We are pleased to announce that “Where You Are Accepted, You Blossom: Toward Care Ethics in Jazz Historiography” by Vanessa Blais-Tremblay from Jazz and Culture Vol. 2 has won the 2020 International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) Canada Article/Chapter Prize. With this award, Vanessa’s article is recognized as the best pop music article by a Canadian scholar in the past year.
From the committee:
“Blais-Tremblay exposes exclusionary discourses in jazz history and criticism that have understood motherhood and care-giving as incompatible with excellence in jazz performance and creation. She carefully theorizes an aesthetic grounded in care-ethics that makes visible the vital contributions of jazz history’s “badass mothers,” women whose commitment to care-giving opened paths to influencing and sustaining vital jazz traditions, contributions that have been largely unseen in jazz scholarship.
“Employing feminist scholarship and critical race theory, Blais-Tremblay interprets oral histories to deconstruct the binary of “invisibility or exceptionalism” that has heretofore excluded or contained women in jazz historiography.
“Her use of the concept of motherwork as a way for understanding personal and musical mentorship in African-American and African-Canadian communities is both original and illuminating, as is her application of the idea of blood-mother and other-mothers in those communities. The prize committee appreciated in particular Blais-Tremblay’s perceptive handling of an “awkward” archival interview with Daisy Peterson Sweeney, using this “failed” interaction with a journalist to tease out important and revealing tensions around race, class and gender. Her sensitive and insightful treatments of the life histories studied here challenge contemporary norms in feminist discourse and underscore how this work contributes productively to feminist scholarship and jazz history, with ramifications that resound well beyond both.”