SEMINAR: UWA Music presents: Callaway Centre Research Seminar | Kate Milligan
|UWA Music presents: Callaway Centre Research Seminar | Kate Milligan : ‘Economics of Visibility’: The Gendered Body on the Orchestral Podium
The Conservatorium of Music is a vibrant centre for research in music and music education, where a thriving community of scholars is engaged in exploring the frontiers of knowledge, working on a wide range of research projects with diverse outputs.
Our free weekly seminar series showcases presenters from within UWA and from the wider community.
‘Economics of Visibility’: The Gendered Body on the Orchestral Podium
The exclusivity of the Classical Music industry is widely documented, and scholarship indicates that orchestral conducting remains a particularly male-dominated profession: Women on the podium engage in complex gendered contortions and ‘management’ of the body as the visibility of their practice dictates. However, feminist sensibilities have changed significantly since this extant literature was published and gendered leadership has re-emerged as a subject of global public discourse. As such, a re-evaluation of the gendered conditions of the podium is long overdue. In a critical analysis of representations of elite conductors in the media, as well as a series of semi-structured interviews with practicing conductors, this paper will assess the state of gender diversity on the orchestral podium in the contemporary context. Banet-Weiser’s ‘Economics of Visibility’—that which posits the visible feminine body as product with market value—provides a crucial framework for assessing gender in a neoliberal, postfeminist context.
Kate Milligan is a composer, conductor, and researcher. She is currently mid-way through a Master of Music by research at UWA, having graduated from her undergraduate degree in composition in 2018. She has since been commissioned by a range of Perth-based ensembles including Decibel, Perth Orchestra Project, and Intercurrent. This year, she is a participant in Tura’s national Summers Night Project for emerging female and non-binary composers, as well as WASO’s Emerging Conductors Program. Kate is currently working with the Perth Symphony Orchestra (PSO) as the inaugural Conducting Fellow and as an Artistic Planner.
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