Ethnomusicology Professor Participates in Unique International Twitter-based Conference

Kent, OH — On July 1 and 2, ethnomusicology Assistant Professor Janine Tiffe, Ph.D., took over the Glauser School’s Twitter account to participate in a unique conference hosted on the platform by the Welsh  Swansea University. With the cancellation of in-person conferences and events worldwide due to COVID-19, the organizers moved to Twitter to try a new approach in sharing research. The conference, titled “Shaped by Steel,” explored “the human dimension of work and life in—and after—steel.”

Tiffe presented “Hammer and Steel: A Musical Biography,” which explored the origins and history of the Trinidadian steel drum (steelpan) and its adoption into U.S. music education. Below, Tiffe reflects on the experience. Her presentation remains available on our Twitter account and you can learn more about the conference here

Q: How did you find out about this conference?

Janine Tiffe: Former KSU student Mark Rhodes (M.A. and Ph.D. in Geology) informed me about the conference, knowing my work in steel.

Q: What was the application process like to participate?

JT: The application process was similar to most conferences - abstract submission.

Q: How did you prepare?

JT: Preparation was very different as I had to pare down presentation information to 10-15 Tweets. Also, I needed to familiarize myself with the Twitter platform, which I'd never used. 

Q: What were some of your favorite parts of doing a conference and presentation this way?

JT: My favorite aspect was feedback and questions were immediate, rather than relegated to a one-at-a-time verbal Q&A. I was able to instantly know precisely which information or images participants liked. 

Q: Would you recommend this type of conference to others?

JT: Definitely! At the very least, it was a new and creative approach. 

Janine Tiffe is currently an assistant professor at Kent State teaching courses in ethnomusicology as well as leading the Kent State African Ensemble and Steel Band. 



POSTED: Thursday, July 30, 2020 - 8:30am
UPDATED: Friday, August 28, 2020 - 11:28pm
Andrew Paa