2021 Annual Meeting of the New Zealand Musicological Society: ‘Music, Society, Agency’

19-20 June, 2021

School of Music, The University of Auckland

New Zealand

Deadline for proposals is 15 March 2021

Musicologists have increasingly taken a wide-angled lens on the study of music in society, to explore how it can be intertwined with issues of politics, gender, religion, race, psychology, memory and space. Recent studies of music in connection with society take in a variety of musical phenomena from diverse periods and genres—medieval, classical, opera, rock, etc. This conference asks not only how music and society are, and have been, intertwined and mutually influential. It also examines the agents behind these connections: who determines musical cultures in society? Which social groups are represented in particular musical contexts? Which social groups are silenced or less well represented in music’s histories, and why?

Topics related to the conference theme might include:

  • The various ways in which musical works and practices can be contextualised and related to cultural changes, socio-politics and the larger world of ideas.
  • How musicology can contribute to discourse around the intersections within society of gender, race, sexuality, and class.
  • How agency is variously related to music’s cultural politics, and how has this changed over time and according to place.
  • How analysts’ various uses of metaphors of agency have revealed insights into the nature of musical cultures at different points in history.

Abstracts for papers will be considered on all aspects of music studies (not limited to the conference theme), including music history, music theory and analysis, ethnomusicology, composition, performance, popular music studies, sound studies, music technology and music education.

Conference presentations may take the following forms:

  • Formal conference papers (20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for questions and discussion)
  • Interactive workshops (30 minutes)
  • Lecture recitals and demonstrations (20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for questions and discussion)
  • Panel sessions (90 minutes, up to three participants)

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent in PDF format to n.november@auckland.ac.nz. Proposals for panel sessions should include abstracts for individual papers (where applicable) as well as a proposal for the overall session.

The submitted file should have a filename as follows:


You should include a title, and up to five keywords beneath your abstract. As abstracts will be screened anonymously by the selection committee, please omit your name from the text of your document.

In the body of the email, you should include your full name, status (academic staff, postgraduate student, independent scholar, etc.) and institutional affiliation where appropriate, and your home town and country.

Details for the student paper competition and keynote speakers will be announced shortly.

The programme committee consists of the following:

Nancy November (University of Auckland), Chair

Peter Adams (University of Otago)

Allan Badley (University of Auckland)

Nick Braae (Waikato Institute of Technology)

Sunhee Koo (University of Auckland)

Gregory Camp (University of Auckland)

Hamish Robb (Victoria University Wellington)

Polly Sussex (Independent Scholar, Auckland)

Francis Yapp (University of Canterbury)