Project Spectrum is a graduate student-led coalition of music theorists, musicologists, and ethnomusicologists with a two-fold mission. One part of the mission is to shift the large-scale culture of North American music academia toward equity by confronting racism, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, settler-colonialism, and other forms of discrimination and injustice. The other is to bolster community, share resources, and hold space for those academics who are marginalized by the academy. These missions are fundamentally intertwined, and taken together, they serve to diversify and strengthen music academia.

Our approach toward increasing social equity in music studies involves both education and direct action. We aim to provoke and foster difficult conversations about the various overt and covert forms of discrimination and exclusion endemic to our fields and institutions. We work to amplify the voices of those music scholars working toward diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in academic life. We work as a coalition to demand that those with power in our professional institutions address issues of exclusion and inequity head-on.

To bolster community among underrepresented music academics, we work to coordinate workshops, foster relationships between scholars dedicated to equity, and create safe spaces for free self-expression and mutual support among marginalized scholars. We do this work with the knowledge that our fields cannot truly be diverse and equitable if marginalized scholars do not feel safe and supported as human beings within their academic spaces.

Project Spectrum is a growing and changing initiative. We believe in and rely on the collective power of our scholarly community to continuously learn about, grapple with, and take action against all forms of injustice within academic music studies. We strive hand-in-hand for true and radical diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.

For a catalogue of Project Spectrum’s past and upcoming events and activities, visit our Events page.