Music and Materialisms initial call

Expressions of interest in initial meeting

Tuesday 12th December, 2-4pm
Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Prof Isabella van Elferen, Kingston University, London
Dr Matthew Sergeant, Bath Spa University
Dr Samuel Wilson, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London

Much attention is being paid to the role that objects, matter, and materiality have in music-making, history, and aesthetics. One might, for instance, undertake a “carnal musicology”, take account of music’s “drastic” aspects, consider musical instruments’ “social lives”, engage material practices of musical production and consumption, or draw focus to embodied aspects of music through one’s practice-research. One might also reflect on the potential limits of a musical materialism – on questions concerning experience, abstraction, and excess.

These trends are themselves unfolding among interdisciplinary developments in materialist thinking: be this in disciplines such as anthropology, art theory, or philosophy, or under diverse theoretical perspectives variously labelled feminist, Marxian, Adornian, post-anthropocentric, Deleuzian, vital materialist, as well as those explicitly self-identified as “new materialist” – to name but a few.

We plan to hold a session acting as a first step towards developing a network of researchers interested in both the opportunities and productive tensions encountered in materialist approaches to music. In this session, in contrast with the traditional mode of presentation, we will ask each participant to share a succinct, prepared statement (max. 3 minutes, i.e. 400 words) about their current research directions and work-in-progress in this area. This will be followed by an informal discussion between all participants. Without concealing differences between approaches, we hope that, in the spirit of scholarly collaboration, this will ultimately lead to future dialogue and cooperation within the field.

To this end, we warmly encourage expressions of interest in attending this session, from established scholars, early career academics, and research students.

To register, please email s.wilson [at] by Thursday 30th November at the latest. Please note that for practical purposes we must limit the numbers of participants for this initial session; registration must take place on a first-come, first-served basis.

%d bloggers like this: