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

Participatory Approaches to Music & Democracy

Posted: January 10th, 2018 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

The conference isaScience 2018 is part of isa, the International Summer Academy of the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria.


Conference date: 10–14 August 2018

Conference venue: Hotel Marienhof, Reichenau an der Rax, Austria

Keynote: David Hesmondhalgh, Professor for Media, Music and Culture, University of Leeds, UK

Organisers: Dagmar Abfalter, Marko Kölbl, Rosa Reitsamer, Fritz Trümpi

Over the last few decades, a rich body of literature has explored how individuals and groups use music as a resource to achieve social, cultural and political participation and to bring about social change in society. 
Studies have also investigated music’s use by political groups and parties in the past and present that impose 
authoritarian, neoliberal or even fascist political ideas. Finally, research is concerned with the promise and 
myth of democratization through technology in regard to music production, distribution and reception/appropriation.

The organisers of isaScience welcome papers on music and democracy from a wide range of disciplines 
(e.g. musicology, ethnomusicology, music sociology, cultural studies, queer studies, postcolonial studies, arts and cultural management) addressing (but not limited to) the following themes and topics:

  • Music’s role for historical revolts and revolutions, for propagating national and nationalistic identities in the long 19th century or music’s use in the name of “the people” during fascist and post-fascist periods;
  • Research on performance practices of minorities and marginalised groups that challenge and subvert 
dominant norms and classifications;
  • Democratizing dimensions of orally transmitted music traditions;
  • Grassroots, “bottom-up” and Do-it-Yourself approaches to music and performance propagated by social movements;
  • Research on music and activism: e.g. activist choirs, feminist and queer performance groups, anti-racist rock groups, singer-songwriters etc.
  • Participatory forms of “musicking” (Small) in local, translocal and virtual music “scenes”;
  • Documenting and preserving the “sounds of democracy” and “hidden” popular music’s past: studies on archives, museums and halls of fame;
  • Music, migration, border regimes and exile;
  • Representations of democracy in artistic practices (e.g. composing);
  • Research on “mediamorphosis” (e.g. electrification, digitalisation) and its effects for democratization: “new” possibilities of self-representation, modes of participation for consumers, and business models in the music and media industries;
  • Notions of “epistemic violence” (Spivak) in music research.

Please submit your abstracts (max. 300 words) for papers, panels and innovative formats and 
a short biography and institutional affiliation,

in English language until 15 March 2018 to [email protected].
Decisions on the acceptance of your proposal will be announced by 5 April 2018.

Complimentary funding for travel and accommodation
will be available to students and scholars in academic precarity.
Please submit your application after acceptance of your proposal to [email protected].

mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna will cover lunch and coffee breaks for the conference – no registration fee.

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