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Music History and Historical Materialism: Reflections and Possibilities

April 13th, 2018, London
CFP deadline January 31st, 2018
Senate House, University of London, UK

Organised by the Ernst Bloch Centre for German Thought, Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London

This one-day international conference, organised by the Ernst Bloch Centre, invites submissions of paper abstracts (c. 250 words) from scholars across the humanities on critical encounters between music history and historical materialism.  It is anticipated that proceedings will form the basis of an edited book collection in the Historical Materialism Book Series published by Brill. Papers should be twenty minutes in duration and will be followed by ten minutes of Q&A and discussion. We are delighted that Professor Benjamin Korstvedt (Clark University) will deliver a keynote speech at the conference.

Acknowledging that historical materialist ideas have so far arguably found greater resonance in popular music studies and in ethnomusicology than in Western art music historiography, the focus of the conference will be on Western art music history with respect to its complex relations to industrial capitalism, bourgeois liberalism and modernity. Beyond Marxist cultural theory or critical theory, the conference seeks to evaluate the potential of Marxist thought for historical musicology and for philosophy of music today, and to consider to what extent music history and historical materialism can even be ‘thought together’.

Please submit an abstract of c. 250 words in a Word document attachment by e-mail to Jeremy.Coleman -at- by January 31st 2018, including your name and affiliation (if any). Applicants will be notified of the decision by February 9th 2018.=
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