This fall LITS welcomes five fabulous 2018-2019 Emory Libraries/Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) Fellows. We hope this blog series of interviews will help you get to know them better. Funded by the Laney Graduate School, Emory Libraries and Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) award fellowships to advanced graduate students expecting to complete their dissertations by the end of the academic year. Fellows are placed in a department related to their subject specialization or interest, culminating in a formal presentation in the spring. Mark your calendar for April 10th from 2pm to 3:30pm in the Jones Room.
Welcome, Andrew Kingston, who is working in the Collection Services department of the Rose Library.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your favorite book?
I’m a Canadian-American who grew up in southwest Florida, but my family now lives in Toronto. I did a BA in philosophy at Florida Gulf Coast University before heading north to do a Master’s at the University of Western Ontario’s Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism. Following my intellectual interests, I came to Emory to do a PhD in the Department of Comparative Literature. I’m also pursuing graduate certificates in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexality Studies and the Psychoanalytic Studies Program.
What’s my favorite book? I don’t know. At this point in my life, maybe it’s Samuel Beckett’s Molloy or Jean Genet’s The Thief’s Journal. My favorite part of Emory, other than the academics, is either all of the free/cheap classical music that we have access to, or the fact that the building from Stranger Things is on the Briarcliff Campus.
2. What are you researching for your dissertation?
My dissertation is called Disarticulations: Opera, Decadence, and the Corruption of Expression. It calls for a rethinking of the idea of decadence in the history of European operatic aesthetics, in relation to theories of affective expression. According to a very traditional opposition, music is often presented as immediately expressive, whereas various notions of writing or other forms of linguistic mediation are usually invoked as impediments to this expressivity. Against this model, I trace out a history of various “decadent” musical and linguistic aesthetics, which understand both languageand music to be always corrupted and in decline away from any original, internal sense of feeling that would be conveyed by them. In doing this, the dissertation challenges the ways in which forms of expression get naturalized and normativized.
- What interested you about this Fellowship?
I was especially interested in the collection that I am working on this year, and the opportunity to gain significant curatorial and archival experience while doing research, which seemed like a great deal to me. So far the fellowship has been very rewarding.
- What will you be working on this year for your Fellowship?
This year I’m working on the Rose Library’s collection of The American Music Show, which was a queer Atlanta public access television program that ran from 1981 to 2005. It’s a wild, sardonic, campy TV show, with lots of music as well as comedy skits, political commentary, and drag performances. RuPaul was on the show a lot, and was incredible in it. Right now we are getting the collection ready to be fully digitized, so that it will be available for anyone to watch. I’m also planning a screening and panel discussion about the show for sometime in the spring of 2019.