I think, therefore I TUNE IN

Meet Popular Music Maven Proffessor Diane Pecknold. Prof. Pecknold, a professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, focuses on popular culture of the twentieth century, with a particular emphasis on the ways that gender and race have shaped the production and reception of popular music.
I think, therefore I  TUNE IN

In this Q&A, we learn that Prof. Pecknold is actually making her dreams a reality, and that she has more in common with Tom Cruise’s character in Risky Business than you might think.

Name: Diane Pecknold
Department: Women’s & Gender Studies
Years at UofL: 10
Education: Ph.D. History (Indiana University, 2002)

Current Research Interests. I'm working with my colleague, Sarah Dougher, on a book about tween girls' music activities and criticism. The idea of tween girls' music criticism might sound like an oxymoron because popular culture tends to portray tween fans as mindless or hysterical. Think about how you hear One Direction fans discussed in the media.

But in our conversations with girls between 8 and 13, Sarah and I heard them consciously wrestling with many of the same critical issues that adults confront in their thinking about music: ideas about authentic selfhood, sexism and sexuality, the meaning of fun and play, how to have a voice in the public sphere.

Young girls are actually astonishingly adept critics.

What class would you love to teach? I'm actually developing my dream course right now with my colleague, Carrie Neumayer, a UofL art education instructor, artist, musician, and social justice activist. We'll be teaching it for the first time next spring.

Students in the class will help design and organize a week-long girls' rock camp that will be offered next summer, and then they'll have the option to volunteer and observe at the camp and complete an independent study reflecting on the design and implementation.

I'm excited about it for a host of reasons: I get to team-teach with someone I really admire and be involved with the stellar Louisville Outskirts Festival project; I'm eager to talk with students about feminist pedagogy issues that have been central to my recent research; I love the idea of connecting students with community activists, giving them a chance to apply what they've learned to a real-world project, and getting them inspired about what they can accomplish; and I can't wait to see the Outskirts Festival's Rockshops for Girls turn into fully fledged girls' rock camp!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Always have taxi money. It's a saying that gets passed down from mother to daughter in my family. It means you should always know how to be independent because life is unpredictable.

What is one destination you dream of but haven’t gotten to yet? It's almost impossible to narrow down. I would love to go to French Polynesia and to Easter Island.

What is something your colleagues don’t know about you? I like to play loud music and dance around the kitchen with my children. A lot of my colleagues probably would have guessed that, though.