Dreams of Germany – Music and (Trans)national Imaginaries in the Modern Era

Deadline for Paper Proposals: 30 April 2014 to dreamsofgermany at gmail dot com
Venue: German Historical Institute, London, 5-7 February 2015
Keynote Speakers: Celia Applegate (Vanderbilt); Berthold Hoeckner (Chicago).
Convenors: Andreas Gestrich (GHIL), Neil Gregor (Southampton), Tom Irvine (Southampton)

Conference website: http://dreamsofgermany.wordpress.com/

Celia Applegate and Pamela Potter’s groundbreaking collection of essays on ‘Music and German National Identity’ sought to map both the historical terrain on which the notion of Germans as ‘the people of music’ was constituted and an intellectual terrain on which that trope might be fruitfully historicised. In this conference, we seek to revisit these questions and explore the problem space further in the light of approaches that have emerged in the meantime. In working with the rubric of ‘dreams’ we seek to acknowledge both the visceral qualities of a set of imaginaries that cannot be reduced to a corresponding set of politics, but work also independently of them, and the presence of a recognizably German set of histories for which the vocabulary of dreams (fantasies, projections, recollections, nightmares) provides an equally recognizable metaphorical language.

We invite papers on all aspects of modern musical culture that would sit meaningfully inside the rubric ‘Dreams of Germany’, for example:

How does class function in relation to musical Germanness?
How might Germany as a musical construct be inflected by gender?
To what extent do declarations of musical Germanness exclude or embrace registers other than ‘art or ‘E-Musik’?
How did young Germans (the Jugendmusikbewegung, the generation of the ‘Stunde Null’ and the ‘1968ers’) dream of their music?
How did emigrants and other outsiders from Edward Dannreuther to Theodor W Adorno to (the Austrian) Falco (‘Rock me Amadeus’) imagine German music and musical culture?
How did music function in conceptions/dreams of the German colonial mission, and how did and do ideas of Germany as a musical nation play in non-colonial contexts such as Britain, Japan, Latin America, the United States and Israel/Palestine?
To what extent were cultural politics post-1989 inflected by ideas of a specifically German national music?

For further details or queries please contact Neil Gregor or Tom Irvine at dreamsofgermany at gmail dot com