Sonic Circulations Conference, Senate House, London, 24-25 June 2019

Sonic Circulations 1900-1950: Musical Thought, Scientific Fantasies, Global Contexts

Registration now open! (Closes 9 June)

Register here (or here for student rate).

24-25 June 2019

Senate House, University of London, in association with the Institute of Musical Research, and Music and Letters

Confirmed keynote speakers:  James Q. Davies (University of California, Berkeley), Gascia Ouzounian (University of Oxford). Conference respondents: Gundula Kreuzer (Yale University), John Tresch (The Warburg Institute, The School of Advanced Study, London).

From the first human flight in 1903, to the aftermath of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, science and technology in the first half of the twentieth century veered between the utopian and the malevolent. Conceived as idea, as material, and as praxis, science and technology prompt questions about mediation, ethics, marginalisation, space, and power. The time is ripe to interrogate the place of sound and music within the social worlds, political structures, and discourses of the early twentieth century, a period shaped by global uncertainty, military conflict, human displacement, and the legacies of scientised colonialism.

This conference, the second meeting of the ‘Sonic Circulations’ research network, will explore the intersections of scientific, technological, and musical discourses in the global contexts of the first half of the twentieth century. We invite a wide range of papers positioned at the nexus of (ethno)musicology, cultural studies, STS, history of science, and sound studies. Responding to intensifying scholarly preoccupation with science, technology, and music in the Enlightenment and nineteenth century, this conference seeks to cast our attentions forward in time, bringing together scholars from diverse fields and academic contexts. In particular, submissions are encouraged to foreground social dynamics, to bring questions of power or historical erasure to bear where science, technology, and music meet, to interrogate hegemonies, or to expand the range of critical/theoretical perspectives and voices that might be mobilised in this field, particularly beyond those from overrepresented geographical centres.

The provisional programme is now available.

See also the full CfP.

The registration fee for the two days is £100 (reduced rate of £50 for students/unwaged), covering refreshments and lunches. Register here (or here for reduced rate).

Programme Committee: Emily I. Dolan (Harvard University), Arman Schwartz (King’s College, London), Emily MacGregor (Royal Holloway, University of London).

For further queries please contact Dr Emily MacGregor: