Queering music audience research : oral history, the queer archive and LGBTQ identities
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
S.l. , 2015
Etmaal van de communicatiewetenschap, 2-3 februari 2015
University of Antwerp
Researching non-normative audiences requires a thorough consideration of research methods, in order to adequately represent these audiences. In this paper, I will demonstrate how an interdisciplinary approach to researching music audiences can aid to gain a different and perhaps deeper insight into lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and queer individuals lives. I will propose my take on what the Queer Archive put into practice looks like, and how the Queer Archive is a valuable part of gathering life stories, as well as a public forum for discovering more about LGBTQ-lives. As my research project centers on the role of music in LGBTQs everyday lives, and within their nonheterosexual identity development, the search for adequate research methods led me to an interdisciplinary approach of the project. Borrowing from the field of historical research, I propose the principles of Oral History as a suitable qualitative and in-depth method for this research. The feminist research tradition with its strong emphasis on collaborative and self-reflexive research led me to carefully consider the narrators and the researchers position within an oral history interview. Knowledge production is viewed as an embodied and collaborative project, with the aim to acknowledge the narrators agency as much as possible. Furthermore, the concept of the Queer Archive, as discussed by various queer theorists like Ann Cvetkovich, J.J. Halberstam and Heather Love, provides a novel starting point for accessing, analyzing and archiving queer lives. I will present first findings of my ongoing research on LGBTQs and music, and demonstrate how this interdisciplinary approach translates into practice and impacts my research project.