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Music and Science from Leonardo to Galileo

The Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccheriniin Lucca is pleased to invite submissions for the symposium «Music and Science from Leonardo to Galileo», to be held in Lucca, Complesso Monumentale di San Micheletto, from 13 to 15 November 2020. The conference is dedicated to bringing together new scholarship dealing with the relationships between music and science from the late fifteenth to the early seventeenth century.

The relationship between music and science is particularly close during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and both fields develop and thrive through their often confrontational relationship with patronage, the church, and between theory and practice. During Antiquity and the Middle Ages, music was one of the artes liberales,the inverse proportionality between string length and pitch understood as a model for relationships between art and science. In the modern era, musical sound (and acoustics) has had implications for both music and physics.

Between these two epochs is the period spanning the work of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), in which a scholastic deference to authority, tradition, and theory was being replaced by knowledge derived from observation, experiment, and practice. During this century, new paradigms were developed not only in mathematics, mechanics and astronomy — creating what is commonly known as the as the Scientific Revolution — but also in religion, politics, and other fields of human endeavor.

It was during this time period that the relationship between music and science was newly defined. In addition to Leonardo and Galileo’s vivid interest in music, many of their fellow scientists also shared this interest. On the other hand, many musicians, music theorists and composers were interested in science and explored the possibility of relating music to science.

Proposals for papers are invited that address the relationship between musical and scientific topics during this period ranging from philosophy of music, tuning and temperament systems, instrument construction, patronage, biography, the impact of science on musical composition, and new work on such figures as Leonardo, Galileo, Huygens, Mersenne, and others. We welcome proposals for single papers, as well as panels of two, three or four contributions.

Programme Committee:

  • Victor Coelho (Boston University)
  • Roberto Illiano (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Massimiliano Locanto (Università degli Studi di Salerno)
  • Fulvia Morabito (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Rudolf Rasch (Utrecht University)
  • Massimiliano Sala (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)

Keynote Speakers:

  • Victor Coelho (Boston University)
  • Rudolf Rasch (Utrecht University)

The official languages of the conference are English and Italian. Papers selected at the conference will be published in a miscellaneous volume in the series “Music, Science and Technology” (Brepols Publishers, Turnhout).

Papers are limited to twenty minutes in length, allowing time for questions and discussion. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words along with  a 150-word biography.

All proposals should be submitted by email no later than Sunday, 03 May 2020 to <conferences@luigiboccherini.org>. With your proposal please include your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail and telephone number) and (if applicable) your affiliation.

The committee will make its final decision on the abstracts by the end of May, 2020, and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter. Further information about the programme, registration, travel and accommodation will be announced after that date.

For any additional information, please contact:

Dr. Massimiliano Sala

conferences@luigiboccherini.org

www.luigiboccherini.org

Società Italiana di Musicologia 27th Annual Conference

Siena, Università degli Studi di Siena – Accademia Musicale Chigiana (16-18 October 2020)

The 27th Annual Conference of the Società Italiana di Musicologia will be held in Siena in collaboration with the University of Siena, the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and the Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali “Rinaldo Franci”, from 16 to 18 October 2020.


Scholars from all over the world are invited to submit their paper and poster proposals.


Deadline for proposals: 15 June 2020

Detailed CFP: https://www.sidm.it/images/convegno_SIdM/2020/CFP_SIdM_2020.pdf

All proposals should be submitted by email no later than *** Monday 15 June 2020 *** to segreteria@sidm.it

Workshop: Women in Nineteenth-Century Czech Musical Culture

Women in Nineteenth-Century Czech Musical Culture, Musicology Department, Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, 23 October 2020

Deadline for abstracts: 31 May 2020

 

More often than not, the historiography of music is not entirely in sync with the history which it aims to portray. Nineteenth-century Czech music, for instance, is known internationally primarily on account of the works by Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, Václav Jan Tomášek, to name but a few. However, nineteenth-century Czech musical culture also embraces such names as Elise Barth, Marie Karolina Benda, Katerina Cibbini-Koseluh, Marie Červinková-Riegrová, Wilhelmine Ebert, Juliane Glaser, Marie Proksch, and Mathilde Ringelsberg, for example. These and other women, who had a remarkable impact on the private and public discourse of nineteenth-century Czech musical culture, deserve further scholarly attention, especially with a view to such fields as composition; performance; the writing of libretti and poetry subsequently set to music; such other creative spheres as the conceptualisation and creation of costumes and paintings for music-dramatic performances; music management and the hosting of musical events; music criticism; and music pedagogy. It is the aim of this international workshop to bring together scholars who are interested in re-evaluating the role of women within these contexts.

The official languages of the workshop will be English and German. Papers will be twenty minutes in length, followed by ten minutes for questions and constructive feedback. As this is a one-day event and parallel sessions will be avoided, only a limited number of papers can be accepted. However, interested colleagues are encouraged to submit abstracts also with a view to contributing a chapter to an edited volume on the same topic, which is planned for 2021.

Proposals including an abstract of no more than 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent in a format compatible with MS Word to Dr Anja Bunzel (womeninczechmusic@gmail.com) no later than 31 May 2020.

This event is funded by the Czech Academy of Sciences funding scheme Strategie 21 and is organised by Dr Anja Bunzel (Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences) in collaboration with Dr Markéta Kratochvílová (Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences) and the Sophie Drinker Institut (Bremen, Germany).

Keeping Silent, Listening, Speaking Up: Voice and Silence in Audience-Response to Arts and Literature

Call for papers

International conference, November 4-6, 2020

Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France

Keeping silent, listening, speaking up: voice and silence in audience-response to arts and literature

In most Western cultures the convention has been that those who receive a work of art do so quietly: whether we look at readers, cinema goers or audiences attending live performances (in the theatre, the opera, …), silence appears as a common denominator and a primary condition of reception. However, contemporary artistic practices often work to challenge this prerequisite, as does a significant portion of academic research into matters of reception. What such work suggests is that audiences can never be considered as perfectly silent agencies. Their voices have a part to play within aesthetic processes – before and after the moment of encounter with a piece, but also in many cases during that very encounter, at the heart of the aesthetic experience itself. The aim of the conference Keeping silent, listening, speaking up: voice and silence in audience-response to arts and literature is to explore the issue of reception through the specific phenomenon of the spectator’s voice, which only exists and can only be understood in its dialectic tension with silence. We therefore invite our colleagues to listen to those silent and loud intervals that are among the primary components of any audience’s embodied response to a work of art.

This international conference organised by the members of the research pole « Voices and Silence in the Arts » from IDEA (Interdisciplinarity in Anglophone Studies), as well as members from the CERCLE, CRULH, and LIS labs at the University of Lorraine, and from the ERIBIA research team at University of Caen-Normandy, is part of a transdisciplinary project which has been investigating the dialectics of voice and silence in the arts since its inception in 2016. Besides its biannual seminar, the project convened a first international conference at the University of Lorraine in 2017 (14-17 June in Nancy), which focused on the processes of emission and utterance. The tension between voice and silence was approached through an understanding of vocal emission and breath, and an exploration of transitions between and intertwining of voices and silence, in literature as well as film, theatre, music, and in visual and performance arts. This led to the publication of a collection of essays entitled Voix et silence dans les arts : passages, poïèsis et performativité (2019). The aim of this second conference is to examine the issue from the complementary perspective of reception.

Despite conventional perceptions of silent readers and spectators, the notion that reception cannot be passive is well documented. Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology (1945) already proposed a theory of perception as activity. Within the field of semiotics, Umberto Eco theorised the ‘interpretive cooperation’ of the reader (1959). Theoreticians of reception from the Constance School, such as Jauss and Iser, paved the way for further investigation into how reception contributes to and shapes literary history. Before them, happenings by Dada forcefully and iconoclastically demonstrated the part that audiences have to play in the act of creation. More recently, Jacques Rancière has also contributed to deconstructing the ancestral image of audiences as passive receptacles by highlighting the work of a spectator who always observes, compares, interprets, and ‘makes his poem with the poem that is performed in front of him’ (‘The Emancipated Spectator’, Artforum, March 2007). Already in 1960 Marcel Duchamp stated his conviction that a painting was a product of the onlooker’s work as much as the artist’s. It is also clear that the reader or spectator is not an abstract entity, but is defined by an embodied condition which plays a crucial part in the act of reception. This was one of the most important conclusions that could be drawn from the practice of happenings and performance art. After a significant amount of research focused on the body of the artist, inspired in part by sociological approaches to creation, more recent work has turned to the bodies of those encountering the work of art. Among articles testifying to the emergence of this academic concern are Serge Proust’s investigations into the body of the spectator in the theatre (2005), and Anne-Marie Picard’s psychanalytical approach to the body of the reader (2010).

This conference on Keeping silent, listening, speaking up: voice and silence in audience-response to arts and literature means to apprehend the question of reception by bringing together an understanding of the act of reception and an analysis of our embodied condition as consumers of art. Its aim is to explore the physical manifestation of audiences’ active response as vocal outbursts alternate with moments of silently welcoming what is being presented. It will apprehend the act of reception from the perspective of those two indissociable, concrete phenomena that are voice and silence. The reader or spectator, envisaged as active and embodied subjects, will be seen to keep their peace and raise their voices, alternatively and inseparably.  

Topics might find some articulation with, but must by no means be restricted to, the following guidelines:

 Questions concerning readers/viewers and reception cultures. In opting for diachronic and intercultural approaches, it will be possible to examine the evolution of the spectator’s/auditor’s/reader’s status and how he/she may have been compelled by literature and the other arts to remain silent or to be vocal. Looking at the contexts in which spectators or readers have been required to remain silent, it will be seen to what extent reception studies have apprehended the historical and cultural conditions that have favoured certain attitudes towards the spectator’s/reader’s right to express himself. Attention will be paid to the conventions that established and modified the attitude of the spectator in front of the play or the text, by more or less restricting his/her freedom of speech. The way these collective histories interact with individual stories and how they affect the spectator’s/reader’s training and education will also be investigated.

From an historical perspective, Western drama has more often been intended for spectators free to express themselves vocally than for spectators reduced to silence (one need only think for instance of Greek drama, Elizabethan drama or the ‘théâtre de la foire’ in Paris). The norm of the silent spectator, which became the prevalent mode in Europe in the late nineteenth century, generated a clear-cut dialectical relationship between the rule of silence and the transgressive breaking of that rule. It is that very norm that needs to be questioned and put into perspective. Similarly, if the issue is addressed on a diachronic scale, it appears that the act of reading was long regarded as an oral and collective activity, more than as a silent and solitary one. In his Histoire de la Lecture, Alberto Manguel reminds us of Saint Augustin’s surprise on discovering Saint Ambrose’s silent reading. He mentions Les Confessions as one of the first texts presenting reading as an interior and intimate activity, as opposed to the monastic tradition of reading aloud. That tradition involved the body thoroughly and completely, so that the text was literally incorporated through the reader’s eyes, mouth, hands and breath. In the nineteenth century, Flaubert’s famous ‘gueuloir’ when writing Madame Bovary– a genuine vocal feat! –, revealed the writer’s desire to anticipate the reader’s voice: ‘Poorly-written sentences do not stand up to this test [reading aloud]; they oppress the chest, disturb the heartbeat, and find themselves thus outside of the condition of life’, he said. In the entirely different context of African American and Caribbean cultures, the participative relation modified the attitude towards reading by presenting the participative mode of reception as the normal one. It is a well-known fact that the reader also gives life to the text with his voice and his silences. As Barthes used to say, it is the role of the ‘reader-producer’ to construct another text through his reading. The conference will thus be the occasion to examine the role of voice and of silences in this process. 

 What the observer/listener/reader says – or does not say – about the work of art. Examining the audience’s silent or vocal response. How we respond to a work of art, vocally or silently, is a rather complex question to unravel. Responses can range from the clearly-defined, ‘a-posteriori’, critical discourse of the reviewer or other critic, to the more spontaneous, unmediated act of reception, experienced intimately and inwardly. Between these polar opposites, various degrees of critical or aesthetic reception can be envisaged from the perspective of the interplay between voice and silence.

In the performing arts, vocal responses can be unexpected or inappropriate, as in the case of the notorious mayhem provoked by Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. But they can also be deliberately provoked as in Dadaists events. Sometimes, they are simply part and parcel of the performance itself, like the recorded applause edited into the soundtrack of sit-coms. Be that as it may, performance venues can be seen as aesthetic spaces, where scenic and pro-scenic voices and silences jostle or attempt to neutralize each other. There are specific moments, peripheral to a performance, during which spectators can express their responses. The intermission is a case in point: it can be seen as a ‘political moment’ (Badiou) when the spectator feels free to break out of his or her silent bubble, to communicate with other spectators, before returning to the customary silence of performance-experiencer. Shows, spectacles, performances or public readings often allow time in their programs for audiences to take part in debates, discussions or other view-sharing forums, and yet the very same audiences are expected to keep their peace during the performance. These instances, in which spectators who had previously been expected to keep silent are encouraged to express themselves audibly and forcefully, deserve also to be investigated from the point of view of the relation voice/silence. 

Beyond the performing arts, other art forms are equally concerned by the dynamics of silent/vocal audience reception. Frederic Wiseman caught on film the silent scrutiny or murmurings of the visitors pacing along the corridors of the National Gallery, either alone or following the Museum guide’s explanations (National Gallery, 2014). In this respect, it would be of interest to consider how voice and silence interact against the background of ambient noise or musings of crowds in museums or other exhibition places, but also in casual talk, in press and radio reviews and in academic institutions or even in adaptations seen as a reaction or response to one of these works. From this point of view, it would be possible to go so far as to reflect on those moments when reception, formulated and communicated through different channels – the media, or academic and artistic channels – becomes itself an object of mass consumption, thus raising, in a new interaction between discourse and readers, listeners or spectators, the question of the dialectical relationship between the voices and silences involved in reception. 

 What the spectator’s/auditor’s voice and silences do in the work and to the work: for a poiesis of reception. Finally, we will look at the multiple ways in which the voices and silences of the receiver contribute to the creative process. In many cases, they are a structuring element of the work produced. The use of Call & Response in the gospel is only a particularly visible example, as are performance poetry, slam poetry and other practices of orality during which the spectator can react at any time. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which contemporary artists and writers bring into play and stage the voices and silences of the spectators as integral parts of the work. John Cage’s 4 ’33’ ’is the most famous instance of this contemporary trend. In her performance The Artist Is Present, Marina Abramovic creates the conditions for a silent face to face interplay during which glances are exchanged between herself and each of the participants, a type of performance which creates a disturbing counterpoint to the civilization of commentary (Steiner) which piles up discourses and mediation between the work and those who might be confronted with it. In Bruce Nauman’s sound and immersive installations, the spectator’s body is tested physically and mentally by the space in which he/she moves, as in Corridor or in Get Out of My Mind, Get Out of this Room where he/she is assailed from all sides by an impersonal, injunctive and insistent voice. In Sleep No More (Punchdrunk Company, 2011), an emblematic example of promenade theatre, the spectator, who is masked and free to move but invited to remain silence, steps into the fiction as an anonymous but embodied gaze, as a wandering spectre and a silent presence which is disturbing for other spectators. Finally, the contemporary vogue of ‘participatory’ shows, which aim to revive the relationship between actors and spectators, deliberately creates moments when the spectators can speak or sing. This is illustrated, for example, by participatory operas (at Rouen opera, most particularly) and by contemporary immersive theatre (Closer by Patrick Marber, Compagnie du Libre Acteur, DAU). Other illustrations are the recording of people’s experience of listening to music, a project carried out by the members of the LED project (The Listening Experience Database, 2014, a collaborative project between the Open University, the Royal College of Music and the University of Glasgow), and the presence and exchange mechanisms in corporal cinema (Maria Klonaris, Katerina Thomadaki).

The spectator’s voices and silences are also a first-rate material for fiction-making operations which make possible a reflection on the dialogue between the work and its receivers embedded in the work itself. The cinema often depicts spectators at the very moment when they are face to face with the screen. Nana’s entranced look when watching Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Passion of Joan of Arc in Jean-Luc Godard’s Vivre sa vie (1962) is that of a talking character who remains temporarily silent in front of a silent film. Theatre also knows how to stage the words of spectators within the fiction itself: the irascible spectator of Eleutheria by Beckett (written in 1947, published in 1995), the anonymous viewers whose reactions after a show were collected by Jean-Claude Grumberg and made the subject of Sortie de théâtre (2000), the whimsical ‘Old lady in the first row’ who daydreams aloud and appears as the eponymous buffoon of Marion Aubert (Les Histrions, 2006). It is necessary to explore the forms and stakes of these creative gestures which, by staging the act of reception and its audible manifestations, bring the spectator out of the silent obscurity to which he seems to have been destined by a certain tradition of Western thought.

This conference invites researchers, theorists and practitioners (directors, filmmakers, performers, storytellers, etc.) and anyone interested in this issue to propose theoretical and practical studies on the voices and silences of receivers in literature and cinema, in the visual and performing arts.

For paper proposals, please send an abstract (500 words) and a short bio-bibliography (150 words) under Word to Claudine Armand and Diane Leblond :

Claudine.armand@univ-lorraine.fr

Diane.lebond@univ-lorraine.fr

Languages of the conference: English or French.

Submission dealine : May 3rd, 2020

Scientific Committee’s decision: June 4th, 2020

Keynote speakers

Mathieu Duplay (literature, Université Diderot-Paris 7)

Stéphane Ghislain Roussel (visual art, musicologist, curator, Luxembourg)

Invited artist

Tameka Norris (New Orleans, USA)

10th Anniversary International Symposium on Traditional Polyphony

27–31 October, 2020

International Research Center for Traditional Polyphony of Vano Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire and the International Centre for Georgian Folk Song are pleased to announce that the scholars working on the problems of polyphony are invited to participate in the 10th Anniversary International Symposium on Traditional Polyphony, on 27–31 October, 2020, in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Official languages of the Symposium are English and Georgian. All the papers will be published after the symposium in both English and Georgian.

Topics of the Symposium:

The participants are encouraged to submit abstracts on all aspects of traditional polyphony. The submitted papers will be grouped according to the problems discussed in them and will be presented at the corresponding session. This will allow to better cover the wide range of issues of polyphony.

Alongside the traditional themes, we would like to introduce a special new theme for the 10th symposium: Polyphony and Rhythm as Manifestation of Human Sociality, as well as a new topic forRound table: “Traditional Music and Contemporary Society”.

Proposals

The Program Committee encourages submission of individual, panel, poster and round-table proposals:

  • Individual paper will be allotted up to 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for questions and discussion;
  • Panel presentation includes two or three papers, 20 minutes each, followed by 10 minute discussion;
  • Poster presenters will be allotted 10 minutes for presentation in Power Point format and 5 minutes for discussion. Poster presenters are kindly requested to bring a prepared 80 cm wide x 100 cm tall poster to the symposium;
  • About 2-hour-long Round table session includes not more than four presenters (10 minutes each). The audience is encouraged to participate in the discussion.

Abstracts, CVs and full papers

Abstracts and short CVs – both texts no more than 1800 characters (both should be inserted in the on-line registration form).

The full texts – maximum 7 pages, font New Times Roman, size 12, spacing 1.5.

TIMELINE     

The deadline for on-line registration: 15 May, 2020

Notification of the Acceptance:  01 June, 2020

The deadline for submission of full text of papers with the consideration of the time for translation – 01 August, 2020.

Registration fee

For scholars – 80 USD

For student – 30 USD  

Accommodation, transportation, cultural program

All the cost of accommodation, as well as cultural program will be borne by the Organizing Committee of the Symposium.

The Organizing Committee plans a day of cultural program for the Symposium participants. Cultural program includes sightseeing in one of Georgia’s regions.

The Tbilisi International Symposium is not only a scholarly discussion of the problems of folk multi-part singing, but is accompanied by a wide spectrum of polyphonic music from Georgia and elsewhere. We expect that, as always, a number of ensembles from around the world will present polyphonic singing at the symposium.

Complete information including the full Call for Papers as well as the history of previous symposia, information on the participants, contents of the bilingual books of proceedings with full texts of all symposium papers and can be found on the symposium website.

SIBE+20 Music and Dance Research – Practices of Social and Political Responsibility

International Conference | October 2020 | Aveiro, Portugal

The Institute of Ethnomusicology – Center for the Study of Music and Dance is pleased to host and organize the congress SIBE+20, which will take place at the University of Aveiro, Portugal, from the 14th to the 17th October 2020.

Under the theme Music and Dance Research – Practices of Social and Political Responsibility, SIBE+20 includes the bottom listed international conferences:
16th SIBE Conference
11th IASPM Spain Conference
4th Conference of Popular Musics of the Hispanic and Portuguese Worlds
3th Conference of the Spain ICTM National Committee
2nd Conference of the Portuguese ICTM National Committee

In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and with the Millennium Goals signed by the United Nations, SIBE+20 proposes to approach research in music and dance as practices of social and political responsibility grounded on the following themes:

  • Sounds, territories and ecological consciousness
  • New demographies, coexistence and social vulnerability
  • Music, archives and the digitalization of memory
  • Artivism, public space, and social networks
  • Queer-activism, feminism and new masculinities
  • Music and dance for an education based on social responsibility
  • Heritage practices and sustainability

The official languages of the conference are Portuguese | Spanish | English.

Call

Proposals are invited in the following categories: 

Individual paper
Individual paper presentations are 20 minutes long to be followed by 10 minutes of discussion. The proposal must include a 300 word maximum abstract.

Panel
Organized panels are 90 minutes (three papers, 20 minutes each, followed by 10 minutes discussion) or two hours long (four papers and a discussant). A proposal by the panel organizer (300 words) as well as by each individual presenter is necessary (300 words each). Where an independently submitted abstract appears to fit a panel, the program committee may suggest the addition of a panelist.

Audiovisual session
Recently completed documentaries introduced by their author and discussed by conference participants may be proposed. Submit a 300 word abstract including titles, subjects, and formats, and indicate the duration of the proposed documentaries and introduction/discussion.

Poster Session
A space where presenters can exhibit posters and remain on hand for a scheduled period for discussion will be provided. A 300 word abstract by the poster’s author must be submitted.

Roundtable
Roundtable sessions provide opportunities for participants to discuss a subject with each other and with members of the audience. Sessions of up to two hours long should include at least four but no more than five presenters. The organizer will solicit position papers of up to 15 minutes from each presenter and will facilitate questions and discussion for the remaining time. Proposals for roundtables should be submitted by the session organizer (300 words).

Instructions for abstracts
Abstracts should include a clear focus of the problem, a coherent argument, knowledge of previous research, and a statement of the implications for ethnomusicology. Proposals can be submitted here

Any doubts related to the program or organization can be send to Ana Flávia Miguel (anaflavia@ua.pt). Please, don’t send proposals to this address.

TIMELINE
Deadline for submission of proposals by 30th April 2020
Notifications of acceptances by 30th June 2020

More information: http://sibeplus20.web.ua.pt/?page_id=51&lang=en

Urban Nostalgia: The Musical City in the 19th and 20th Centuries

CFP: Urban Nostalgia: The Musical City in the 19th and 20th Centuries

EHESS, Paris

105 boulevard Raspail, Salle 13

July 3, 2020

Call for papers – deadline: 6 April 2020

https://www.ehess.fr/en/node/16865

The aim of this workshop is to explore space through music, approaching the history of the city via the notion of nostalgia. Often described as a form of homesickness, nostalgia is, by definition, the feeling that makes us wish to repossess or reoccupy a space. Such spaces appear to us as both near and distant, tangible and remote, and it seems that attempts at reclaiming them are frequently musical in nature. We know, for instance, that particular compositions have played important roles in helping people to navigate or mitigate a sense of displacement. In these circumstances, affective experiences may be bound up with trauma or joy, as is the case of song during wartime or musical imaginaries among migrants. Under other conditions, we might identify a ‘second-hand nostalgia’ in the guise of a musically-inflected tourism that seeks to reactivate (for pleasure and/or profit) the historical aura of an urban site. What are we to make of the abundance of personal, inter-personal, and propositional episodes that posit music as some kind of a bridge to the urban past?

One option is to turn to digital humanities and to recent trends in mapping the musical layers and pathways of city life. Yet, how well do such methods account for the emotional force of nostalgia and for the flickering between presence and absence that seems to characterise the musical grasp of the past? It is notoriously difficult to geo-locate affect and it is for this reason that we are looking to the kinds of mapping that music enables without the use of digital tools. How might we revisit compositions, correspondence, film music, opera, music criticism, etc. as techniques of urban nostalgia? Of course, these questions are not entirely new. But even as the so-called ‘urban musicology’ offers alternatives to traditional narratives of musical history, replacing big names with city streets, it sometimes remains unclear what the deeper relationships between musical practice and urban experience may be. We seek to address this lacuna by asking:

1) how composers, interpreters and other cultural actors have codified the city in musical terms;

2) how particular cities have afforded particular kinds of listening for particular groups at articular times; and

3) how music has contributed to the repertoire of clichés about urban identity, whether understood from ‘within’ or from the ‘outside.’

Another context for this conference is the growth of sound studies, which has made the notion of a ‘soundscape’ an unavoidable point of reference when describing links between music and urban atmospheres. In light of such work we aim to consider what the idea of a musical landscape or musicscape might offer to historically-sensitive and site-specific scholarship.

We welcome papers with a broad disciplinary grounding, including (but by no means limited to) musicology, history, cultural and sound studies, cultural geography, art history, and literature. We are also looking to include research – and researchers – that expand the geographical frame beyond Europe and Northern America, the areas favoured thus far by sound studies and technology and media studies.

We seek proposals that respond, but are not limited to the following themes:

-Music, memory, and nostalgia

-Music and mapping

-Recorded music and the city

-Musical clichés of space

-Music, space and emotions

-Music travel, and tourism

-Urban music and local vs. national identity

-Divisions of /bridges within the urban space through music

-Intermedia exchanges in the representation of the city: visual arts, literature, and film

-Site-specific musical works

-Music architecture, and urbanism

-Music and escapism: imaginary landscapes

-Mobile listening

-Music and noise pollution

Keynote lecture by Richard Elliott (Newcastle University), title tbc

Please note the quick turnaround for this call: abstracts of no more than 250 words are to be sent to musical.cities.2020@gmail.com no later than 6 April 2020. Accepted proposals will be announced on 17 April 2020. Please, include a short biography of no more than 100 words and your institutional affiliation. Proposals in both English and French will be accepted.

Scientific committee: Esteban Buch (CRAL / EHESS, Paris); Jonathan Hicks (University of Aberdeen); Gascia Ouzounian (University of Oxford); Lola San Martín Arbide (CRAL / EHESS, Paris); Christabel Sterling (University of Westminster); Justinien Tribillon (Theatrum Mundi).

Funded by the ‘Aural Paris’ project (Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 750086); organised by Lola San Martín Arbide (CRAL / EHESS, Paris).

“Gendered Representations in 20th Century American Art & Culture” Conference 2020

Call for Papers!

We warmly welcome you all to a new LAHP student-led activities conference: Gendered Representations in 20th Century American Art & Culture. We are excited to bring you two days of thought-provoking discussions designed to showcase new and emerging approaches to the study of gender construction and identity in American culture, addressing how femininities and masculinities are explored through the modes of music, literature, art, and wider media and cultural apparatus. The aim of this conference is to bring together PhD students and early career academics within the field of American Studies across departmental boundaries, enabling them to share their research and engage in collaborative debates surrounding the role of gender in a culturally and socio-politically tumultuous period of American culture; the twentieth century.

The conference will be held on Wednesday 10th June and Thursday 11th June 2020 in the historical and cultural epicenter of London, at King’s College London’s Strand Campus.

We specifically aim to pose the question: how can examinations of creative practices and cultural products enable a deeper understanding of regionally determined expressions of gendered identity? Whether participants challenge current discourse surrounding gender and American Studies, or discuss the ways in which we as academics shape and pursue the intersection of such disciplines, we intend to create a space wherein interdisciplinary research is produced, debated, and assessed; our call for papers encourages exchange between diverse fields of interest.

Submissions may address, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  • Articulations of gender and race, class, age, ability, sexuality, etc. in American culture, i.e. literature, music, film, audience engagement, reception, and participation
  • Exclusion and gender inequalities in American culture 
  • Collaborative practices and the creation of community
  • Cultural and social histories

How to Participate:

We are looking for 15 to 20 minute presentations, which may include formats such as films, digital artworks, lecture performances, etc.

Please submit an abstract (up to 250 words) outlining the paper’s main arguments, format, and relevance to the conference theme. Submissions should also include your institutional affiliation, paper title, 3-4 keywords, a short biography (up to 100 words), and your contact details.

Email both the proposal and biography to genderinamericaconference@kcl.ac.uk by 23.59 GMT on Wednesday, 15th April 2020.

More information is available at kclgenderinamericaconference.wordpress.com, including registration details.

Costs: Participation in and attendance to the conference is free*.
*Please note that while there are potential bursaries for travel expenses, all participants are responsible for covering the majority of costs including possible visa expenses and accommodation.

Keynote Speakers:

We are thrilled to announce our two Keynote Speakers: Dr. Rona Cran, Lecturer in Twentieth-Century American Literature and Co-Director of the American & Canadian Studies Centre, and Assistant Professor Dr. Martin Lüthe, Assistant Professor of Culture.

Dr. Rona Cran
Lecturer in Twentieth-Century American Literature
Co-Director of the American & Canadian Studies Centre
University of Birmingham, UK

Rona Cran is Lecturer in Twentieth-Century American Literature at the University of Birmingham, where she is also Director of the Centre for American and Canadian Studies. She is the author of Collage in Twentieth-Century American Art, Literature, and Culture (Ashgate/Routledge, 2014). Her current book project is entitled Multiple Voices: New York City Poetry, 1950-1995; she is also compiling a new anthology of New York City poetry, City of the World: Poems of New York (Fordham University Press, 2021). She has written or is writing articles on New York poetry, American women poet-editors and the mimeograph revolution, Joe Brainard and John Ashbery, Allen Ginsberg and Frank O’Hara, Allen Ginsberg and collage, place, space and identity in Richard Yates, William Burroughs and eating, and William Burroughs and art.

Dr. Martin Lüthe
Assistant Professor
Department of Culture
Freie Universität Berlin (The Free University of Berlin), Germany

Martin Lüthe received his doctorate from the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture in Gießen. He is currently Einstein Junior fellow and assistant professor at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. Lüthe published the monographs “We Missed a Lot of Church, So the Music Is Our Confessional”: Rap and Religion (Lit Verlag, 2008) and Color-Line and Crossing-Over: Motown and Performances of Blackness in 1960s American Culture (WVT, 2011) and is working on a manuscript for Wire Writings: Media Change in the Culture of the Progressive Era.

Conference Organisers:

Sophia Sakellaridis Mangoura
PhD Candidate, Department of Music, King’s College London
Sophia Sakellaridis Mangoura is currently a PhD candidate in the Music Department at King’s College London supported by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership to pursue a thesis in Opera Studies. Previously, she completed her LLB and MSc in Political Science and Sociology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. She holds a Classical Vocal Studies Diploma from the Musical Horizons Conservatory in Athens and now performs as a Soprano. Her major academic interests are centered on gender studies, specialising in operatic femininities.

Robyn Shooter
PhD Candidate, Department of Music, King’s College London
Robyn Shooter is a current PhD student enrolled in the Music department at King’s College London (KCL), undertaking a thesis examining constructions of identity and authenticity in alternative country music. She has previously completed an MMus in Musicology and Ethnomusicology (KCL), an MA in Cultural and Creative Industries (KCL), and holds a BA (Hons) in Comparative Literature (Queen Mary University of London). Robyn’s research is informed by her interdisciplinary background, with interests including popular culture in the United States, countercultural movements in twentieth-century America and Europe, regional identity and the American South, and nostalgic readings of Americana cultural heritage.

RMA-KVNM Postgraduate Symposium in Music Research

RMA-KVNM International Postgraduate Symposium in Music Research

Location: Erasmus University Rotterdam
3-4 July 2020
No registration fee

Postgraduate research is a vital part of the musicological discipline and holds the potential to change engagements with music in new and important ways. With the recent broadening of music research, both within a range of university disciplines, as well as in conservatories and beyond, early career researchers have been engaging with a wider variety of approaches to and perspectives on the subject than before. Additionally, interdisciplinary approaches increasingly centralise music as a research topic.

The two oldest musicological organisations in the world, the UK’s Royal Musical Association (RMA) and the Netherlands’ Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis (KVNM), will bring together postgraduate researchers from the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK and beyond, with the aim of stimulating and developing national and international collaborations across the field. The two-day symposium will feature paper and poster presentations showcasing current research related to music in the broadest sense.

Proposals from MA students, PhDs, and early career researchers are encouraged from any discipline in which music-related research is carried out, including but not limited to all disciplines within musicology, music theory and analysis, performance studies, composition, music psychology, music history, organology, music education, media studies and any other field that engages with music research. The formats accepted are 7-minute papers, 15-minute papers, 20-minute performance-presentations (please note that the venue is, unfortunately, unable to provide instruments), and posters. The symposium will be held in English.

Abstracts of up to 250 words, along with AV, institution (optional), paper length, and a biography of up to 100 words should be sent to rmakvnmpostgradsymposium2020@gmail.com

The deadline for submissions is at 11:59 PM (GMT +1) on 10 April 2020.

RMA Travel Grant for UK-based students
The RMA is offering a £250 travel grant to three UK-based students (studying at a UK institution) to support the attendance to the symposium. In order to apply for this grant, please submit a 300-word letter, along with your paper application, describing your research interests and how presenting at the symposium will help you develop your career.

Organising committee

Ashley Westmacott (RMA, University of West London)

Charissa Granger (Erasmus University)

Liselotte Podda (KVNM, Utrecht University)

Núria Bonet (RMA, University of Plymouth)

Sio Pan Leong (RMA, University of Edinburgh)

Sophie Mahar (RMA, Liverpool Hope University)

Tamar Hestrin-Grader (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; ACPA, Universiteit Leiden)

Veerle Driessen (KVNM, Radboud University)

The Motherland Resurrected: Manifestations of Nationalism in Music Since the End of the ‘Short Twentieth Century’.

Venue: Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge
Date: 15 May 2020
Submission Deadline: 24 March 2020
Keynote speaker: Dr Ilana Webster-Kogen (SOAS University of London)

This symposium invites academics, independent researchers, practitioners and post-graduate students from across the local community to explore and unpick how musical practices in the last thirty years have corresponded to and helped construct national self-identification, considering also how they may have problematised traditional conceptions of national identity.


Nationalism, among other concepts related to one’s identity with regard to ethnicity and the nation-state, is notoriously hard to define, as Benedict Anderson suggested in Imagined Communities (1983). Not long after Anderson’s infamous and thought-provoking publication, there was an upsurge of interest in nationalism in the early 1990s, following the revolutions of 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the outbreak of nationalist wars in Yugoslavia and Rwanda.


It could be suggested that since the end of the Cold War, numerous detailed and thoughtful investigations into nationalism have somewhat exhausted the topic’s scholarly potential. Recent events and socio-political trends across the world, however, have seen new manifestations of nationalism that do not conform to conventional models. This suggests that nationalism is a persistent and dynamic phenomenon that needs continuous (re)investigation, with scholars and the media questioning if it is still on rise, whether the Second Cold War has begun or, in fact, whether the first one ever ended.


Thirty years after the 1989 revolutions, at a time when countries continue to write their controversial histories, we consider that it is the ideal moment to revisit the topic of nationalism and ask questions that take lessons from the past and critically analyse the present. Culture is the mirror of society and as music per se, unlike more verbal and visual art forms, lacks semantic meaning, it reflects its social situation in more subtle ways.

We encourage scholars across music studies to explore the relationship between nationalism and music, examining its potential for political mobilization and the causality between musical evocations of conceived national identity and political action and activism. We invite scholars, including those whose previous work is purely historical, to apply existing knowledge and methodologies to contemporary case studies of nationalism from all over the world. In so doing, this symposium aims to cultivate and nuance our understanding of how present and diverse political conditions and requirements are (re)defining conceptions of nationalism and how these are being mediated and problematised through various and disparate musical-cultural practices.


We invite proposals for individual or co-authored paper presentations and lecture recitals to musicandpolitics.cambridge2020@gmail.com. Please include a short biography of no more 150 words with your submission. The submission deadline is 24 March. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 31 March.


Guidelines for proposal submission:
Individual/co-authored paper presentations (20 minutes + 10 minutes for discussion) or lecture recitals (10 minutes lecture + 10 minutes recital + 10 minutes for discussion):
• Title and abstract of up to 300 words


If you are not interested in presenting but would still like to attend, please notify the organisers, Eirini Diamantouli and Ekaterina Pavlova, at musicandpolitics.cambridge2020@gmail.com.