Sonic Ties: Rethinking Communities and Collectives
isaScience 2023, mdw – University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna
Reichenau/Rax, Österreich & Online, 26-30.08.2023
Sound and social relations are tightly interwoven and oftentimes contingent upon each other. ‘Sonic Ties’ offers a lens through which to study the qualities of connection and intersubjectivity that arise through sound. isaScience 2023 invites you to explore ‘Sonic Ties’ as a central mode of sharing communality and experiencing collectivity through music, dance, and other phenomena of performance and cultural expression.
By focusing on this specific mode of relating the sonic and the social, mdw’s interdisciplinary, international conference investigates how sound shapes collectives and communities in different societal, historical, and geopolitical contexts, and the ways in which these sonic ties reflect back on the individuals involved. Looking at communities and collectives from social movements to musical ensembles, from ethnic communities to artist collectives, isaScience 2023 seeks to investigate the entanglements of sound and power relations. What are the different forms and degrees of sonic participation and to what extent are they tied to local or globalized experiences?
We welcome proposals from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives including, but not limited to, Queer Theory, Musicology, Cultural Studies, Music Theory, Indigenous Studies, Music Sociology, Critical Race Studies, Ethnomusicology, Popular Music Studies, Dance and Performance Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, and Film and Media Studies.
Possible topics may include:
- The reproduction or subversion of hegemonic social structures in sonic communities and collectives
- The relation of sound and music to political activism (from the labour movement to decolonisation struggles, from feminist protests to critical mass bike rides)
- Exile, diaspora, and collective memory: how communities pass on their sonic legacy across history and ruptures of displacement and create forms of sonic belonging
- The relation between musical communities and collectives and the tradition or innovation of musical and performance styles, idioms, and aesthetics (from historical to contemporary contexts)
- Negotiations of identity and social status in and through the participation in communities and collectives (e.g. racialization through sound, sonic dimensions of queerness)
- The effects of sonic ties in various musical styles and genres: e.g. from ethnic reckoning in traditional music to (sub)cultural distinction in popular music to elite formation in classical art music
- The impact of digitality on social structures through new (social) media or technologies
- Collective practices of listening and their impact on the social (from phonograph gatherings to punk concerts, from soundwalks to the social experience of fandom)
- Sound and public space: how the right to the city is claimed or contested in sonic terms
- Communality through sound in relation to rurality, vernacularity, and regional communities
- Questions of methodology: from collective authorship to the reflection of approaches and research practices, particularly the academic categorization of and its influence on communities
Contributions can include paper presentations (20 minutes plus discussion), panels, lecture performances, workshops, or other, innovative formats. Online contributions are possible.
Abstracts must clearly state your research question(s), theoretical framework, methodology, and presentation format. Please include max. 5 keywords.
Please submit your abstract in English (max. 300 words including references), a short biography (max. 100 words), and your institutional affiliation or location by 5 March 2023 in a single PDF file to isascience(at)mdw.ac(dot)at
Decisions on the acceptance of proposals will be announced in April 2023.
isaScience is mdw’s international hybrid conference for interdisciplinary research on music and performing arts. It is held annually at Hotel Marienhof in Reichenau an der Rax, an hour outside of Vienna in the Semmering region, which is also home to mdw’s International Summer Academy isa. The conference’s conclave-like setting aims to foster intensive exchange between researchers in a relaxed atmosphere. The conference’s hybrid mode allows for active and passive online participation.
Academic Board: Andrea Glauser, Marko Kölbl, Stephanie Probst
Registration is free of charge. Complementary funding for travel and accommodation costs is available after acceptance of the proposal on a case-by-case basis.
mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna covers lunch and coffee breaks on-site.
Contact: Kathrin Heinrich isascience(at)mdw.ac(dot)at
Websites: https://www.isa-music.org/de/isascience/ & mdw.ac.at/isascience