August 9–12, 2017Stockholm, Sweden
The International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA) takes pleasure in announcing its Eleventh International Conference to be held in Stockholm on August 9–12, 2017. The conference will take place at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University.
Previous conferences of the association have been held in Graz, Ann Arbor, Sydney, Berlin, Santa Barbara, Edinburgh, Vienna, Santa Fe, London, and New York, with conference proceedings published in the Association’s book series, Word and Music Studies (WMS).
Papers from members of the WMA will be considered for inclusion in a further volume in the same series.
Incompletion is an essential condition of cultural history, framing it at both ends: the oldest extant aesthetic products have been partially erased by time, and the most recent ones have always yet to be finished. In between those moments, the idea of the fragment has continued to appeal to those who resist classicist ideals of completeness: it played a vital part in the imagination of the romantics, and became even more fundamental to the various strands of modernist aesthetics, including its post- and late stages. In recent years, fragmentation and incompletion have been the focus of much critical attention, not least because the boundaries and very idea of the ‘work’ have undergone much rethinking. This conference invites papers that reexamine both the boundaries and the idea through the lens of what would once have been treated as secondary matter: drafts, sketches, works-in-progress, words or music supposedly supplanted by revision, left unfinished or partially effaced by the passing of time – discarded fragments, involuntary fragments, the fragment as a genre unto itself.
How do the conditions of incompleteness differ between words and music, in their various mediations as print, performance or digital code? How are practices of reading and listening influenced by the fact of incompleteness? What can we learn about the fragment from the many unfinished works that have entered the music-and-literature canon, from Mozart’s Requiem to Berg’s Lulu and beyond? What happens when hermeneutics faces the challenge of parts that cannot form a whole? How can aesthetic practices that involve various degrees of on-the-spot creation – from the rhapsodes of antiquity via virtuoso coloratura improvisation to jazz, poetry slam and live rap battling – be rethought through concepts of the unfinished? This list, of course, is incomplete. We especially welcome papers that go beyond incomplete subject matter to raise larger cultural, historical, or philosophical issues in the area of word and music studies.
As at former conferences, the "Surveying the Field" section will feature papers airing general theoretical and methodological questions intrinsic to the scholarly field of Word and Music Studies. Overviews of recent developments and new directions are welcome; however, papers in this area should not address specialised topics.
Papers addressing the conference theme and "Surveying the Field" should be 30 minutes in length. Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words via email to Walter Bernhart (email@example.com) by 31 October 2016.
150-word abstracts of shorter papers (15 minutes) from early-career researchers on relevant topics of their own choosing will also be considered for one or two sessions.
All abstracts should indicate your present location and academic affiliation and the category (longer or shorter) under which you would like to be considered.
Members of the Programme Committee are Walter Bernhart, Axel Englund, and Lawrence Kramer. The local organizer in Stockholm is Axel Englund (Department of Culture and Aesthetics), firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events planned for the conference include an opening reception and concert on the Wednesday evening, as well as an excursion to Drottningholm, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with an intact baroque theatre with its 18th-century stage machinery still in use. The conference is timed to coincide with the summer season of the Drottningholm Court Theatre, which in 2017 will be featuring a new production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Further details will be given in the First Circular.
For further information on the WMA, its members and activities, please visit WMA website.