The Sonic Circulations research network fosters scholarship exploring the relationships between musical, scientific, and cultural discourses in the global contexts of the first half of the twentieth century. Sonic Circulations aims to link academics across several institutions and disciplines, but originally stems from a European Commission grant, awarded to Emily MacGregor and J.P.E. Harper-Scott, partnering Harvard University with Royal Holloway, University of London, from 2016 to 2019. It is now linked to a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, held by Dr MacGregor at the music department of King’s College London.
The research network is also preoccupied with broader disciplinary and methodological questions about how, why, and when musicology engages scientific and technological discourses. It seeks to foreground social dynamics and to spotlight how power and historical erasure are playing out at this disciplinary intersection. It considers what music studies in turn can offer to other fields. The network aims to stimulate interdisciplinary discussion around these questions between scholars at different career stages, and to this end, in November 2018 we held a Study Day at Harvard, titled ‘Musical Thought and the Scientific Imagination’. We put a strong emphasis on bringing in the voices of research students and junior scholars, in part via the Research Blog.
An associated network conference was held at King’s College London, in June 2019, building on the 2018 Harvard Study Day. There was a brilliant response to the CfP, and we were able to put together a programme which, mindful of the geographical, methodological, and disciplinary diversity of papers, took shape around loose conceptual themes. We are currently working on an edited collection developed from the two meetings.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 705104.