My Intersecting Quests as a Disabled Independent Scholar

How to Cite

Babyak, T. (2021). My Intersecting Quests as a Disabled Independent Scholar. Current Musicology, 107, 158–162. Retrieved from


This colloquy, by graduate-student-led collective Project Spectrum, attempts to map out existing discussions around inclusion and equity in music academia, with a specific focus on identifying and analyzing the structures in academia that work against minoritized and historically excluded scholars. 

Tekla Babyak asks us to re-imagine what is on the other side of the pipeline. In her colloquy contribution, she shares her advocacy experience in fighting for both independent scholars’ and disabled scholars’ seat at the proverbial table. She imagines an academic discipline that would readily accept, acknowledge, and uplift independent scholars—instead of considering them half- or failed scholars for their lack of institutional affiliation. And she imagines an academic discipline that would readily include disabled scholars, not for their exceptionality in achieving scholarship, but for their ability to contribute to a more diverse and inclusive intellectual milieu. She critiques the ableism endemic to the academic pipeline, an ableism that veils the physical and also emotional, mental, and spiritual obstructions in our discipline’s path to so-called success.

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Copyright (c) 2021 Tekla Babyak