CfP: The Music of War: 1914-1918 (British Library)

British Library & Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities:
“The Music of War: 1914-1918”
30-31 August 2014 – British Library, London
Conference website:
Conference email:
Deadline: 30 November 2013

Held as part of the British Library’s Centenary events programme, supported by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities.

Papers are invited for a two-day international conference on the theme of music during the First World War. The forthcoming centenary of the war is a timely opportunity to reconsider the fundamental role of music and musicians during the exceptional circumstances of the period 1914-1918. The conference aims to provide a forum for discussion to explore the roles and uses of music during this extended period of worldwide conflict, considering why-against a backdrop of large-scale death and destruction-music mattered, whether as entertainment, weapon, tool, or emotional catalyst. We welcome papers from scholars working in any discipline and which engage with any aspect of music-making during the war, whether on the home or fighting fronts, or in combatant or non-combatant countries.

Themes for consideration include, but are not limited to:

  • Music-making on the home-fronts
  • Concert and theatrical life
  • Music and the military
  • Music and/as propaganda
  • Music and patriotism
  • National identities
  • Cultural transmission and international exchange
  • Music as entertainment
  • Music and charity
  • Music and its therapeutic uses
  • Composer responses to the war
  • Musicians‘ participation in the war
  • Music and commemoration
  • Intersections of music and other art forms

Proposals are invited for individual papers of 20 minutes, to be followed by 10 minutes of discussion. We also encourage submissions for themed panel sessions of three related papers.

Proposals consisting of a title, abstract (max. 300 words), and short biographical note, should be submitted by e-mail to the organising committee at by 30 November 2013. For panel sessions, please include a 250-word (max.) summary of the session and up to 300 words for each session participant. Please include contact details and institutional affiliation (if any), along with details of anticipated AV requirements. Proposals should be in English only. The conference language will be English.

Keynote speaker:

Dr Kate McLoughlin (Birkbeck, London)

Other confirmed speakers:

Professor Rachel Cowgill (Cardiff University) Professor Annette Becker (Universite Paris Ouest Nanterre La Defense)

Conference events:

The conference runs in tandem with the British Library’s Centenary Exhibition and will include a concert of music from the years 1914-1918 and wine reception. Full details of these and other conference activities will be made available on the conference website in due course.

Conference Organisers:

Jane Angell (Royal Holloway) Dr Rachel Moore (University of Oxford) Programme Committee: Jane Angell (Royal Holloway, University of London) Dr Daniel Grimley (University of Oxford) Professor Barbara Kelly (University of Keele) Dr Stefan Manz (Aston University) Dr Rachel Moore (University of Oxford) Dr Rupert Ridgewell (British Library)

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30 November 2013
Successful applicants notified: 31 January 2014

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