The Case For An Academic Examination Of Phish Fandom

first_imgThe first-ever Phish Studies Conference will take place May 17–19 at Oregon State University. For much of the Phish community, scholarship is a foreign idea. The enigmatic world of academic conferences and peer-reviewed journals is something that only those in academia are privy to. But for those academics participating in the conference, the chance to blend their livelihoods with their passions is nothing short of a dream come true. For the rest of the Phish community, this is their chance to witness something monumental: the birth of a new academic discipline to validate the deep level of thinking in which this community regularly engages.It was only a matter of time before this happened. The Phish community grew out of east coast college students in the 80s and 90s who eventually had to pursue greater goals beyond Phish tour when the band began their series of hiatuses. This is an intelligent group of people who, for the most part, participate in complex and intellectually inspiring conversations about the band all the time. Fans use their college-born skills to dissect every nuance of the band and this community because, well, because Phish is our life, and who doesn’t want to delve into a conversation about the meaning of life?In fact, there is even a whole discipline dedicated to Fandom Studies. These scholars explain how fandom enhances our lives by allowing us to participate in meaningful discourse, similar to academic communities—which, essentially, are the only places that adults are able to consistently engage in the philosophical engagement that many crave. The fans participating in the conference, a group of the most non-traditional scholars you will ever meet, are men and women who have used the band and the community as case studies for their disciplines of choice in order to gain status as PhDs.This is no easy feat. Academics are stuffy by nature and have very particular views about what constitutes an acceptable area of study. Most do not see modern day jam bands as a good example of groundbreaking research. But why not? We all agree that Phish stands out as a leader in the jam band community, with the unique way they have brought together a neat little community of people who have dedicated a large chunk of their existence to participation in the rituals that are required to be a fan. Ask a fan his or her opinion on a show, a set, an individual jam, and you are likely to receive a dissertation-like response that can rival any peer-reviewed publication. There is no doubt in any Phish fan’s mind that documenting the actions of this band is essential to preserving this cultural anomaly, a band that changed the rules and continues to grow with new fans and new ways of communicating to and inspiring those fans to join the ranks of their dedicated base.In this respect, Phish allows us to hold up a mirror to a culture and reflect upon the ways in which we situate ourselves in the world. As you can imagine, Phish fans are hella-smart, and their papers reflect an engaging look into their various areas of study, which makes it a great way to digest interdisciplinary studies (see: academic buzzword). This is why, in November of 2018, a group of eight scholar-fans participated in a panel of presentations about their individual studies related to the band at the 104th National Communications Conference. Stuffy academics, beware! Scholar-fans are here to shake things up.The conference at OSU is the vision of Dr. Stephanie Jenkins, the philosophy professor behind the online course “Philosophy of the School of Phish”. In fact, this past summer, she brought a group of her students to The Gorge as the lab portion of the class and staged the first ever academic colloquium at a Phish show. Eight scholars presented their research for the students, along with a host of curious fans who braved the sweltering heat in order to debate the concept of the “wook” and the statistical formula used to predict the rating of a Phish show on Phish.net. It was a glorious afternoon, and a clear indication of how hungry Phish fans are for a deeper and more intellectual view into how they spend their free time. Remember the saying, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life?” Well, welcome to early retirement.While the concept of an academic conference about a jam band may raise some questions, as in “whose tax dollars are supporting this?”, it is essential to contemplate the implications of such an innovative proposal. Besides the obvious ability to poke some holes in the academic bubble that is disconcerting for aspiring PhDs these days, there are other benefits to this formula. Firstly, this academic conference will host a panel of students who will have the opportunity to learn how to present at a conference. In addition, they will be connected with existing academics to mentor them in their aspirational studies. This concept aligns with our community as a place where like-minded people are welcome to participate in and be accepted by others who may have more expertise and are willing to share their knowledge. In other words, we must support a deeper level of intellectual engagement in a more public arena in order to expose the nuances of the theories that already guide our lives. An academic conference on Phish Studies, which can attract an audience of non-academics, can illuminate the need for more exposure to bigger ideas which inspire the enlightening conversation that we so desperately need today. There is no better community to support this endeavor than the Phish community.So what can you do? For starters, we can start this dialogue, make it an ongoing, productive conversation that will inspire action where we need it most—the places that Phish fans converge in their views of the world. The financial and emotional support of this community can do wonders for the field of academia that is currently in a precarious place, and the Phish Studies Conference is an excellent place to start.Currently, there is a small price tag for students to attend the conference (academics can generally get some support from their universities). There are also opportunities to sponsor a student’s academic endeavors. Non-phans are also encouraged to come and check out the thought-provoking insights on the fan base with which we’re so familiar. We can do our due diligence to document this amazing world we are privy to, in order to ensure future generations can learn from it. We know that it’s not just about the music. Why not prove it to everyone else?Registration for the Phish Studies Conference at Oregon State University on May 17–19 is now open. For a tentative list of presentations at the conference, click here. You can also click here to learn more about how to make a donation or sponsor a student, or head here for more information.last_img read more

Student focuses senior project on topic of campus sexual assault

first_imgSenior design major Mary Kate Healey said she tries to think of her major as problem-solving.In the spring of their junior year, design majors propose an idea for their big final project. Healey said when coming up with an idea she mulled through the things she was really passionate about and eventually decided she wanted to do something raising awareness for sexual assault, specifically at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.Mary-Kate Healey “We always hear about statistics, we get crime emails,” Healey said. “There’s a lot of impersonal information passed around. It’s very statistics driven and there’s also the kind of hidden shame and embarrassment that comes with it.“I wanted to collect these very intimate stories and display them in a very public, unapologetic way while still maintaining the story of the storyteller.”Healey’s project is a 9-foot wide and 4-foot tall white sheet with quotes from sexual assault stories from students at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. The quotes were first written out on the sheet and then Healey went back and stitched them on afterwards.“The reason I’m doing the stitching is because there’s a lot of art history between women and the domestic craft,” she said. “Women have always been making art, but because they didn’t necessarily have the resources, doing domestic crafts like creating clothing, embroidery, cross-stitch, quilting … those were never considered art because those women weren’t considered artists.”Healey said stitching and embroidery has been used a lot among feminist artists such as suffragettes and most recently on signs at the Women’s March on Washington.“I wanted to tap into that history,” Healey said.Healey said use of a sheet as her canvas was purposeful; the fabric itself holds a double meaning since a bed should be considered a safe place for rest, but that for many people “it often becomes a crime scene.”Healey went through the Institutional Review Board since her project technically counted as human research and had to be declared ethical before she could proceed. After it was approved by the board, she went on with a survey that she circulated and received 64 responses from. On April 7, her project will be put on display at the Snite Museum of Art.Healey said the act of sewing itself was so laborious and that it took her several hours to sew even a sentence, however, that was not the most difficult aspect of the project.“The hardest part of it has been the emotional toll of it,” she said. “A lot of these people revealed very upsetting stories and I don’t know if I anticipated going into it how difficult it would be.”One story that stood out, Healey said, was a submission that was in the form of a poem. She said what was striking was that each line of the poem started of with “he was a friend of mine.” Healey said the way the poem ended powerfully when the student wrote, “I wish trying to erase my pain hadn’t caused me more pain.”Because she wanted the project to be collaborative, Healey started a sewing circle to create dialogue in a very straightforward way. The group has met five times so far and she said everyone is welcome to join, and most of those who have joined did not have prior sewing experience.Healey said she received some negative responses from her survey from people who had misconceptions about rape on campus and thought that it was not as prevalent a problem as she was making it out to be. She said her hope is that her project expels these “rape myths” and raises awareness.“I think people also just don’t understand that it could happen to anyone,” she said. “It happens to tons of people, so I think that just the way people interact with each other, the way people look out for each other, the way people speak with each other … I just want people to be more conscious of that and to have the courage to engage in these conversations.”Tags: design, Mary Kate Healey, sewing circles, sexual assaultlast_img read more

JCPD stepping up to help officer’s son in need of heart transplant

first_imgJOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — Jay Vandermark’s 4-year-old son, Jackson, has dealt with heart issues since he was born. Now he needs a heart transplant. JCPD has also organized a charity dinner to benefit the Vandermarks, which will take place Saturday, December 8 at the Endicott Elks Lodge. More information on attending can be found on its Facebook event page here. “You know there has to be a donor and unfortunately for a donor to come along, another child has to pass unfortunately. The size has got to be comparable to him, same blood type,’ Vandermark said. Finding a match could take months. “We were admitted down here a couple weeks ago. Now he’s on an IV medication to help with the heart failure and he’s just kind of waiting for a new heart,” Jay Vandermark said. Jackson is at a New York City hospital hoping for a match soon. Vandermark is new to the Johnson City Police Department and doesn’t have much sick time. That’s where his fellow officers have stepped in. Vandermark said his wife, Lisa, stays with Jackson. Then he travels to the city to see Jackson on his days off. “He hasn’t saved up a lot of sick time like some of the officers that have been here a long time. So guys are stepping up to donate sick time so that he can spend more time with his son especially after he recovers from the transplant once that happens,” Brent Dodge, Johnson City police chief, said. “You know my family’s gonna be split. I’m doing my best to keep working,” Vandermark said. “As a police officer you’re always trying to give to the community and that’s what the rest of the guys are trying to do for us. You know, we certainly appreciate that,” Vandermark said.last_img read more

SHI, Korean Register to bolster cyber security capabilities of smart ships

first_img“Through this partnership and joint research with Samsung Heavy Industries, we will strengthen our ship cyber security certification and our technical service capabilities. KR will also continue to increase its cyber security technology leadership in the global maritime market using world-class construction technology through our cooperation and close working with shipyards,” said Kim Dae-heon, head of KR’s Digital Technology Center. Image by Korean Register In the lead up to this date, KR and SHI will work together to enhance and support the application and verification of ship cyber security rules. “We expect to considerably increase the security capabilities of smart ships through our joint research with KR, which is renowned for its cyber security certification technology. In addition, we will continue to deliver ships with the very latest world-class cyber security capabilities for our customers,” Shim Yong-rae, head of the Shipbuilding and Marine Research Institute of SHI, added. The duo expects that by combining KR’s classification capability and the smart ship technology of Samsung Heavy Industries, the resulting synergies will be extremely beneficial to the shipping industry moving forward. Cyber security risk management is expected to be significantly strengthened in 2021 when the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee’s resolution “Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management System (MSC.428 (98))” comes into effect. center_img In addition, they will study technologies that can respond to cyber threats faced by ships, by diagnosing ship cyber security vulnerabilities using the cybersecurity testbeds built by SHI. Under the MOU, the two organizations have agreed to evaluate the construction and design safety of cyber security networks applicable to new ships. Korean Register (KR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with compatriot Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) to conduct a joint study on “Ship Cyber Security Network Construction and Design Safety Evaluation” at the Marine Engineering Research Center of SHI. KR established a maritime cyber security management certification system in 2018. The maritime cyber security management certification system encompasses the international security standards (ISO 27001 and IEC 62443), the maritime cyber security guidelines of the IMO and the shipping association BIMCO.last_img read more

Leicester may have Premier League title advantage, admits Manuel Pellegrini

first_img Press Association The Chilean recognises City’s quest for the quadruple will see the games pile up. City eased into the FA Cup fifth round with Saturday’s 4-0 win at Aston Villa, having already reached the League Cup final and Champions League knock-out stages. Leicester have only 15 league games left and City will play 27 matches if they go all the way in every competition – more with FA Cup replays – a nd Pellegrini conceded Claudio Ranieri’s leaders, who they welcome to the Etihad on Saturday, may have the edge. “If you ask me if I want to be still in all four competitions, then the answer is yes, but if you are saying if it is easier when you play less games then maybe,” he said, ahead of Tuesday’s game at Sunderland, with City three points behind Leicester. “It’s a view about Leicester but I’m focusing more on my team. “(In the last six weeks) we’ve got to the final of one cup and we have progressed in the other. We could be top of the table after the next two games depending on how we play. So if we win the next two games it’s probably impossible to have been better.” Kelechi Iheanacho scored a hat-trick in Saturday’s victory and he is set to be included in Pellegrini’s Champions League squad ahead of Tuesday’s registration deadline. But the 19-year-old is likely to be dropped in favour of Sergio Aguero for City’s trip to the Stadium of Light, with David Silva also set to return. “Well, both of them are fit so probably (they will start). We have to decide,” added Pellegrini. Iheanacho, though, insisted he will be ready when called on. Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has hinted Leicester have an advantage in the title race. He added: “I need to build confidence now in order to play and that’s what I’m working on. There’s no need for me to fear anything because I’m a professional footballer, but I need to build my confidence to play.” Saturday’s defeat, rounded off by Raheem Sterling’s goal, left bottom club Villa to focus on their survival bid. Boss Remi Garde is yet to make a signing ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline and a move for Hajduk Split goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic collapsed after an appeal over his work permit was rejected. But Garde remains hopeful they can revive the deal in the summer. “Hopefully, yes,” he said. “It’s a disappointment because we thought that we could sign him. I have not too many details on that. I’ve got some details but it’s not for me to reveal it to tell you.” last_img read more

Women’s hockey defense the surprising leader

first_imgThe phrase “the best defense is a good offense” is one applied to every sporting event out there. But these past few months, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team has been proving that the opposite may hold as well. The Badgers are in the middle of an extremely successful season, something they all attribute to their tight defense.“Coach likes to sometimes call the defensemen the quarterbacks,” senior defenseman Kelly Jaminski said. “We kind of see how the play is developing and we have to make the play happen and generate that offense.”At this point in the season, the quarterbacks of Wisconsin hockey have accomplished the impressive task of holding every opponent to two goals or less each game, a feat that even the No. 1 ranked Minnesota team couldn’t achieve. In fact, Wisconsin currently leads the conference in the goals-against column, with an exceptionally low 16 goals, the next closest being the Golden Gophers with 23.Furthermore, UW (12-2-2, 8-2-2 WCHA) has gone unbeaten its last 12 games, even against some of the conference’s top foes, like No. 3 University of North Dakota (9-3-2, 7-3-2 WCHA), who was fresh off a season-highlight win against the Golden Gophers. When the two ranked competitors faced off two weekends ago, Wisconsin came away with the win Saturday night, along with the No. 2 spot in the conference standings. Freshman goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens credits this huge victory to the disciplined defense of Wisconsin, saying everyone pitches in in the defensive zone.“Our defense was very good [against North Dakota],” Desbiens said. “Alex did a great job stopping goals, but the players in front of her keep the shots to the outside, take care of the rebounds, block shots and back check hard. Overall, we did a great job defensively, and offensively we just took every chance we had and put the puck in the net.”Continuing their hot streak, the Badgers spent the weekend after Thanksgiving up in Duluth, Minn., where they took on Minnesota-Duluth, adding a tie and a win to their record. Both games were close, with the win Saturday coming from junior forward Karley Sylvester’s lone goal. Once again, Wisconsin says the win was due to shutting the Bulldogs down with their incredible defensive play. According to Kelly Jaminski, this was something UW had been working on in the practices leading up to the UMD series.“Preparing for UMD, we really worked a lot in practice on defensive plays, being competitive in the corners and being aggressive in general,” Jaminski said. “You can kind of tell in the way the score was that it was pretty tight both games, so I think we really came through with the practice we put in beforehand.”She also said a good defense is a flexible one — the easier and faster a defensive unit can adapt to different situations, the more successful it will be. This is something she can say from experience, as Wisconsin has been running a near-perfect penalty kill this season, ranking first in the conference with 38 successful penalty kills out of 41, earning the team a 92.7 percent success rate playing short-handed. The next closest is Minnesota at 90.6 percent.An effective penalty kill might have become a pleasant surprise for UW this season, as playing short-handed is the one area of its defensive game that took a while to kick in, according to Courtney Burke, a sophomore defenseman.“[Our penalty kill] started off a little rough, but I think the Ohio [State] series really turned it around,” Burke said. “I think we almost went 100 percent on it, and I think that gave us a lot of confidence.”But through it all, full-strength or penalty kill, top-ranked opponents or exhibition matchups, goaltender Alex Rigsby has lead her team to victory from between the pipes. The senior was named Defensive Player of the Week by the WCHA last week after blocking 54 of the 55 shots she faced against the tough North Dakota squad.As if that wasn’t reason enough to celebrate, after the win against UMD this past weekend, Rigsby broke the school record for wins with 92, a record that was previously held by goaltender Jessie Vetter, who graduated in 2009. Head coach Mark Johnson discussed Rigsby’s journey as a goaltender and her road to success.“I didn’t think anyone was going to come near [Vetter’s record],” Johnson said. “But along comes Alex, who’s gotten better every year, who’s had some adversities through injuries and has been able to battle through a lot of different things.“The credit goes to her with her commitment, certainly she’s had some good players in front of her to help her out, but she’s gotten better every year and she’s been consistent and she’s got good work habits and we’re certainly excited for her and happy for her.”last_img read more