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The Kent State University Libraries and the College of the Arts proudly announce the recipients of the 2016-17 Performing Arts Library Colloquium Series’ Excellence in Research Awards. Presented annually at the conclusion of the spring semester of the past academic year, the awards recognize Kent State undergraduate and graduate students’ scholarly excellence with certificates and cash prizes. Applicants submitted original research papers, relating to theatre, dance and/or music, and were judged by faculty members. Criteria consisted of presentation, originality and contribution to the field, clarity in writing and organization and structure. The online journal, Excellence in Performing Arts Research, is published by Kent State University’s Performing Arts Library and features selected winning research which was presented by students at the annual Performing Arts Library Colloquium Series. For current and past issues of Excellence in Performing Arts Research, visit https://oaks.kent.edu/epar.
Rachael L. Fleischaker and Jensen Hykes each earned an Excellence in Performing Arts Research Award, along with a cash prize of $250. Below is information on their award-winning research and experience.
Fleischaker – Accumulating Capital in Music Education: A Content Analysis of the Music Educators Journal
She examined the skills, knowledge, and expertise that the Music Educators Journal, the U.S.’s oldest and most widely distributed music education publication, promoted to its large audience of music educators from 2011 to 2016. A doctoral student and part-time faculty for music education at Kent State University, Fleischaker holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from The College of Wooster and a master’s degree of education in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on urban education from Kent State University. She has taught elementary band and vocal music for 21 years with 19 of those years in Canton City Schools. She has served as a clinician at OMEA professional development conferences, Ashland University, Kent State University and local school districts.
Hykes – Then and Now: A Study of Radicalism in The Normal Heart and Clit Notes
Her analysis of Holly Hughes’ Clit Notes and Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart studied these pieces of radical writing as tools to shock and awe audiences, forcing them to acknowledge an issue and encourage positive change. As a senior global communication major with a minor in theater performance, Hykes believes that the goal of social justice theatre is to inspire audiences to change the way they think, feel or act, pertaining to an oppressed group. Theater has always been a source of enjoyment for her and is a field she intends to continue studying. Her academic interests also include gender communication and queer theory, which she hopes to further explore in graduate school.
Maya Brown and Ren J. Harris each earned an Honorable Mention Excellence in Performing Arts Research Award, along with a cash prize of $50. Below is information on their award-winning research and experience.
Brown – Jump Jim Along, Jim Along Josey: Musical Borrowings from Minstrel Song to Children’s Song
The paper focuses on a style of game song adapted from blackface minstrel songs to play party songs by teens in the latter 1800s. It compares and contrasts the original minstrel song, Jim Along Josie, with the play party adaptation. Brown is earning a Kent State master’s degree in ethnomusicology with a research interest on the African diaspora. She is a Graduate Deans Award recipient and a teaching assistant for several world music courses at Kent State. Brown performs in a Cleveland vocal jazz ensemble, as well as the Kent State African Ensemble. Her future plans include pursuing a doctoral degree and eventually working as an archivist.
Harris – Polyamory Under a Constructionist Lens
Her research examines the perception of polyamory in society, using theatrical plays, such as Design for Living and Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, illustrating the acceptance of these types of relationships in a constructionist viewpoint and how constructionism helps to decrease stigma. Harris is a senior theatre studies major who is passionate about new works and plays that focus on giving voice to disenfranchised groups. She enjoys the opportunity to discover these groups both artistically and academically.
For more information about the Performing Arts Library Colloquium Series’ Excellence in Research Awards, including the recipients’ abstracts, visit https://libguides.library.kent.edu/colloquium/researchawards.