Listening Disciplines

Kyle Felker defended his M.A. exams today in a fashion that can only be described as exemplary. His examiners, of which I was one, quickly moved past any concerns about his answers to the exam questions to focus on broader topics. We found ourselves writing down many of his answers: they were that compelling. In particular I liked his notion of there being “listening disciplines”:

> I think folklore studies is a listening discipline, as are oral history and ethnomusicology.

I would add cultural anthropology to his list, but his sense of what lies at the core of a discipline, what motivates its practitioners is quite, again, compelling.