Symposium and Workshop: South African Opera Productions after the Apartheid

Venue: Universität Bayreuth

Date:   18th– 19th October 2018

Call for Papers:

Deadline: 15th August 2018

With the end of the Apartheid era, opera – stigmatized as ‘eurocentric opera’ – became a symbol of Western dominance/colonial imposition and seemed to be dead in South Africa.

But in fact, especially the so called ‘indigenous opera’ ‘flourishes’ as something of an anachronism and can be assessed as ‘black empowerment’ (Naomi André 2018).

The writing of a historiography of opera productions in South Africa although has academically just shortly started (Donato Somma 2016; Hilde Roos 2013, 2010; Martina Viljoen 2006) and is confronted with problems of different natures: political structures, post-colonization, globalization, unstable artistic standards and institutional relations.

The ‘bloom’ of opera presents itself neither through regular performances nor through crowded theatre halls. This is a consequence of the difficult political relations of artistic production in South Africa, which are among others characterized by a lack of funding and the re-organization of the Performing Arts Councils/ National Arts Councils. The existing significant multiple theatricalities of South Africa are thereby not having a platform to present themselves. The market pressure results often in overseas productions financing the few performances in the country itself. Thereby putting itself on risk to confirm with their opera productions transferred expectations of a South African identity rather than expressing an ‘authentic’ one.

This symposium will focus on South African Opera productions. Thereby the aim of the symposium is to represent the plurality of artistic concepts that deal in different ways with the multiple challenges of political and social transformation. How can opera in South Africa be involved in the process of societal transformation in a post-apartheid society? Which new artistic concepts are needed? How does themes for the libretti change? How did language, the style of composition and orchestration transform? Which new locations for performances are found to involve new audiences? How did the aesthetics change? And how are new media used either for a new aesthetic of performances, as with e.g. ‘Lamento’ (Umculo) or ‘U-Carmen eKhayelitsha’ (Isango Ensemble), or for marketing purposes?

For the first day of the symposium presentations shall focus on one opera productions. To ‘map’ the plurality of the field presentations are invited that cover one of the following topics.

  1. South African opera productions
  • Operas of different opera companies and composers
  • Different locations of opera performances (opera house, township, film)
  • Aesthetics of the opera opus itself
  • Analysis of compositions, libretti & performances

With Prof. Dr. Naomi André (University Michigan, USA), Dr. Donato Somma (University of Witwatersrand, SA) and Dr. Lena van der Hoven (among others) some experts in the field are invited. They will present on ‘Winnie – The Opera’ (Bongani Ndodana-Breen), ‘Princess Magogo’ (Opera Africa, Mzilikazi Khumalo), ‘Heart of Redness’ (Cape Town Opera, Neo Muyanga) and ‘Romeo’s Passion’ (Umculo, Cathy Milliken).

The workshop on the second day will cover transformation processes of Opera production in South Africa focusing on the following topics:

  • Opera institutions & opera companies
  • Finances/ Funding
  • Audiences
  • Marketing
  • Political impact

Abstracts (max. 2000 characters) for 20 minutes papers along with the technical requirements for the talk and a short CV with contact details should be sent by 15th August 2018 to Lena van der Hoven (Lena.van-der-Hoven@uni-bayreuth.de). Contributions from both the humanities and social sciences are welcome (Musicology, Theatre Studies, History, Cultural Studies, Sociology). Early career researchers in particular are encouraged to contribute. The chosen speakers will be informed by 31th August 2018 and the conference programme published online at http://www.prof-musikwissenschaft.uni-bayreuth.de/de/index.html .

 

 

‘I Am Not There’ International Conference on Bob Dylan

18-19 May 2017

Lisbon, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, NOVA University of Lisbon.
Organization: CETAPS and CESEM

Call for Papers
(until 26 January 2017)

In 1999, Bob Dylan (b. 1941) was included in the ‘Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century’ as a “master poet, caustic social critic and intrepid, guiding spirit of the counterculture generation”. In 2008, the Pulitzer Prize jury awarded Dylan a special citation for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power”. In May 2012, Dylan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. In 2016, the artist was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. The New York Times (13-10-2016) reported: “Mr. Dylan, 75, is the first musician to win the award, and his selection on Thursday is perhaps the most radical choice in a history stretching back to 1901…In choosing a popular musician for the literary world’s highest honor, the Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, dramatically redefined the boundaries of literature, setting off a debate about whether song lyrics have the same artistic value as poetry or novels”. After the official Nobel announcement, opinions divided the public and critics. CETAPS (Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies) and CESEM (Sociology and Musical Aesthetics Research Center), NOVA University of Lisbon, decided to analyze and celebrate the aesthetic, historical, political, and cultural significance of Bob Dylan’s musical, literary and artistic (visual) work, as well as its influence(s).
The initial expression in the conference’s title is the title of the biographical musical drama film I Am Not There (2007, directed by Todd Haynes and co-written with Oren Moverman), which intercuts the storylines of seven different Dylan-inspired characters. According to Haynes, “the minute you try to grab hold of Dylan, he’s no longer where he was. He’s like a flame: If you try to hold him in your hand you’ll surely get burned. Dylan’s life of change and constant disappearances and constant transformations makes you yearn to hold him, and to nail him down. And that’s why his fan base is so obsessive, so desirous of finding the truth and the absolutes and the answers to him – things that Dylan will never provide and will only frustrate” (apud D. Dalton, Who Is the Man?: In Search of the Real Bob Dylan, 2012).

We will privilege comparative and transdisciplinary approaches. Potential contributors are invited to submit a bionote and a 300 word abstract on themes related to any of the following conference tracks:

• Influences in/of Dylan’s music;
• Bob Dylan and awards;
• The ‘power’ of the Nobel prize for literature;
• The alter-egos and personas of Robert Zimmerman/Bob Dylan (Blind boy Grunt, Bob Landy, Tedham Porterhouse, etc.);
• Dylan’s music videos;
• Dylan in/as performance;
• Dylan and religion;
• Art, activism, protest, and social unrest;
• Dylan on stage – presence, performance and liveliness;
• Dylanesque spaces and places;
• Influences in/of Dylan’s visual art;
• Intertextuality in Dylan’s lyrics, music and videos (text-music relationship);
• Intermediality in musical genres and practices;
• Lyrics as/and poetry/literary narratives;
• Dylan depicted (visual biographies, photography, press and record [album] covers, official website);
• Dylan in cyberspace (myspace, facebook, youtube, etc);
• Dylan’s songs;
• Dylan as trend-setter;
• Musical style(s) in Dylan;
• Bob Dylan in the classroom;
• Adaptation of Dylan’s texts as children’s literature;
• Dylan in/and translation;
• Dylan’s fandom;
• Academia and Dylan’s fandom;
• Music as a social and political agent in Dylan’s and other composers’ production;
• Dylan, music and the moving image (cinema, documentary, television, internet);
• The roles and ideologies of musical, literary and artistic criticism: after Dylan;
• Gender and music;
• Listening to Dylan: social behaviors, musical taste, consumption patterns.

Working languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish. No translation will be provided.

Papers and panels on the above themes are invited. However, papers/panels on other subjects related to the above topics will also be considered. Participants will be held to a twenty minute presentation limit. Please submit an abstract and a bio note, by 05 January 2017, to the conference email:

bobdylanconferenceportugal@gmail.com

To ensure prompt notification, please include your e-mail address on your submission. If you are interested in chairing a session, please note this at the top of your abstract.
Registration fee: 80 euros. BA and MA students: 30 euros.

Conference website: https://internationalconferenceonbobdylanportugal2017.wordpress.com/

Coordination: Rogério Puga (CETAPS) e Paula Gomes Ribeiro (CESEM).

Musical Trouble: after Butler

Conference ‘Musical Trouble: after Butler’, Lisbon (Portugal), 4-5 December 2015 [MTAB 2015]

New University of Lisbon, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences

In this conference (which will be the first of two meetings devoted to the subject), we intend to explore and discuss a set of issues and problems that should contribute to a multidisciplinary inquiry to the impact of the theoretical work of Judith Butler (as well of the research and knowledge networks on which she inscribes, or with which it coexists) in musicological studies since the publication of Gender Trouble, 25 years ago.

This meeting punctuates the third year of work of the NEGEM (Research Group in Gender and Music)/CESEM (Research Centre of Sociology and Aesthetics of Music), and aims to contribute to the establishment of a state of the art of the gender and music research field in the last quarter century, inscribed in the epistemological dynamics of the social sciences.

MTAB 2015 brings together 14 presentations, a concert, an ‘interactive moment’ and a round table.  It aims to promote a wide discussion of perspectives and theories, as well as of the research in progress, in the studied field.

informations: negemus.cesem@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/NEGEMus

Coordination: P. G. Ribeiro