4–5 May 2023, Lund
Lund University, Sweden
Call for Papers
We invite contributions to a two-day conference at Lund University, Sweden, on 4–5 May 2023. We welcome researchers, artists, and activists whose work explores issues of colonialism, decolonial resistance, and/or institutional decolonisation initiatives in relation to music’s past and present.
Please submit a title and abstract (max. 200 words) of your proposed contribution no later than 28 February 2023. We will prioritise in-person presentations, but remote presentations may be accepted in exceptional cases. The selection will be made by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sanne Krogh-Groth, Dr. Phillip Dodds, Dr. Brandon Farnsworth of the Lund University Division of Musicology. A budget exists for covering the travel costs of scholars without other sources of funding.
We welcome creative methods, interdisciplinary approaches, and different presentation formats, but we invite all contributors to specifically address one of the following three themes:
Kofi Agawu has directed attention to the processes and effects of “musical colonization” (2016, 338), highlighting, among other things, the legacy of colonial European ethnomusicology and the global imposition of Protestant hymns’ diatonic tonality in the nineteenth century. In the African context this was, according to Agawu, “musical violence of a very high order,” the intricacies and processes of which “remain to be properly explored” (ibid.). We therefore invite contributors to explore the processes and consequences of musical colonisation, and the different forms it has taken in different times and places. Specifically:
How have colonising powers sought to categorise and taxonomise indigenous music?
How have the musical instruments, styles, and conventions of colonised people been suppressed?
Through which disciplinary techniques and instruments have colonisers imposed their musical practices and tonal systems?
How has the composition and performance of music functioned as a means of claiming and asserting control over colonised places and peoples?
Music as decolonial resistance
Throughout history many musicians and composers have expressed their political resistance through music practices. The historical Avant-garde did it with abstraction and insistence on art’s materiality, 1960s and 1970s protest movements turned to folk-song tradition and “sing and song” writing, the punk movement used loudness and noise, meanwhile artists in totalitarian systems not rarely turns toward religious reference and expressions.
* How is musical resistance expressed in the colonial contexts?
* What are the institutional strategies ?
* What are the aesthetics?
* How can music be an active part in the processes of decolonisation?
Dynamics of colonialism in musical institutions today
National governments and inter-governmental organisations have in the past two decades launched programmes meant to explicitly address their colonial legacies in the field of the arts, often part of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Our focus is primarily on the Nordic region, but we welcome studies from other contexts, as well as explorations of the geographical and geopolitical complexity of musical institutions’ decolonisation policies, including from STS and infrastructural critique perspectives.
* How are policies addressing colonial legacies being deployed, and how are they interacting with and potentially changing theories of musical aesthetics?
* To what extent do they address and overcome colonial relations?
* How do concepts of decolonisation intersect with other DEI initiatives in music and arts policy today?
* What are the blindspots and negative unintended consequences of these policies?
* In what ways do these programmes intersect with dynamics of neocolonialism? What do contemporary debates on decolonisation in music and art discourses fail to address and why?
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