Symposium Tanz als Musik – Zwischen Klang und Bewegung, a Symposium of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis

Basel, Musik-Akademie, 19. – 21. November 2020

Vibrant Practices: Material Agency and Performative Ontologies

University of Leeds, 16–17 April 2021.

The call for papers is here (PDF), please share widely across disciplines.

Deadline for submissions is Dec. 1st 2020, see call below for details.

Keywords: contingency, materiality, agency, performative ontology, sound, music, responsiveness, intra-action

The Garden of Forking Paths (GFP) project approaches musical composition through a framework of contingent materiality, material agency, listening, and responsiveness. Going further than appending these elements to existing compositional approaches, it situates both (1) players’ responsiveness to contingency, and (2) the material agency of instruments, as the conditions for sound-making and composition; music is emergent from the ‘intra-action’ (Barad) between player and instrument.

In this symposium we would like to facilitate discussion and reflection between a diverse array of practitioners and researchers (not only Music) who work with responsiveness to material contingency and agency. In the language of Andrew Pickering, practices that negotiate a ‘dance of agency’ between humans and the more-than-human. We are keen not to emphasise particular practices or disciplines, but rather discuss how dances of agency are diversely engaged and negotiated, and the nature of what they give rise to.

The GFP project, for example, adopts compositional strategies for the clarinet where performances unfold as a ‘dance of agency’ across a performer-instrument apparatus, through recursive open-form works where decisions in-the-moment can be the responsibility of the human OR the instrument. Following Pickering, the project is based on a performative ontology of ‘revealing rather than enframing’. For example, in GFP there are no fixed musical pitches in advance of performance, pitches are an emergent phenomena from the exploratory intra-action of the material configuration of the clarinet (what holes are open and closed, what reed strength etc.) and the performer’s techniques (breath pressures, mouth shapes etc.), as afforded through listening and responsiveness.

This symposium is interested in hearing from researchers and practitioners who similarly engage with contingency and agency as a way of ‘revealing […,] being open to what the world has to offer us instead of always trying to bend it to our will’ (Pickering). We are interested in projects that propose performative models of engagement to foreground the formative struggles between people and things, and that engage conditions of decenteredness; where ‘the non-human world enters constitutively into the becoming of the human world and vice versa’. We see these dances as processes of collaboration (Tsing) through which agency emerges, as well as alternate ways of knowing and being. The symposium will explore how these insights may provide means of ‘going on in the world at the ground level’ (Pickering), ‘staying with the trouble’ (Haraway), or ‘becoming earthly’ (Latour).

‘The symposium will maximise opportunities for conversation and discussion: papers will be short, grouped in themed discussion sessions, and circulated in advance. Performances and workshops will be scheduled as precursors for discussion sessions. We invite proposals for any of the following categories:

  • Workshop with participants
  • Demonstration/performance
  • Short paper (10 mins) submitted in advance. This can be a written paper, annotated documentation, video presentation, or any format in which you can evidence and support a point/argument/perspective.
  • Topic or provocation for discussion.

Please send an up-to 1-page abstract/submission (please specify category as above, and include indicative references) to Dr Alex De Little <>

Sinn und Präsenz in Improvisation

6th symposium at the exploratorium berlin
29.–31. January 2021
Organizer: Mathias Maschat,

Symposium: Sinn und Präsenz in Improvisation

Deadline for submissions: 2020, October 25
Call for Papers (German only)

The DENKRAUM IMPROVISATION will host, mostly in German language, from 29.–31. January 2021 the symposium Sinn und Präsenz in Improvisation (“Meaning and Presence in Improvisation”). The focus here is on the terms meaning and presence as independent entities, as opposing moments as well as overlapping and complementary aesthetic categories.

Whether and to what extent sound can be a bearer of meaning, or whether sound can represent meaning, has historically been the subject of numerous aesthetic considerations and debates around music. The question about it culminated, for example, in the dispute between program music and absolute music or in the demand for an abstract hearing of concrete sounds in the musique concrète. Before any ascription of meaning, however, sound is first of all there, present, immediate and phenomenal. If one leaves aside the grounding of any music in cultural contexts for a moment, the category of presence is without a doubt a strong moment of musical experience in general. Following this, the question arises to what extent meaning and presence in connection with improvisation or improvised music can be treated as independent categories, to what extent they must be negotiated as mutually exclusive opposites or, on the contrary, as aspects of improvisation or improvised music that are necessarily related.

Both meaning and presence are ambiguous terms that are used differently in different contexts. On the one hand, meaning stands for the referential meaning of language and signs in a semantic, semiotic or symbolic reading. On the other hand, meaning encompasses the reason, aim, intention, fulfillment, or higher purpose of an action. Presence can spatially refer to a being-there and at the same time temporally to a being-in-the-moment. The term functions as a description of a characteristic of a purely phenomenal world, quasi as a reference to the assumption of something non-representational. In addition, presence can refer to an auratic or to charisma.

The focus of the symposium on the pair of terms in their combination stems from the philosophically introduced, sometimes criticized juxtaposition of meaning and presence as separate or at least tense spheres of experience and interpretation of the world. In precisely these discussions, presence opens the gates into a world of direct experience, into a world behind or next to that which can be explored through interpretation and hermeneutics – beyond any concrete content. With regard to improvisation, all of the horizons of meaning mentioned can certainly shed light on relevant perspectives. Overall, however, the moment of presence experience in a predominantly abstract art form such as contemporary improvisation appears to have priority over conveying and deciphering meaning. But what happens in other forms of improvisation that combine concrete content with specific musical structures and conventions? What happens in contemporary improvisation when elements of the linguistic are integrated? Or when freely improvised pieces are given titles afterwards? What happens when improvised music is combined in an interdisciplinary manner with other art forms and abstract sounds come into relation with more concrete forms of artistic expression? What about the referential character of art or levels of intertextuality?

While presence should be questioned in its full range, with regard to meaning, the question of elements of clear referential meaning is in the foreground. In addition, however, the constitution of meaning can also be questioned and described as a fulfilling meaningfulness of improvisational activity.

In addition to the accepted contributions, three keynotes will be held at the symposium:
Christian Grüny: Diagrammatische Improvisation und der Sinn des Heterogenen
Nicola L. Hein: Das Paradigma der Präsenz und Modi der Temporalität in den Critical Improvisation Studies
Mathias Maschat: Präsenz als improvisationsästhetische Kategorie

The symposium starts on Friday evening (January 29) at 8 p.m. with the performance Aspect Seeing – An Artistic Re-Reading by Nicola L. Hein (guitar, electronics), Christian Grüny (text, philosophy), Simon Rose (baritone saxophone) , Claudia Schmitz (moving image on sculpture) and Maria Colusi (dance). It takes place as part of the exploratorium berlin’s Sound & Lecture series, which combines performances with artist talks moderated by Mathias Maschat.

The Call for Papers/Abstracts can be found here; proposals for the symposium will be accepted until October 25th. Please note that the conference will predominantly be held in German.



Sarajevo [online], 10-12 December 2020 


Musicological Society of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo



Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Josipa Stadlera 1/2, Sarajevo

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dear colleagues,

Last April, the Musicological Society of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Academy of Music of the University of Sarajevo announced the Call for Papers for the 12th International Symposium “Music in Society”. Due to the changes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic regarding the organisation of the Symposium, the Board of the Musicological Society has decided to hold the conference online only with the new date of 10-12 December 2020. The Call for Papers is extended until September 20, 2020. 

We kindly ask you to circulate this announcement among colleagues. Please find more information in the attachment. 

We look forward to your contributions! 

Dr. Amila Ramović 


Musicological Society of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Call for papers

The Musicological Society of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Academy of Music of the University of Sarajevo announce a call for papers for the 12th International Symposium “Music in Society.” The Symposium traditionally brings together musicologists, ethnomusicologists, theorists, music educators and experts in related fields exploring topical issues of music and musicology. The general theme of “Music in Society” indicates interest in the multidimensional, diversified and transdisciplinary discourse of contemporary musical science and offers a platform for sharing the results of recent research.

The languages of the symposium are Bosnian/ Croatian/ Serbian and English.

The registration fee is € 30 and includes the program booklet.

Reviewed papers will be published in the Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium “Music in Society” in 2022 (English or B / C / S version), which is indexed in the RILM and EBSCO databases.

Applications should be submitted on the attached form by 20 September 2020 at the e-mail address The form can be downloaded in .doc and .pdf formats.

The Program Committee will publish the final decision on the selected papers by 1 October 2020 on the website of the Musicological Society FBiH ( Information on the final program will be announced after this date.

For more information please contact or phone number +387 62 971 174. 

Kindly share this invitation with other colleagues, and looking forward to your participation in December!


Dr. Valida Akšamija-Tvrtković, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Dr. Zdravko Blažeković, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Dr. Amra Bosnić, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Dr. Naila Ceribašić, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb

Dr. David Clampitt, School of Music, Ohio State University

Dr. Merima Čaušević-Purić, Faculty of Pedagogy, University of Sarajevo

Dr. Ivan Čavlović, Professor Emeritus, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Dr. Snježana Dobrota, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Split

Academician Nikša Gligo, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts 

Dr. Fatima Hadžić, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Dr. Nerma Hodžić-Mulabegović, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Dr. Naida Hukić, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Dr. Tamara Karača Beljak, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Dr. Lana Paćuka, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Dr. Amila Ramović, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Dr. Branka Rotar Pance, Academy of Music, University of Ljubljana

Dr. Leon Stefanija, Faculty of Philosophy, Univerzitet u Ljubljani


Dr. Valida Akšamija-Tvrtković, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Maja Baralić Materne, MSc, Public Brodcasting Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ena Brdar Plakalo, MSc, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Dr. Ivan Čavlović, Professor Emeritus, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Dr. Fatima Hadžić, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Lamija Hasković, MSc, Mladen Pozajić School of Music, Sarajevo

Dr. Refik Hodžić, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo 

Dr. Nerma Hodžić-Mulabegović, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Mirza Kovač, MSc, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo                 

Dr. Naida Kuljuh, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo 

Dr. Lana Paćuka, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo

Nermin Ploskić, MSc, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo 

Dr. Amila Ramović, Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo, Chairwoman

Information on the Symposium will be available via our official channels:

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Web  

Technique of Musical Сomposition: Нistorical Avatars

Moscow, April 13–15, 2021

Analytical Musicology Department ( and a peer-reviewed online journal ‘Contemporary musicology’ ( (Gnessins Russian Academy of Music) invite to an international conference entitled ‘Musical Composition: Historical Avatars’ in Moscow, Russia, April 13–15, 2021.

Call for Papers

Future event is going to be the 4th conference within the framework of the continuing scientific project. The aim of this project is to elucidate the process of creation and comprehension of musical works.

The theme of the conference relates to the following areas:

  • Musical composition and its historical evolution
  • The idea of a musical opus and its realization through different epochs
  • Musical archeology: sketch, draft, version as a source of understanding the creation process
  • Composition as a free act and commissioned work in past and present
  • Models for composition in historical and contemporary practice
  • Musical composition in the author`s explanations
  • The composer and verbal text in his works

We encourage applications from within the academy at all levels but also independent researchers, writers and artists.

We have the intention to select papers for a conference. Please send each abstract both in anonymized and unanonymized forms.

Submission process

Please send proposals to no late then February 15, 2021.

Emails should include:

  • photo close-up in TIFF or JPG format (from 300 to 600 dpi);
  • brief CV of each participant, including academic degree, academic title, place of work (position) or study, contact information (phone, e-mail);
  • title of presentation;
  • Abstracts should be 300-400 words long (without any subheadings) and clearly present a research question/aim, critical review of the literature, methodology, results and conclusions. Abstracts should be submitted in pdf or docх.

Presentations should be 20 minutes in length, and will be followed by an additional 5 minutes for questions and discussion.

Official languages: English, Russian, German

Full audiovisual support will be offered. For all enquiries please contact the organizing committee at

Registration: Free. Participants pay their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Programming Committee:

Aleksandr Ryzhinskii,Dr. Habil. (Doctor of Art Studies), Full Professor, Rector of Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Irina Susidko, Dr. Habil. (Doctor of Art Studies), Full Professor, Head of the Analytical Musicology Department, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Tatyana Naumenko, Dr. Habil. (Doctor of Art Studies), Vice-Rector, Full Professor, Head of the Music Theory Department, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Philip Ewell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Music Theory at Hunter College, City University of New York (USA)

Larisa Gerver, Dr. Habil. (Doctor of Art Studies), Full Professor, Analytical Musicology Department, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Ildar Khannanov, Ph.D., Professor at Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, USA)

Pavel Lutsker, Dr. Habil. (Doctor of Art Studies), Associated Professor, Analytical Musicology Department, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Irina Stogny,Dr. Habil. (Doctor of Art Studies), Full Professor, Analytical Musicology Department, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Tatiana Tsaregradskaya, Dr. Habil. (Doctor of Art Studies), Full Professor, Head of Department of International Relations and Creative Projects, Analytical Musicology Department, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Organizing Committee:

Nina Pilipenko, Dr. Habil. (Doctor of Art Studies), Associate Professor, Analytical Musicology Department, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Dana Nagina, PhD, Associate Professor, Analytical Musicology Department, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Anna Klepova, PhD, Associate Professor, Analytical Musicology Department, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Ekaterina Makartseva, senior Lecturer, Analytical Musicology Department, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Valery Poroshenkov, senior lecturer, Analytical Musicology Department, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Dmitry Belyak, lecturer, Department of Pedagogy, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)

Maria Skuratovskaya, Postgraduate Student, Analytical Musicology Department, Gnessins Russian Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia)


Selected revised papers will be published in a special issue of online scientific journal ‘Contemporary musicology’ (included into Russian Science Citation Index)

For more information on manuscript preparation, please visit the journal’s website:

Important dates:

Submission deadline: February 15, 2021

Notification of acceptance: March 1, 2021

Conference: April 13–15, 2021

Congress on Sound, Music and Musical Instruments

DATE: 2-3-4 of October 2020

THEME: The general theme chosen for this year is: “SOUND GENERATION: environment and music in generations of sound creation”, with all papers related to organological and sound matters being highly welcome. 
WHERE: Castelo Branco – central Portugal

Dear all,
we are pleased to be able to organise the ANIMUSIC Congress in 2020, in spite of the known issues we all have been facing during this year.
In the region chosen to hold our congress, there has hardly been any case of covid-19. Besides many good reasons, of which having a low population density is one of them, the air is not polluted, there is no traffic nor confusion on the streets, life quality is known to be very high. There are mountains, forests, ecological farms, self-sustainable agricultural systems (like ours in the headquarters of ANIMUSIC: Quinta da Lira), pure crystalline water fountains and rivers, with beautiful river-pools or beaches and lakes where we all go swim (water we can drink !). Besides these natural healthy conditions, in Portugal people respect the general governmental health policies, wearing masks in public closed places, keeping distance, different “in” and “out” paths, and limiting the number of people in social gatherings. Here, in Castelo Branco, the hospital created a detached alley for treating contaminated patients, fearing a full epidemic everywhere, which did not happen – in fact, the very few isolated cases  from visitors to the region were immediately taken care of, and either submitted to home-isolation or transported to specialised institutions. Cases of death “with” virus (not “from” the virus) were minimal: the serious problematic cases were from other diseases.
We are sorry to have heard of worrying publicity regarding Portugal – which led to the creation of travel limitations or quarantine obligations which were not realistic. These last bans, and the earlier general European cancellation of public events, provoked serious limitations to the organization of concerts, conferences or other initiatives, and we all know the damage it caused to the artistic world (and many other worlds), and consequently to musical instruments technicians and all related professionals. We try to go forward with positivism.
We are preparing our event with all precautions: part of the presentations or concerts will be in a large hall, with people respecting the imposed law regulations (sitting distance, masks, provision of disinfectant liquids, special hygienisation of the spaces, etc.), and part of the presentations, weather allowing, will be in open gardens.
We have sent to private contacts a first Call for Papers, to have an idea of the response of potential participants. We are happy to have had a number of proposals which allow us to set up the conference with a good core of participants.
We have thus decided to make a full public Call for Papers, waiting for a while before doing it, having been observing the evolution of the ‘epidemic’ and the various governmental decisions, and so proposing the deadline to the 15th of September. If you are interested in physically participating, please send your proposal asap, so we have a full notion of the program possibilities (we try to have various recitals, in different spaces, to allow visitors to enjoy the different marvels of each place – palaces, parks, castles, etc.). We are also planning a complimentary tour in the region, with a visit to a special historical organ in a village with difficult access. And, as usual, a wonderful delicious banquet.
Please read more about the Call for Papers, transportation, and other information, at the website created for this Congress: link.

Welcome to ANIMUSIC-Portugal.
With warm good wishes,

Patricia Bastos


Historical Fictions Research Network 2021

Online conference (Zoom)

18th-21st February 2021

Theme:  Remembering Catastrophe

Historical fictions can be understood as an expanded mode of historiography. Scholars in literary, visual, historical and museum/re-creation studies have long been interested in the construction of the fictive past, understanding it as a locus for ideological expression. However, this is a key moment for the study of historical fictions as critical recognition of these texts and their convergence with lines of theory is expanding into new areas such as the philosophy of history, narratology, popular literature, historical narratives of national and cultural identity, and cross-disciplinary approaches to narrative constructions of the past.

Historical fictions measure the gap between the pasts we are permitted to know and those we wish to know: the interaction of the meaning-making narrative drive with the narrative-resistant nature of the past. They constitute a powerful discursive system for the production of cognitive and ideological representations of identity, agency, and social function, and for the negotiation of conceptual relationships and charged tensions between the complexity of societies in time and the teleology of lived experience. The licences of fiction, especially in mass culture, define a space of thought in which the pursuit of narrative forms of meaning is permitted to slip the chains of sanctioned historical truths to explore the deep desires and dreams that lie beneath all constructions of the past.

We welcome paper proposals from Archaeology, Architecture, Literature, Media, Art History, Cartography, Geography, History, Musicology, Reception Studies, Linguistics, Museum Studies, Media Studies, Politics, Re-enactment, Larping, Gaming, Transformative Works, Gender, Race, Queer studies and others.

We welcome paper proposals across historical periods, with ambitious, high-quality, inter-disciplinary approaches and new methodologies that will support research into larger trends and which will lead to more theoretically informed understandings of the mode across historical periods, cultures and languages.

Theme: Remembering Catastrophe

2020 is a year we are likely to remember. This conference will consider how we have remembered / memorialised / narrated / represented catastrophes including war, famine, epidemic, genocide, tsunami and avalanches, natural and human made disaster; how ‘ownership’ of disasters has been claimed, how disasters have been written out or elided and how disasters have structured ethnic, national, religious, cultural, community, personal identities.

Please submit papers to the Paper Proposal Form.

Deadline 30th September


Twitter: @HistoricalFic

Facebook Group: Historical Fictions Research Network

Perspectives on Sylvano Bussotti

International Conference on the Occasion of Sylvano Bussotti’s 90th Birthday

29 September – 1 October 2021, Giessen, Germany

In the 1950s, with his graphic scores, the composer Sylvano Bussotti (*1931) was significantly involved in the critical deconstruction of standardised notation. During the Darmstadt Summer Courses of 1958–61, he shocked his peer composers not least with his open homosexuality. With the ‘mystère de chambre’ La Passion selon Sade (1965), he presented a work that was characterised to a previously unknown extent by an erotic physicality. And in the decades to come, within the exceptional personal union of composer, director, actor, stage and costume designer, he consistently explored the boundaries between different genres (music theatre, ballet, instrumental music) and medially differentiated art forms (e.g. between music and visual art).

Yet, in the research discourses on 20th-century music and music theatre, Bussotti’s oeuvre has a very limited presence; a detailed study of the majority of his works is still pending, and the hitherto available archival material has been examined only partially. These diagnoses are in striking disproportion to the historical importance of the Italian composer. The envisaged conference responds to this desideratum and takes the composer’s 90th birthday as an opportunity to bundle recent approaches and break new ground in research on Bussotti, and to stimulate a broader debate on his oeuvre and aesthetics. We also hope that the conference’s output will foster an increased practical engagement with Bussotti’s rarely performed pieces.

Furthermore, a focused view and collaborative reflection on the composer’s in many respects extraordinary artistic work promises new insights and impulses for current interdisciplinary debates, especially in the research on writing, gender, intermediality and gestures. We encourage papers from a range of disciplines including musicology, performance practice, theatre and linguistic studies, philosophy, media aesthetics, philology or cultural studies.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Bussotti’s procedures of musical writing and drawing; his deliberately ambivalent forms of notation (as a productive challenge for current approaches to the theory of writing)
  • body images in Bussotti’s oeuvre as visualisation and negotiation of gender identity
  • Bussotti’s compositional use of language and texts; Bussotti as a lied composer
  • interpretation and contextualisation of previously unknown archival material on Bussotti and his artistic output
  • analytical considerations on selected (and less known) pieces by Bussotti
  • Bussotti’s musico-theatrical work between bel canto and new music theatre
  • How can we theoretically grasp the inherent physicality and gestural character of Bussotti’s compositions?
  • collage as a form concept and mode of expression
  • the role of Bussotti’s music in private space, in conjunction with the continuity of the tradition of décadence
  • Bussotti in his works
  • performance history and practice of Bussotti’s oeuvre
  • Bussotti in his historical and cultural context
  • Bussotti as a poet, director, actor, stage and costume designer

The conference language is English.

Presentation format: individual 30-minute paper (followed by 15-minute discussion)

Abstracts of 250–300 words should be sent as an attachment (pdf, docx) to julia.freund[at] and federica.marsico[at] by 15 October 2020, and must include the following information: title, author, affiliation, email address, short biography (max 150 words), and technical requirements.

Decisions on the acceptance of abstracts are expected to be communicated by 15 November 2020. Attendance of the meeting will be free of charge. We are striving to cover the accommodation and travel expenses.

Organisation and scientific committee: Dr. Julia Freund (JLU, Gießen), Dr. Federica Marsico (Ca’ Foscari, Venice), Prof. Dr. Matteo Nanni (JLU, Gießen)

We are aware of the current uncertainties with regard to public events and international travel. We will monitor the situation carefully, and in the case that delegates will be unable to travel next year, we shall make the necessary arrangements for a virtual delivery of the conference.

Black Opera Research Network Inaugural Event: Black Experiences in Opera

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Black Opera Research Network (BORN). BORN is an international research collaboration committed to exploring operatic activities, both historical and current, that complicate the perceived whiteness of opera as genre. For more information, visit our website at

To celebrate the launch of our network, we invite you to our inaugural event, an online panel discussion on the topic of ‘Black experiences in opera: perspectives from South Africa, Europe, and the US’

Time: Friday 21 August 2020, 11am EDT / 4pm BST / 5pm CEST.

Platform: Zoom

Moderator: Prof Naomi André, University of Michigan

Panelists: Louise Toppin (USA), Patrick Dailey (USA), Njabulo Madlala (South Africa), July Zuma (South Africa)

Please register for the event here.  Upon registration you will receive the Zoom link and password for this panel.

The conversation will run for an hour, followed by twenty minutes for audience exchange. Talking points may include, but won’t be limited to:

  • @operaisracist Instagram account, and similar recent interventions
  • intersections between race and gender hierarchies in operatic activity
  • the hidden labour of black opera scenographers, choreographers, librettists, and other largely unacknowledged creative agents
  • routes to participation and empowerment in South Africa and the USA

Brief bios of the panelists appear at the end of this message. To get involved with BORN, please email

We look forward to welcoming you to our first discussion!

The BORN team:

Prof Naomi André (University of Michigan)

Dr Innocentia Mhlambi (Wits University)

Dr Juliana M. Pistorius (University of Huddersfield)

Dr Hilde Roos (Stellenbosch University)

Allison R. Smith (Boston University)

Dr Donato Somma (Wits University)

Dr Kristen Turner (North Carolina State University)

Dr Lena van der Hoven (University of Bayreuth)


Louise Toppin is Professor of Music (Voice) at the University of Michigan. She is a noted performer, scholar and professor who specializes in the concert repertoire of African American composers. As the administrator of the George Shirley Vocal Competition and Videus (a non-profit organization that promotes the concert repertoire of African American and women composers), she encourages the performance and scholarship of African American compositions by students and scholars.

Patrick Dailey, countertenor, has earned awards and honors from the NAACP ACT-SO, Harlem Opera Theater Vocal Competition, and the National Classical Singer Magazine University Vocal Competition. He is an alumnus of Opera Saratoga’s Young Artist program and Opera New Jersey’s Emerging Artist Program. He performs widely across the USA and the UK, and conducts research on the construction of the black voice. Dailey is Adjunct Professor of Voice at Tennessee State University.

Njabulo Madlala was born in Durban, South Africa and trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Cardiff International Academy of Voice. He has been a Britten-Pears Young Artist, a Samling Artist and a young artist at the Ravinia International Festival. In 2010 he won the Kathleen Ferrier Award. As a baritone, he regularly performs with English National Opera, Royal Opera House, London Philharmonic Orchestra and further afield. He is a founding director of the Voices of South Africa International Opera Singing Competition.

July Zuma is a freelance lyric tenor from Durban, South Africa who has resided in Berlin since 2012.  He has performed in numerous international operatic stages and festivals. He graduated from the University of Cape Town Opera School under Prof. Angelo Gobbato and continued his Honors Studies at the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu in Barcelona with Prof. Eduardo Griminéz. He was Cape Town Opera’s Company Manager from 2005 to 2009 and was the Production Manager for Umculo Festival’s productions under Shirley Apthorp. July is also one of the Directors for Umthombo Arts Development based in the Eastern Cape and a Director in his own organization, Kwa-Mashu Community Empowerment Organization, based in Kwa-Mashu Township.

8th Conference of the Royal Musical Association Music & Philosophy Study Group

Department of Music, King’s College London, Thursday and Friday, 1–2 July 2021

Conference webpage:

Keynote speakers to be announced shortly

The RMA Music and Philosophy Study Group warmly invites session and paper proposals for this two-day international conference, to be held in London on 1–2 July 2021. The event will offer an opportunity for those with an interest in music and philosophy to share and discuss work, in the hope of furthering dialogue in this area. Following the success of the 2019 conference format, we will run three types of session:  

  • AssociatesSessions will be hosted by organisations with related interests;  
  • Themed Sessions will be organised by individual session convenors, who have issued calls for papers on specific topics;  
  • Free Sessions will be open to papers on all topics relating to music and philosophy.

    Proposals may be on any topic relating to music and philosophy broadly conceived; we particularly encourage proposals engaging with ethnomusicologyenvironmental issues, and ethics.

    Call for AssociatesSessions (open from 10 July 2020)

    Related organisations, including scholarly societies, study groups and institutional departments, are warmly invited to host a session at the conference. The topic and organisation of such sessions is left to the host: sessions may feature invited speakers. All formats (including but not limited to workshops, roundtables, experimental or hybrid virtual/IRL sessions) will be considered; the maximum overall time available for the session will be 2 ½ hours.

    If you would like to be involved in this way, please upload your session abstract (of up to 350 words), proposed paper titles and speaker names where applicable to the Associates Sessions form ( on the Music and Philosophy website by 17 August 2020. We hope to communicate decisions within a week, with a suggested deadline of 30 October 2020 for submission of any participant abstracts to session convenors. Organisers will be asked to submit participants’ abstracts (where applicable) along with information about all contributors to their session to the programme committee by 6 November 2020.

    Call forThemed Sessions (open from 10 July 2020)

    We seek enthusiastic individuals to propose Themed Sessions on topics that are focused yet inclusive. All topics and formats (including but not limited to workshops, roundtables, experimental or hybrid virtual/IRL sessions) will be considered but should be designed to encourage submissions from both music studies and philosophy, whilst assuming a broad and inclusive definition of each. The maximum overall time available for the session will be 2 ½ hours.

    If you would like to host such a session, please upload a 300-word draft call for papers/contributions that will also function as a session abstract to the websiteby 17 August 2020 using the Themed Sessions form ( on the Music and Philosophy website. The draft call for papers should focus on the topic of, and rationale for, the session. 

    We hope to communicate decisions on the selection of Themed Sessions within a week, with a further deadline of 30 October 2020 for submission of paper abstracts (where applicable) to session organisers. Organisers will be asked to submit paper choices to the programme committee by 6 November 2020. The intention is that the programme committee will, in most circumstances, simply approve the organisers’ choices, however the committee reserve the right to request changes if there are problems of topical balance or scholarly quality. Final decisions on panel acceptance will be communicated by 13 November 2020.

    Call for Free Sessions (open from 20 August 2020)

    We invite submissions for papers on any topic relating to music and philosophy. The conference presumes inclusive definitions of both music and philosophy. We take music to include all forms and genres of music, art music and popular, secular and sacred, from any and all historical and geographical locales. We take philosophy to include analytic, continental, classical, and non-western thought, as well as critical theory. Regardless of disciplinary affiliation, the committee seeks conceptually rigorous and clearly articulated research that presents a novel argument and advances understanding of its topic.  

    Collaboration between persons from different disciplines (including music studies, philosophy, performance, composition, psychology, history, literary studies, art history, anthropology, and others) would be especially welcomed.  

    Proposals are invited for:   
  • individual papers (20 minutes) – up to 350 words  
  • collaborative papers (up to 30 minutes) – up to 500 words  
  • lecture recitals (30 minutes) – up to 350 words  

    Please submit proposals by 30 October 2020 using the Free Sessions form ( on the Music and Philosophy website. Decisions will be communicated in November.   

    All paper submissions will be considered by blind review by the programme committee:  
  • Dr Jeremy Coleman (University of Malta)  
  • Dr Andrew Huddleston (Birkbeck, University of London)  
  • Professor Derek Matravers (Open University)  
  • Dr Matthew Pritchard (University of Leeds) 
  • Friedlind Riedel (Bauhaus-University Weimar)  
  • Professor Martin Stokes (King’s College London)  
  • Dr Férdia Stone-Davis (University of Cambridge) 
  • Dr Naomi Waltham-Smith (University of Warwick)

    If you have queries about the CFP and your proposal, please contact the Chair of the RMA Music & Philosophy Study Group Dr Férdia Stone-Davis, fjs23 -at-