Out of the Box! From Archives to Music History

Graz, 09.-11.11.2023

Deadline: 14.05.2023

Where: University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Palais Meran

Whether metaphor or an actual site, academic resource, or instrument of domination: in musicology, too, different definitions of the term “archive” prove to have direct influence on the respective choices of method and on the discipline's own understanding of itself. The symposium “Out of the Box! From Archives to Music History” takes the inherent interdisciplinarity of the current concepts of the archive as a challenge to move the dynamic field of archive – gender – memory – music historiography beyond narrow disciplinary boundaries into the focus of scholarly exchange.

The topicality and relevance of the research paradigm “archive” are reflected in the exponentially growing number of conferences and publications from various disciplines, especially since the turn of the millennium. Musicology, however, has so far participated to a rather limited extent in a methodologically profound, interdisciplinary reflection on the notion’s multiple readings. In historical musicology in particular, interest in the archives remains primarily related to concrete research on musical sources. However, here too efforts to implement the potentials of the archive’s multidimensionality into music historiography are increasingly gaining momentum. Thus, the forthcoming symposium aims to open a forum for exchange on the various definitions of the archive and the methodological approaches to dealing with it. In this context, the formation and applicability of relevant theories (Foucault, Derrida, Assmann, etc.) are just as much of interest as are musical, scholarly or archival practice. In consideration of the changes in media in our digitalized world, we intend to discuss on interdisciplinary basis who or what finds a place in the archive and, subsequently, within music history books and on concert stages, and by what means.

Interested scholars from all subdisciplines of musicology, as well as from cultural studies, archival studies, literary studies etc., are invited to submit papers that deal with the general topic of music historiography from different perspectives on theories of memory or archives and/or research practice in archives and collections. We especially encourage contributions that follow an intersectional approach, as well as those from the fields of (music‐related) gender studies and digital musicology. Paper proposals on aspects such as biographical research, canon, archival value, processes and media of tradition, accessibility and indexing, opportunities and risks of digitalization etc. are welcome. The discussion of particular case studies – without restriction to a specific time period – is as much an option as the reflection of theoretical‐methodological approaches.

Possible questions that can be addressed include, but are not limited to:

  • What does “the archive” mean to musicology in past and present and which changes are to be expected in the future?
  • How do archives, collections and (digital) resources influence the way music history is written?
  • How can history of women* in music become visible by making archives and collections accessible and using them?
  • How can feminist perspectives be incorporated into archival practice to achieve a more inclusive and diverse view of music history?
  • Which shapes can a “musical estate“ take and how does it find its way into the archive?
  • What is the importance of (digital) music archives, especially for underrepresented communities and marginalized music traditions?
  • How can archives and collections be used as a resource for creative work and interdisciplinary research?
  • How is music historiography influenced by cultural studies and digital humanities and what are the potentials and risks of embracing the methods and theories of other disciplines?

Submission instructions:

Please submit you abstract (not more than 300 words) with the expected title of the presentation and a short biography (not more than 150 words) by the deadline of 14 May 2023 via: <https://www.conftool.pro/out‐of‐the‐box‐2023>

The symposium will be held in German and English. Notifications of acceptance will be circulated in July. For the individual papers, 20 minutes presentation time followed by 10 minutes of Q/A are scheduled. Selected presentations will be considered for publication. Accommodation costs can be covered, subject to funding.

For any questions, please contact the organizers.

Organization: Dr.in Michaela Krucsay
Contact: Dr.in Michaela Krucsay and Lucia Agaibi MA MA
E‐Mail: outofthebox@kug.ac.at

The conference “Out of the Box! From Archives to Music History” is organized within the framework of the FWF‐funded project The Musician's Estate as Memory Storage: Remembrance, Functional Memory and the Construction of Female Professional Identity (P33110‐G). A cooperation between the Centre for Gender Studies and Diversity, the Institute for the Aesthetics of Music and the Institute für Composition, Theory of Music and Conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.

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