Music and Crisis

Music and Crisis
5th CISM Biennial Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference
April 14-15, 2012

The UCSB Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music (CISM) seeks submissions for the 2012 Music and Crisis Graduate Conference to be held at the University of California, Santa Barbara on April 14-15. As the concept of crisis lends itself to many definitions, this conference invites papers and presentations that explore crisis from perspectives that expand the boundaries of traditional music research. Accordingly, CISM welcomes participants from all disciplines to engage in a discussion that is not restricted to music specialists. In doing so, the Music and Crisis Conference seeks to aid the academic study of music by legitimizing its position as an important cultural practice in which all people participate.

Crisis can be broadly understood as a rupture that calls for a decisive change. As music anticipates, instigates, reflects and responds to these ruptures, we request research that explores music’s intersection with times of difficulty, insecurity or suspense. Possible approaches to conference papers and presentations may include the following:

      Music’s relationship to order, disorder and conflict, and its role in war and political upheaval.
      Roles of music in trauma, recovery from trauma, and response to fear, anxiety and risk.
      Music’s participation in social, cultural, spiritual or political conflicts and its response to class, the struggle for identity or the desire for social acceptance.
      Conflicts of gender and sexuality explored through musical mediums.
      Mediation, management and distribution of music to empower sub-cultural organizations.
      Music’s capacity to explore and convey what is otherwise unspeakable or ineffable.
      Complications with changing mediums, technological progress and musical digitization.
      Canonization and/or marginalization of musical styles, institutions and genres.
      Crisis of legitimacy of music in the academy.
      Productive possibilities or consequences of musical interdisciplinarity.

Run by and intended for graduate students, this conference encourages submissions covering the full spectrum of methodologies, disciplinary approaches and genres of music. The conference will feature the following panel formats:

      Traditional 20 minute papers followed by 10 minutes for questions
      Roundtables (Assembled by the organizing committee)
      Seminar format (Papers distributed to participants prior to conference to allow for in-depth discussions)
      Alternative demonstrations or performances

Please send a 300-word abstract, preferred presentation format and a brief description of the interdisciplinary nature of your project to:

Deadline for submissions is Friday, December 2, 2011.

For more information, visit the conference website: