Music History and Historical Materialism: Reflections and Possibilities

Music History and Historical Materialism: Reflections and Possibilities
13 April 2018, 9.30am - 6.00pm
Call for Papers
Bloomsbury Room, G35, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Marxist thought and music historiography have only ocasionally combined in critical writing or scholarly research, and from the perspective of the present most examples of such approaches appear as so many moribund historical curiosities. This one-day international conference, organised by the Ernst Bloch Centre, believes that genuinely fruitful interaction between music history writing and historical materialism has yet to be carried out and, at the same time, that signs towards such a mode of criticism are discernible in the very agents and materials of music history and of the history of philosophy. Beyond Marxist cultural theory or critical theory, the conference seeks to ask what musicology could still learn from the central insights of Marx and Marxism and to what extent music history and historical materialism can even be 'thought together'. The aim of the conference is not merely to excavate cases of officially Marxist historiography of music, nor to consider music in relation to Marxist individuals and political regimes, but - taking a more speculative approach - to evaluate the potential of Marxist thought for historical musicology and for philosophy of music today.

Keynote speaker: Benjamin Korstvedt (Clark University, USA)

Conference organisers: Jeremy Coleman (IMLR/Aberdeen) and Johan Siebers (IMLR/Middlesex)

Abstracts of c. 250 words are invited from scholars across the humanities that consider critical encounters between music history and historical materialism.

Call for Papers (closing date: 31 January 2018)


Jane Lewin
020 7862 8966