Ukraine in Music History: A Reassessment

Wien, 19.-20.05.2023

Deadline: 10.01.2023

Ukraine is a country rich in musical traditions yet its role in music history has attracted limited attention beyond its borders. The recent Russian invasion and its ideological frame have highlighted the need for a reappraisal of Ukraine’s cultures and a critical approach to its historiography. Our conference seeks to take stock and advance the state of research by examining a wide range of questions central to the study and treatment of Ukraine in music historiography.

How do we assess Ukraine’s place in music history? How can we situate it in broader European and global contexts? What is the role and meaning of a national music history in a context of changing borders, of shifting and hybrid identities? What part do questions of ethnicity, language, and religious denomination play in attempts to portray the music culture of a historically multicultural society? And what is the place of the diaspora in the music history of Ukraine?

Which musical canons have been formed over time, what purposes have they served, and how stable have they been? Given the lingering legacies of imperialism, how can we decolonize the discussion of repertoires previously subsumed into imperial narratives? And how can we do so without slipping into methodological nationalism?

This conference welcomes contributions to these and other matters related to any period, genre or institution of music history (including dance and theater) relating to Ukraine, whether in the form of broad historiographical discussions or as detailed case studies. In addition to examinations of musical traditions within Ukraine and the diaspora we are also interested in the musical representations of Ukraine and the reception of musical Ukraine in other cultural traditions.

Instructions for proposals

The default format will be 20-minute lectures; for possible exceptions, please contact the organizers beforehand. Please submit an abstract that indicates the argument and relevance of the proposed presentation in no more than 300 words, along with a contact email address, institutional affiliation and a 150-word biography to The deadline for proposals is January 10th. The decision for acceptance will be communicated before the end of that month. The principal languages of the conference will be English and Ukrainian. Should you want to present in another language, please contact the organizers beforehand.

We sincerely hope to welcome as many experts as possible, in spite of possibly challenging circumstances. Prospective speakers who are unable to travel to Vienna without financial assistance are encouraged to contact the organizers.

Further details


Please address any questions or comments concerning this call to

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