Music and Mobilities

Call for Papers

Joint Study Day of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology and the Royal Musical Association, Faculty of Music, University of Oxford, Friday 15 May 2015

Including an invited paper by Laura Tunbridge (University of Oxford), this second annual BFE/RMA Study Day seeks to bring together researchers to engage in interdisciplinary discussions about the relationship between music and mobilities. In the recently published Oxford Handbook of Mobile Music Studies (2014), Jason Stanyek and Sumanth Gopinath observe that scholars of mobility have hitherto neglected music and sound: ‘mobility studies is, by and large, silent’. The Handbook is a pioneering attempt to ‘sonify’ the field, and the authors call for ‘scholars of mobility to take music and sound much more seriously’.

A response to, and an echo of, their call, this Study Day seeks to encourage a dialogue between mobility studies and the study of music and sound. What can mobility studies learn from music scholarship, and, conversely, how can ideas from mobility studies help us better understand musical forms and practices? How can scholars of music and sound develop, refine and problematize the concept of mobility? How might we conceptualize diverse and alternative musical ‘mobilities’?

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers that offer new insights into the issues surrounding music and mobilities, and which develop these discussions across different historical periods, geographic areas and academic disciplines. Papers will be followed by 10 minutes of questions and discussion. We would particularly welcome submissions from graduate students and early career researchers.

Themes that papers may address include, but are not limited to:

  • Mobile music and sound: styles, genres, repertoires, instruments
  • Mobile musicians: migration, travel, transport
  • Mobile audiences/listeners and mobile listening devices
  • Music, mobility, and temporality
  • Music, mobility, and geography: space, place, environment
  • Music, mobility, and (im)materiality
  • Music and (im)mobility; the body, health, and wellbeing
  • The politics and ethics of mobile music and sound
  • Mobile music before the twentieth century

Titles and abstracts of no more than 200 words should be sent to by 6 March 2015. Please include name, affiliation, email address and AV requirements on a separate cover sheet. The Committee aims to notify applicants of the outcome by 20 March 2015.

The programme for the Study Day and details of registration will be announced on the website in due course:

Programme Committee: Lyndsey Hoh (University of Oxford; BFE Student Liaison Officer), Peter Atkinson (University of Birmingham; RMA Student Representative), and Stephen Millar (Queen’s University Belfast; RMA Student Committee Member).

If you have any further queries, please contact the programme committee by emailing