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In the Beginning, Duke: The Three-Day Ellington Summit

Posted: January 31st, 2018 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

25–27 May 2018

The 25th International Duke Ellington Study Group Conference, organized by the Duke Ellington Society UK, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the Birmingham City University School of Media.

Over the course of the twentieth century, Duke Ellington was canonized as one of the key figures in 20th century American music. However, his influence reaches beyond jazz into almost every significant form of artistic expression. This conference invites speakers to reappraise the aesthetic, social and political impact of Ellington, his orchestra, his compositions and collaborators. Through consideration of Ellington as a global phenomenon, we seek to interrogate the narratives that have shaped the written history of jazz and the frameworks through which popular music has been viewed. The conference aims to forge a new beginning for Ellington studies, which collides traditional academic research with performance-based analysis and methodologies drawn from across the humanities.
The three-day event will be located within the state-of-the-art Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, which boasts a purpose-built Eastside Jazz Club, along with a 150-seat recital hall and 500-seat concert hall. Alongside themed panels of speakers, the event will showcase two concerts by the Conservatoire Ellington Orchestra and host the Duke Ellington Society UK Annual General Meeting.

Abstracts for papers should be submitted to [email protected] in the following format: 300 words + 100 words bio by 1 March 2018. The conference fee [tbc] will include refreshments throughout the event and tickets to the two concerts.

Suggestions for paper topics:

  • Ellington and black history
  • New methods of analysing group composition
  • Ellington and creative leadership
  • Studies of specific concerts or recording dates
  • The Ellington Orchestra on radio, film and television
  • The practice of discography and Ellington’s presence within the archive
  • Studies of Ellington fandom and collector culture
  • Ellington on the road
  • The repertoire’s revival and ongoing life in music education
  • Ellington as transnational figure
  • Collaborations with other key artists, musical and non-musical
  • Ellington within the music industry, interaction with managers and labels
  • The historiography of Ellington
  • Ellington and the Western classical tradition
  • The challenges of performing Ellington’s work today
  • Ellington and divinity

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