Music in Divided Germany



Conference Title: Music in Divided Germany

Date: 9-11 September, 2011

Proposals: Abstracts of 300 words, due by email on 1 March 2011 at 5pm PST

Hosted by: The Department of Music at the University of California, Berkeley

Conference Organizers: Anicia Timberlake and Emily Richmond Pollock



In the year 1945, Germany was split into two nations; the year 1989

saw them brought back together. Yet despite the political acts that

severed and then sutured them, the East and the West were never really

culturally disentangled, and even now remain in some ways warily

distinct. The complexity of musical and cultural life in the two

Germanys over these four decades yields a rich potential for dialogue

across disciplinary and methodological boundaries. Scholarly

discussion in this area is forced to contend with the fever pitch of

debates saturating this period, concerning such questions as the

proper relationship between artistic and political expression; the

values that inform high art, middlebrow, and popular cultures; the

legitimacy of modernism and the role of the academy; and the

relationship between contemporary politics and stylistic revolution,

retrenchment, and restoration. We aim to bring together an

international group of scholars working on music in either or both

East and West Germany to discuss these issues as well as the following

areas of particular relevance:


–  The social role of art and social constraints on art, including

musical life in particular cities or communities, the history of

institutions, education/academia, and arts policy.

– Music and media, including recording, radio, and print culture, as

well as arts journalism and criticism, musicology, and propaganda.

– Points of contact or collaboration between institutions, musicians,

and/or composers in the two Germanys as well as abroad.


The conference will feature a roundtable session with keynote position

papers by Amy Beal (University of California, Santa Cruz), Joy Calico

(Vanderbilt University), and Anne Shreffler (Harvard University).


Faculty and graduate student papers are welcome. The official language

of the conference is English. We regret that we will be unable to

reimburse travel expenses.