Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Report Abuse   |   Sign In   |   Join SEM
News from SEM: Conferences

Call for Papers: Music History and Cosmopolitanism, Sibelius Academy Symposium

Friday, May 15, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jennifer Studebaker
Share |

Music History and Cosmopolitanism

Fourth Sibelius Academy Symposium on Music History

June 1–3, 2016 at Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts, Helsinki, Finland

Website: http://www.uniarts.fi/en/cosmopol2016

Keynote Speakers

Brigid Cohen, New York University, USA

Mark Everist, University of Southampton, GB

Franco Fabbri, University of Turin, IT

Conference Outline

The Third Sibelius Academy Symposium (2014) took as its theme the questioning of methodological nationalism in music historiography: the kind of historiography that, according to Beck and Sznaider, equates society with national society ("Unpacking Cosmopolitanism for the Social Sciences,” 2006: 2). They called, instead, for a methodological cosmopolitanism, an alternative that has gained momentum within musicology, often alongside related concepts: the last two decades have seen increased attention to the conspicuous mobility of works and musicians; to cities as sites of cosmopolitan encounter; and to the transnational and global connections created and exploited by musicians.

The Fourth Sibelius Academy Symposium takes cosmopolitanism as its theme in order to contribute to and clarify this cosmopolitan turn, which raises as many questions as it answers. The label "cosmopolitan” is easily attached to instances of diversity in performance and consumption, for example, but it has been more broadly reinterpreted as an ethical standpoint transcending the local and national. Clearly, the meaning of the cosmopolitan remains hard to define, both theoretically and in relation to particular times and places. The danger of naïve universalism is obvious enough, but how, in musicological practice, can the discourse on cosmopolitanism engage with the post-colonial experience of musicians, with diaspora and migration, or with the complexities of Creolization and métissage? Without losing sight (or sound) of nuanced case studies, we might also ask, more broadly, after the relationship between the cosmopolitan and the transnational as analytical categories. Moreover, how can the study of music and musicians contribute to our understanding of the intersection of cosmopolitanism and social class?

This international symposium will offer a forum for debate about how we might build a post-national understanding of the social in the musical past. The aim is to pursue a better understanding of the kinds of social interweaving and mutual dependence that set cosmopolitan musical processes in motion well before the mass migrations and technological changes that characterized the twentieth century, and to begin to identify features that might signal the emergence of a cosmopolitan society. We therefore invite proposals for papers and group sessions under the following themes:

  • The transnationalization of music, its import and export, its cultural transfer and exchange
  • Music and transnational mobility, migrancy and nomadism.
  • Music and belonging: the exiled musician and the stateless musician
  • Music and urban culture; cosmopolitan musical genres
  • Music and international networks of digital communication
  • Diasporic communities, music and border crossing
  • Music and non-state politics (e.g. human rights and ecological issues)
  • Music and non-state affiliations: religion, ethnicity, pan-nationalism, (Communist) Internationalism


Vesa Kurkela (chair) / Sibelius Academy

Philip Bohlman / University of Chicago, USA

Katherine Hambridge / University of Warwick, GB

Markus Mantere / Sibelius Academy & The Finnish Musicological Society

Tomi Mäkelä / Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

Derek Scott / University of Leeds, GB

Anne Sivuoja-Kauppala / Sibelius Academy

Kaarina Kilpiö (conference secretary) / Sibelius Academy

Important dates

Deadline for proposals: Sept 30, 2015
Approval information: (latest) Oct 30, 2015
Symposium: June 1–3, 2016


Kaarina Kilpiö
tel. +358 40 773 1736

Sign In

Featured News