Revisiting Austrian and German Music: from the ‘Spring of Nations’ to the Cold War, and launch of the IAGMR (Institute of Austrian and German Music Research)

Revisiting Austrian and German Music: from the ‘Spring of Nations’ to the Cold War, and launch of the IAGMR (Institute of Austrian and German Music Research)

Department of Music & Media, University of Surrey

18th and 19th of September, 2020

Keynote speakers: Mark Berry (Royal Holloway, University of London), Nick Attfield (University of Birmingham), and Caroline Kita (Washington University in St Louis)

Recital by pianist Anna Scott

Submissions are warmly invited for the above conference which marks the official launch of the IAGMR at the University of Surrey.

This conference gives an opportunity to rethink, revise, and renew understanding of Austrian and German music of the 19th and 20th centuries through interrogating historical and scholarly paths towards canonization or obscurity, popularity or neglect, and putative cultural centres and peripheries, as well as through questioning the very formulation ‘Austro-German’.

We are interested in considering music primarily, though not exclusively, from c. 1848 to the 1960s—the ‘Spring of Nations’ to the Cold War—as it emerged during periods of intense cultural and social change in the lives of these nations and their wider European, and indeed global, interconnections which have continued to shape geo-political conditions to this day. We extend this musical and cultural focus on Germanophone lands to include historically obsolete, border and occupied regions, some of which may have had politically troubled and controversial relationships with Austria or Germany.

We encourage submissions that serve to render the ‘unmarked’ ‘marked’, the familiar unfamiliar, that explore new methodologies for reconceiving canonic works, and that open up new avenues of research in neglected areas and overlooked repertoire. We welcome submissions on any genre of music and contributions of an interdisciplinary nature.

Submissions may be in the form of individual papers (20 mins plus 10 mins discussion), paper panels/roundtables (maximum 90 mins), short illustrated performances (lecture-recital: maximum 30 mins). We are also open to considering proposals for contributions in other, less traditional, formats (lightning presentation, Pecha Kucha, multi-media, poster). Such proposals should give a clear rationale for the mode of presentation and indicate any special requirements.    

Deadline for submissions: 17.00 (GMT), Friday 14 February 2020.

Submissions are to be sent to:

The conference committee will communicate their decisions by Friday 6 March, 2020.

The following list offers a guide to the potential historical, analytical and/or cultural contexts in which music might usefully be addressed at the conference, but the convenors are open to any suggestions that fulfil the conference remit:

  • Aesthetics (expression, representation, meaning)
  • Critical theory
  • Ethics (and ideas of truth)
  • Historiography (of Romanticism, Modernism, Expressionism)
  • Pedagogy
  • Performance and recordings
  • Reception history and notions of popularity (criticism and journalism)
  • The archive (and empiricism)
  • Philosophy (idealism, positivism, materialism)
  • Politics and society (empire, nation, ethnos; propaganda, liberal humanism; diaspora, displacement; populism, nationalism; identity, gender, ethnicity)
  • Industrialization and nature
  • Notions of Heimat
  • Psychology
  • Other arts: literature, theatre, visual media (art and film)

Conference committee:

Professor Jeremy Barham
Professor Erik Levi
Dr Beth Snyder
Genevieve Arkle

The University of Surrey is fully committed to the principles of equality and diversity enshrined in the Race Equality Charter, the Athena SWAN Charter, the Disability Confident scheme, and through its support of LGBTQ+ communities.

Rethinking Austrian and German Music Studies (IAGMR)

Rethinking Austrian and German Music Studies
Pre-Launch PGR and ECR Workshop,
University of Surrey
November 6th, 2019

The newly-formed IAGMR [Institute of Austrian and German Music Research] is pleased to announce a pre-launch workshop event for post-graduate and early-career researchers, titled ‘Rethinking Austrian and German Music Studies.’ The one-day workshop will take place at the University of Surrey on 6th November 2019.

The IAGMR provides a forum for innovative and transformative scholarly research in Austrian and German music, primarily from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries: the ‘Spring of Nations’ to the Cold War. Its mission is to challenge and rethink customary twinned ‘Austro-German’ formulations and associated assumptions of ‘unmarked’ culture. At the same time, its members seek new ways to understand music’s acknowledged cultural significance in the undeniably linked geo-political arenas of these two nations. In order to do so, we are dedicated to examining neglected as well as familiar musics, figures and activities, whether by applying established methods in new ways and to uncharted areas of interest, or through developing less conventional investigative tools to consider canonic repertoires in a fresh light.

This event will be centred around envisioning new ways to study Austrian and German musics. Delegates will be invited to join a pre-read session exploring this theme and will also be offered opportunities to workshop / present their own research and receive feedback from fellow delegates and researchers in this field. The event will be free to attend for all delegates, and a small number of travel bursaries will be available. [Please see the website for more information regarding applying for a travel bursary.]

We welcome submissions that seek to engage with some dimension of Austrian or/and German musics and cultures in ways that resonate with the IAGMR’s aforementioned mission.

  • This might entail approaching canonical repertoire or figures in an unconventional way, ‘marking’ unmarked musics and practices via processes of defamiliarization, thereby recasting centre and periphery.
  • It might entail focussing on activities, figures, and musics that have been neglected in prevailing historical accounts of Austrian and German cultural hegemony, including those occupying spaces deemed ambiguous or liminal (both culturally and geopolitically).
  • Submissions may also interrogate the categories ‘Austrian’ and ‘German’ and the widespread practice of yoking together these musical cultures.

Preference may be given to proposals that address musical praxis within the temporal boundaries corresponding to the IAGMR’s research agenda (c. 1848-1961). However, submissions exploring musics and cultures that fall outside of these parameters are also welcomed.

Our goal at the IAGMR is not only to rethink the ways in which we investigate music, but also the ways we come together to discuss it. As such we aim to re-envision the organisation of academic events, offering an open-minded and progressive approach to conferences – one that puts inclusivity, engagement and diversity at the forefront. We intend for this event to function as a welcoming and friendly space for PGRs and ECRs to share and gain feedback on their work, connect with researchers with similar interests, and gain confidence in sharing their work with fellow academics. We encourage alternative modes of presentation, and ask that presenters think outside the model of the ‘read-paper’. In general, presenters will be asked to prepare 15-20 minutes of material that can then be workshopped, but a few slots can be made available for ‘5-minute-thesis’ style presentations. In stepping away from traditional forms of presentation we aim to cultivate flexible discussion and engagement among participants in a relaxed environment. Furthermore, an essential part of the Institute’s mission involves increasing diversity and representation across the field. Therefore, we particularly welcome submissions from BAME and LGBTQI researchers, as well as research that connects with themes of diversity and inclusion.

Authors are asked to submit abstracts of no more than 300 words by 30th August. Please submit your abstract as a word document, and include your name, institution and contact details, as well as indicating whether you would like to be considered for a workshop discussion or 5-minute thesis presentation. Successful applicants will be notified of acceptance by 20th September. Abstracts should be sent to Genevieve Arkle at A copy of the call for papers, along with more information about the IAGMR can be found here:

Organising committee:

Professor Jeremy Barham

Dr Beth Snyder

Genevieve Arkle