Welcome to The International Association for the Study of Popular Music UK and Ireland Branch

Mapping Music History

Posted: December 12th, 2023 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

University of Aberdeen, 28 March 2024

Maps have long punctuated musicological texts, but only recently have music scholars begun to leverage maps as tools for analysing, organizing, and presenting research. In part inspired by the ‘spatial turn’ in the humanities at large, historical musicologists are now paying greater attention to the geographical contexts in which past performances took place. At the same time – and fuelled by the increasing accessibility of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software – they can visualize and analyse complicated trends across time and place with greater ease than ever before. These developments in twenty-first-century digital cartography invite questions about musical practices in the context of other, older sorts of maps. For instance, we might ask how the zoning of civic space has regulated performers’ livelihoods, how travel writing has conditioned listening experiences, or how the policing of bodily display made entertainment venues a focus for state surveillance and control. Building on work across a range of disciplines – including but not limited to music and sound studies; art, literary, and theatre histories; urban geography; heritage and tourism; and digital humanities – this symposium seeks to explore the use of maps as objects and methods in music history.

We invite proposals for individual 20-minute conference papers or 90-minute panels (typically three papers) on topics related to mapping and music history. We are also open to alternative format presentations; if your proposal is for an alternative format, please describe the format as part of your abstract and indicate whether any special resources would be required.

For the purposes of this symposium, we take a broad view of what maps have been, are, and could be. Clearly, not all maps are paper and planar, many are multi-media and multi-dimensional, and different mapping traditions encode or embody different forms of knowledge. We particularly welcome proposals that engage with the cultural politics of cartography as it relates to sound, music, and performance more generally.

Please send your abstract (<300 words) to [email protected] by 19 January 2024. Proposals will be reviewed by Jonathan Hicks (University of Aberdeen) and Louis Epstein (St. Olaf College).

This symposium is part of an AHRC research network and funding is available to support travel and accommodation. If you would like to be considered for funding, please indicate this in the body of your email when you submit your abstract. Please note that abstracts will be evaluated independently of need.

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