Words, Music and Marginalisation

Words, Music and Marginalisation
1 September 2020, 12.00pm - 3 September 2020, 7.00pm
Conference / Symposium
Hosted online by the University of St Andrews

6th Biennial Conference of the Word and Music Association Forum

Seminar and roundtable sessions will take the format of a discussion of short pre-circulated papers via Microsoft Teams. We are delighted to welcome Imani Danielle Mosley to give the conference’s keynote, which will be held as a Microsoft Teams Live Event. Register for the conference and keynote by 21 August 2020. Links to pre-circulated papers and to conference sessions will be shared with registered participants before the start of the conference.

This programme is subject to change – check out the conference website for the most up-to-date information. Please note that all times are British Summer Time (UTC+1).

Tuesday 1 September
Welcome, 12.00-12.15
Tom Smith and Allie Reznik

Seminar 1, 12.30 - 14.00
Instruments and Marginalisation

Rachael Durkin, ‘The Player Piano and William Gaddis’s Agapē Agape’
Zhang Lei, ‘Yellow Orpheus in Sonic Battlefields: The Ambivalent Symbiosis between Western Music and the Asian American Subjects in Lan Samantha Chang’s Hunger and Chang-Rae Lee’s A Gesture Life
Bede Williams, ‘Recontextualising a singing treasure: Eve De Castro-Robinson’s Clarion

Seminar 2, 14.30 - 16.00
Representing Performance, Form and Marginalisation

Qianwei He, ‘Miao Folk Music and the Marginal Modernism of Shen Congwen’
Peter Cherry, ‘Music as Metaphor: Writing Transcultural Identities in Jackie Kay’s Trumpet (1997) and Suhayl Saadi’s Psychoraag (2004)’
Heidi Hart and Deniz Ertan, ‘Absence, Detachment, Mutedness: An Exploration of Word and Music/Sound in Ceylan’s Uzak
Allie Reznik, “Music as Communal Superfluity and Necessity in Octavia E. Butler’s novel and Toshi Reagon’s folk opera Parable of the Sower

Keynote Lecture, 16.30-18.30
Imani Danielle Mosley (University of Florida)

Imani Danielle Mosley received her PhD from Duke University in 2019 where her work examined the reception of Benjamin Britten’s postwar operas. Her current research addresses digital sonic mapping, acoustics, and ritual in the English churches and cathedrals central to Britten’s sacred music. In addition to her work on Britten, she also specializes in contemporary opera, reception history, masculinities studies, and race in 21st-century popular musics. Her contribution to the digital humanities focuses on sonic mapping, data analysis, and digital and computational musicology. Mosley is also an active performer, playing new music written for bassoon and baroque bassoon in various early-music ensembles. She is also a working dramaturg and librettist and collaborated with composer Frances Pollock on the operas Stinney: an American Execution, premiered at the Prototype Festival in New York in 2019, and Salt, premiered at the Yale Opera Studies Today conference in 2020.

Wednesday 2 September

Seminar 3, 12.30-14.00
Depicting the Singer

Katie Harling-Lee, ‘The Marginalised Operatic Voice in Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto
Sigal Yona, ‘The Musical Melodrama of George Ovadiah’
Thomas Gurke, ‘“I have breached the limits of acceptable” – Marginalisation and the Popular in Tom Cho’s Look Who’s Morphing
Claire Ross, ‘Black Orpheus on the Underground: Yadé Kara’s Cafe Cyprus (2008)’

Seminar 4, 14.30-16.00
Marginalisation and Contemporary Word and Music Practice

Jane Forner, ‘Opera on Europe’s Streets: The Intercultural Politics of Music, Language, and Space in Orfeo & Majnun (2017-19)’
Elise Haller-Shannon, ‘Remixed Subjectivities: Exploring Strategies for Communicating Female Subjective Experience Through Music’
Toby Young and Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey, ‘Displaced Voices: Giving Voice through Orchestral Performance’
Odirin Omiegbe, ‘Music: A Panacea for Marginalisation and Community Building for Persons Living with Disabilities in Nigeria’

Seminar 5, 16.30-18.00
Composing Marginalised Identities in Popular Music

Jae Hoon Lee, ‘Motions in Captivity: Theorising the Politics of Mobility in Slavery and Blues’
Antonius Baehr, Daniel Kwasi Ampadu, Bais Kouanda and Victoria Niemann, ‘Positive Images of Black Communities in Rap’
Rachel Willis, ‘“Where Have all the Women Gone?”: Rhetorical Circulation of Old Hits and the Missing Women of Country Music’

Thursday 3 September

Seminar 6, 12.30-14.00
The Artist vs. the Work

Victoria Roskams, ‘“She would look exactly like Richard Wagner if she were only more feminine”: Ethel Smyth and the Literature of Male Gatekeeping’
Kristin Franseen, ‘“A brief sketch…may be appropriate”: Gossip and the Marginal in Schubert Biography’
Penrose Allphin, ‘Challenging the Intentional Fallacy in Music Analysis by Empowering the Transgender Voice’
Sokunthary Svay, ‘Making the (Cambodian) Band: Postcolonial Edition’

Roundtable, 14.30-16.00
Literature and Music: In from the Margins and out again (Chair: Delia de Sousa Correa)
A roundtable by contributors to The Edinburgh Companion to Literature and Music (forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press)
Timothy Coombes, Peter Dayan, Christin Hoene, Michael Klein, Adrian Patterson, Emma Sutton

Seminar 7, 14.30-18.00
Centring the Margins of Music History

Amy Damron Kyle, ‘Pauline Viardot's Operetta Dernier Sorcier: Powerful Women and Turgenev's Personal Philosophy’
Ryan Weber, ‘Framework of Fragility: Music, Literature and American Physical Culture in the Early 20th Century’
Allison Bumsted, ‘The exhausted popular music journalism discourse and the marginalisation of TeenSet magazine’
Srija Sanyal, ‘Bol Ke Lab Azaad Hai Tere: Tracing the Musical Vox Populi in India’

Plenary Discussion, 18.15-19.00

Words, Music and Marginalisation is grateful to the Institute of Modern Languages Research’s Regional Conference Grant, the School of Modern Languages at the University of St Andrews, and the St Andrews Institute for Gender Studies for their generous support.


Cathy Collins
020 7862 8738