Summing up 2013

It has been fairly quiet on this blog the last year, for many different reasons.

The year started off with my second daughter being born on 23 January. She is a lovely little person, but I have come to realise that the saying “one is like none, two is like ten” is not so far from the truth…

Adding to the picture, I started as Head of Department of Musicology in February. This has been both extremely interesting but also very challenging. Even though I have been leading various organisations and groups in the past, this is my first official leader job, and the learning curve has been rapid: getting into budgeting, human resource management, strategic planning, etc., and having my calendar focused around weekly leader group meetings at the Faculty of Humanities, and the monthly board meetings.

There are several things I truly enjoy about being Head of Department. First, it is really interesting to get an overview of what actually goes on inside the department. Even though I have been here for a few years, people usually tend to stick to their own activities, groups and colleagues, and only once in a while get to hear about what the others are doing. Now my days are filled of handling issues related to all the fields in parallel, including folk music, classical music history, the cultural study of music, popular music studies and cognitive musicology.

Equally interesting I find the weekly meetings and seminars at the Faculty of Humanities, and occasionally also with the other faculties at the university. Here I get an even wider perspective on the organisation I am employed at, and can better see that musicology is only one of many fields in the university, each with their own challenges and possibilities. This has in many ways been an eye-opener, and helps put some of our local discussions in perspective.

Due to my new family and job situation, I have not been able to do so much new research this year. It is a paradox, then, that 2013 turns out to be one of my best publication years ever, because I have had so many things in the pipeline. This includes five journal papers covering a lot of different topics:

Adding to this comes a series of papers in conference proceedings that I have been involved in:

I do have a few more publications in the pipeline for 2014, but not even close to the amounts that came out in 2013. This year will also be somewhat different, as I will have my paternity leave this spring semester. In Norway, fathers get a minimum of 12 weeks of paternity leave, and I will take this as 50% over the entire spring semester. So I will be part-time Head of Department and part-time dad-at-home, which will be an interesting mix of daily activities.

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Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.