It is our pleasure to invite you to Graz for the Twelfth International Conference of the International Association for
Word and Music Studies (WMA).The local organizers are Werner Wolf and Walter Bernhart (both of the Department of English
at Graz University). The conference is hosted by the Department of English and held in association with the Centre of
Intermediality Studies in Graz (CIMIG). A total of thirty-two speakers from around the world will participate during the
four days of the conference, and we are confident that the forthcoming conference, like its forerunners – including the
first, foundational WMA conference, which was also held in Graz in 1997 – will be a significant event in the field.
The conference will be held at the Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz. The inaugural concert will take place in the festival
hall of the baroque Meerscheinschlössl (Mozartgasse 3; it is only a short walk from the university campus), while the rest
of the conference will be located in the building of the English department (Heinrichstr. 36). Once you arrive at the University,
the two buildings are easy to find – directions here.
The university area is located east of the city centre and easily accessible by buses no. 63 (stop: Universität) or 58 (stop: Mozartgasse)
from the central station or on foot.
A map of Graz can be found here.
There are plenty of hotels at all price levels in Graz, but they fill up quickly during the conference period, so participants will be
wise to make reservations without undue delay. Some suggestions can be found
here or here.
The conference will open on Wednesday, May 29, with a welcoming reception at 18:30 hrs, followed by an inaugural concert
featuring music (in part illustrating the conference topic "make it old") and music-making mostly by WMA members.
On Friday, May 31, afternoon and evening we are organizing an excursion to the attractive Southern Styrian wine-growing area,
which will provide occasion for informal discussions during the trip, a wine-tasting and the convivial conference dinner among the vineyards.
The conference will end in the afternoon of Saturday, June 1. The schedule for this day will include plenary sessions as well as the General
Assembly of the WMA, which is open to all members of the association. To conclude the conference, a coffee reception will be organized in the
afternoon, which is expected to be finished no later than 16:00 hrs.
Graz is served by Graz Thalerhof Airport. The fastest way to get from there to the city is by taxi (≈ € 25). Another option is using
public transport. From the airport to the city centre you can use the bus lines 630 or 631 and the train line S5. An exact timetable of
their departures and stops can be found here.
For timetable enquiries the app "BusBahnBim" available from Google Play and App Store is highly recommendable.
After entering the preferred final destination, the application provides the shortest/fastest connection at any time of the day.
A desktop version can be found here.
Prices: An hourly ticket costs € 2,40, a twenty-four hour ticket € 5,20. These tickets are also valid for the bus/train to the airport.
Between Jakominiplatz and Hauptplatz plus an additional stop in both directions (= Schlossbergplatz, Südtirolerplatz/Kunsthaus,
Kaiser-Josef-Platz, Dietrichsteinplatz and Finanzamt) the so-called „Altstadt Bim“ (city centre tram) operates. Within this area,
the use of all tramlines (buses not included) is free of charge.
There is no conference fee, but all speakers at the conference are required to become WMA members (and other participants are strongly
encouraged to join the organization, too). As a member of the WMA, your annual membership subscription includes the volume of Word and
Music Studies in which a selection of the conference papers will be published. For details, please see our website at
CALL FOR PAPERS
The 11th Conference on Word and Music Studies, organized by the International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA) and hosted by the Department of English and the Centre for Intermediality Studies in Graz (CIMIG) of the Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, is scheduled for May 30 to June 1st 2019. The conveners hereby invite papers on the following topics:
The history of literature, music and other arts and media may be conceived of as a constant 'make it new' or flow to which the Heraclitean principle of never being able to step into the same flowing water applies. However, there are sometimes stumbling blocks that cause eddies which do make the water flow backwards. The forthcoming conference will deal with such ‘retro’-phenomena, which seem to follow the maxim ‘make it old’, with reference to the development of literature and (Western) music. The main focus will be on retro forms and styles (rather than contents) in creative practice and theoretical (musicological or poetological) reflections, as well as on the manifold parallels and divergences observable in this field in the history of both arts.
In this history, the period from the late 18th century is especially fertile for the investigation of retro-tendencies, since it is from this time on that literature and music have both produced retro forms of some importance. Before the 1750s, such retro forms were common mainly in literature under the auspices of neoclassical aesthetics, but – except for the occasional use of stile antico in sacred music – were all but absent in music history. Particular attention will certainly be given to the past few decades, which may be said to be characterized by a remarkable ‘retro-mania’ in Western culture. This does not only show in literary postmodernism and its typical tendency to ‘recycle’ old writing styles or in the trends of neo-modernism and neo-Victorianism, but also in a group of compositions for which the restoration of the classical piano concerto in Friedrich Gulda’s Concerto for Myself or retro styles in pop music may merit mention as well as the recent compositions in an early 19th-century style by the now 12-year-old child prodigy Alma Deutscher.
In the light of these few remarks we invite contributions which deal with any of these and related aspects of retro forms and styles, preferably from an intermedial, tandem perspective on both literature/words and music, although contributions dealing with one art only are also possible. Special attention should be given to a functional perspective which is apt to shed light on the retro-phenomena discussed from a cultural-historical point of view.
As at former conferences, a "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.
For some time, the biannual WMA conferences have provided a platform for emerging researchers to present their work in progress in Word and Music Studies. This tradition will be continued in the forthcoming conference. We therefore also welcome shorter talks of 15 minutes dedicated to presenting current research by younger scholars in the field.
Please send abstracts of c. 300 – 400 words and a short bio-bibliographical note via email to the conference convener by October 1st, 2018 (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org). You will be notified about whether your offer will be accepted as soon as possible. Accepted full papers will have a presentation length of 30 minutes (followed by 15 minutes’ discussion). Subsequent to a peer-review process they may be published in the conference proceedings, which will appear in the book series Word and Music Studies (WMS, published by Brill/Rodopi); shorter papers may be published on the WMA website.
We are confident that the papers emerging from this conference will form valuable contributions to the analysis of retro forms and styles as a major trend in contemporary cultural history as well as to Word and Music Studies in general.
The conference city Graz is the capital of Styria and second largest city in Austria. It is a lively university city (housing three universities, one of which, the venerable Karl-Franzens-Universität, will be the conference venue) with a large and well-known historical town centre, some remarkable modern architecture and lovely surroundings, including the celebrated wine-growing area of Southern Styria.
We are looking forward to receiving your abstracts and hope to be able to welcome you in Graz in May/June 2019. For general information on the WMA, please consult our web page, www.wordmusicstudies.net.
Werner Wolfchief conference convener,on behalf of the conference team
David Francis Urrows, WMA Secretary, was fêted with a concert marking his 60th birthday at the Music Department
of Hong Kong Baptist University, where he has taught music history and composition for over 20 years. Over
35 performers took part in a recital of chamber and vocal music. All of this was composed by Prof. Urrows over
the past 43 years, with the exception of the "Theme and Variations in B Minor" by the German-American composer,
Otto Dresel (1826–1890), whose collected works Urrows has edited and published in a critical edition. WMA
Vice-President Michael Halliwell sang two works, one of which came from Fünf Eichendorff Gesänge performed at
the 2017 WMA conference held in Stockholm, and the other from Paroles pour musique (peut-être), first performed
at the 2013 London conference of WMA. A DVD of the concert will eventually be made available.