Written by Svetlana Dotsenko
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Mary Horn, a 2nd year M.A./Ph.D student at Yale, studies the historical, social, and political aspects of music and will be starting the long arduous process of writing a dissertation in the upcoming semester. As an undergraduate student, Horn focused on the mid-twentieth century music of American composer Leonard Bernstein, a topic that she is still passionate about today.
While she is still in the brainstorming phase of her dissertation, Horn is interested in looking at how certain ideas that we find banal in scholarship today were groundbreaking in their time. For Horn, tracing the roots of an idea can provide insight on how those ideas are created and disseminated throughout history. While the process of refining a research topic is never easy, she mentioned that exposure to new ways of analysis in her courses as well as examining the current literature on a subject provide valuable direction when looking to write a prospectus.