Principal Investigator

Jada Watson holds a PhD in musicology from Université Laval and a Master of Information Studies from the University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on the development of genre cultures and communities, with an interest in issues related to gender, race, class, identity and sexuality, politics, and the environment. Her research has appeared in The Journal of the Society for American Music, American Music, Popular Music, and Music, Sound and the Moving Image. She also has chapters in The Oxford Handbook to Country Music and The Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter.

Dr. Watson is an Adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa, where she teaches courses on research methodologies, music and science, and popular music culture in the School of Music, she also teaches in the School of Information Studies and in Digital Humanities.

She is a member of the Informed Opinions community.

Ph.D. in Musicology, Université Laval (Québec City, QC), 2015
Master of Information Studies (bilingual), University of Ottawa (Ottawa, ON), 2011
M.A., Music (Musicology), University of Ottawa (Ottawa, ON), 2008
B.A. Honours with Specialization in Music, Minor in Russian, University of Ottawa (Ottawa, ON), 2006
Diploma Music Performance, Cambrian College (Sudbury, ON), 2003


Research Grants

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • Insight Grant, “A data-driven history of country music’s geo-cultural origins” ($78,456), April 2018-March 2021
  • Insight Development Grant, “Gender representation in the country music industry, 1944-2016” ($58,870), June 2018-May 2020
Academic and Professional Development grants (University of Ottawa)
  • Research Grant for conference travel to IASPM-US 2018, April 2018
  • Research Grant for research services, February 2017
  • Research Grant for conference travel to Locations and Dislocations, April 2016

 

Publications (selected)

An asterisk [IG] denotes paper related to Insight grant and [IDG] Insight Development grant.

Refereed articles

[IDG] “Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart and the Curation of Country Music Culture.” Journal of Popular Music History, Special Issue on Popular Music Curation (forthcoming 2021).

[IDG] “Gender on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart, 1996-2016.” Popular Music & Society 42, no. 5 (2019): 538-60. [Read the manuscript]

“‘If they blow a hole in the backbone’: Sarah Harmer’s Campaign to Protect the Niagara Escarpment.” MUSICultures, Special Issue on Singers & Songs of Social Protest 44, no. 2 (2017): 81-108.

“‘This is My Prairie’: Corb Lund and the Albertan Fossil Fuel Energy Debate.” American Music 34, no. 1 (2016): 43-86.

Dixie Chicks’ ‘Lubbock or Leave it’: Negotiating Identity and Place in Country Song.” Journal of the Society for American Music 88, no. 1 (2014): 49-75.

Burns, Lori, and Jada Watson. “Spectacle and Intimacy in Live Concert Video: Lyrics, Music, Staging, and Film Mediation in P!nk’s Funhouse Tour (2009).” Music, Sound and the Moving Image 7, no. 1 (2013): 103-40.

Watson, Jada, and Lori Burns. “Resisting Exile and Asserting Musical Voice: The Dixie Chicks are ‘Not Ready to Make Nice’.Popular Music 29, no. 4 (2010): 325-50.

Burns, Lori, and Jada Watson. “Gendered Perspectives through Word, Image and Sound: Narrative Agency and Embodiment in the Dixie Chicks’ Video ‘Top of the World’.Music, Sound & the Moving Image 4, no. 2 (2010): 3-37. Reprinted in Popular Music and Multi Media, edited by J. McQuinn, 331-366. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing Group, 2011.

 

Contributions to edited collections

“Rural-Urban Imagery in Country Music Video: Identity, Space and Place.” Paper to be included in the forthcoming Bloomsbury Handbook to Popular Music Video Analysis, edited by Lori Burns and Stan Hawkins. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing (in progress).

“Country Music and Geography: Constructing ‘Geo-Cultural’ Identities.” In Oxford Handbook to Country Music, edited by Travis D. Stimeling, 95-116. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.

“Region and Identity in Dolly Parton’s Songwriting.” In Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter, edited by Justin A. Williams and Katherine Williams, 120-30. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Conference Presentations (selected)

* [IG] denotes paper presented within the framework of the Insight project, and [IDG] denotes presentation within the Insight Development project.

[IDG] “We don’t want handouts, we want equal opportunity”: Mickey Guyton’s Advocacy and Protest for Equality in Country Music.” Paper to be resented at the annual conference of the Society for American Music; March 2021.

“Programming Inequality: Gender Representation on Canadian Country Radio (2005-2019).” Paper to be presented at the annual conference of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval; Montreal, QC, October 2020.

[IG] “Listening for the Lost Archive.” Paper to be presented at the Radio Preservation and Task Force’s conference ‘Century of Broadcasting: Preservation and Renewal’; Washington, D.C, October 2020. [postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19]

[IDG] “From Public Humanities to Social Remembering: Big Data and the Digital Redlining of Women in Country Music Culture.” Paper selected for inclusion on the program of DH2020; Ottawa, ON, July 2020. [in-person conference cancelled due to Covid-19]

[IG] “Voix d’exception : Les métadonnées discographiques comme outil de recherche pour étudier la culture de la musique country (1944-2016).” Paper to be presented at the annual conference of Muscan; London, ON, June 2020. [postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19]

[IG] “Overlooked Voices: Race and Gender on Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart (1994-2016).” Paper to be presented at the annual conference of the International Country Music Conference; Nashville, TN, May 2020. [postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19]

[IG/IDG] “Discographic Metadata as a Research Resource for Studying Popular Music Cultures: The SongData Project.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Music Library Association; Norfolk, VA, February 2020.

[IDG] « La culture country et la perpétuation de l’effacement des femmes : Les méthodes de Billboard et la diversité sur la liste de classement Hot Country Songs ». Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music-Canada Branch; Montreal, QC, May 2019.

[IDG] “The Endangerment of Female Representation in Country Music Culture: Changing Billboard Methodologies and Ecological Diversity on the Hot Country Songs Chart.” Paper Presented at PopCon at the Museum of Popular Culture; Seattle, WA, April 2019.

[IDG] “Our time has come, your time is up: The Song Suffragettes’ March for Gender Equality in Country Music.” Paper Presented at the Society for American Music; New Orleans, March 2019. Portions of this project  presented at the International Country Music Conference; Nashville, June 2019.

[IG/IDG] “Discographic Metadata as a Research Resource for Studying Popular Music Genres: Introducing the SongData Project.” Paper presented at the joint conference of the New England and New York State/Ontario Chapters of the Music Library Association, with the Quebec Chapter of the Canadian Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres; McGill University, November 2018.

“Popular Music Culture as Oral History: A Response.” Response paper delivered at the Popular Music as Oral History panel of the annual conference of the Oral History Association; Montreal, October 2018.

“Changing Billboard Methodologies and the Ecological Diversity on the Hot Country Songs Chart.” Paper presented at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music-US Branch; Nashville, TN, June 2018.

“‘Girl on the Billboard’: Changing Billboard Methodologies and the Ecological Diversity on the Hot Country Songs Chart.” Paper presented at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music-US Branch; Nashville, TN, March 2018.

“Toward a data-driven analysis of gender representation on Billboard’s Country Songs chart, 1985-present.” Paper presented at the 33rd annual International Country Music Conference; Nashville, TN, June 2017.

“If they blow a hole in the backbone’: Sarah Harmer’s Campaign to Protect the Niagara Escarpment.” Paper presented at Locations and Dislocations: An Ecomusicological Conversation; Westminster Choir College of Rider University, NJ, April 2016.

“Country Music and Geography: Constructing “Geo-Cultural” Identities.” Paper presented at the annual Conference of the Canadian University Music Society; Ottawa, ON, June 2015.

“‘Hurtin’ Albertan’: Corb Lund and the Construction of ‘Geo-Cultural’ Identity.” Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music—Canadian Branch; Ottawa, ON, May 2015.

My Tennessee Mountain Home: Region and Identity in Dolly Parton’s Songwriting.” Paper presented at the annual conference for the International Association for the Study of Popular Music–Canadian Branch; Quebec City, QC, May 2014.

“‘This is My Prairie’: Corb Lund and the Albertan Fossil Fuel Energy Debate.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for American Music; Lancaster, PA, March 2014.

Dust-Blown Tractor Tunes: Musical Representations of Wind in Songs about Dry Land Farming.” Paper presented at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music – Canada; Montreal, QC, June 2011.

Lubbock? Or Leave It? Negotiating identity and place through song.” Paper presented at the 27th annual International Country Music Conference; Nashville, TN 2011.