-Healy, Lisa M. 2003. “Friendship as Method.” Qualitative Inquiry 9(5): 729-749.




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