Dr. Nicole Grimes delivers Keynote Lecture at Graduate Student Conference in Ireland
Dr. Nicole Grimes, associate professor of musicology, delivered the Keynote Lecture at the annual joint conference of the Society for Musicology in Ireland and the Irish Chapter of the International Council on Traditional Music on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Dr. Grimes presented her paper, "An die Hoffnung: A Musical Footnote to Ali Smith's Spring at the Outset of 2021." The keynote was followed by the closing performance of J. S. Bach's church canata, "Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust," BWV 170, performed by John O'Keeffe, Sharon Carty, and Christopher Ellis, in memory of Dr. David Connolly.
Abstract of Dr. Grimes's keynote:
In her novel Spring (2019), the third installment in her seasonal quartet, the Scottish author, Ali Smith, weaves Beethoven into the narrative as just one strand in a richly intertextual fabric that she then positions around the critical edges of the global refugee crisis. These novels, which are recognized as belonging to "BrexLit," provide a critical, artistic, and ethical meditation on our time and our treatment of refugees. They forward the argument of how fiction and the novel today can help us make sense of the human condition. The very act of engaging with the Beethoven song presented in Spring allows us to consider anew the question of humanity as it relates to Beethoven's music, and, perhaps more importantly, the degree to which Beethoven's music can put us in touch with our own humanity. There is a resonance to be found in this engagement in that it seems to make us more alert, and more alive to the ethical and moral choices put before us in this book.