CfA: Music and World War II

Roberta Montemorra Marvin and Pamela Potter (eds.):
“Music and World War II”
Deadline: June 15, 2015

We are in preliminary negotiations with Ashgate Press for an essay collection provisionally entitled „Music and World War II,“ for which we invite chapter proposals.

Even before the recent outpouring of commemorative work on World War I, studies such as Proof through the Night by Glenn Watkins had shown that it was ambitious yet possible to survey the musical response to the Great War across geographic boundaries. The Second World War has eluded such comprehensive treatment for a number of reasons. Annegret Fauser’s groundbreaking study on music and the World War II in the United States set out a new direction for understanding the „sonic experience of war,“ pointing to the numerous ways in which music was employed for war-related tasks in a variety of media and through live performance. Our goal is to apply these insights to a global examination of the music of World War II, by looking to a wide range of media, where a prevailing tone of escapism has largely replaced the lofty and heroic mode of „war music“ of the past.

Below are some possible topics that we hope to address. The list is far from exhaustive, nor is it intended to be exclusive:

  • music and/as propaganda
  • radio, film, newsreels
  • musical life under foreign occupation
  • POW and internment camps
  • changing roles of art music and popular music
  • public versus private musical practices
  • troop entertainment, military music, music at the front
  • music in factories
  • music industries, black market, censorship
  • bombing, air raids, public spaces
  • transforming role of women
  • music as a tool of wartime nationalism and identity

Other suggestions related to the collection’s overall theme are welcome.

If you’d like to be considered for inclusion in our book, please send

  1. a proposal of 350-500 words outlining the main topic(s) and methodologies of your study, including a provisional title; and
  2. a brief professional biography, to the editors (roberta-marvin at uiowa dot edu and pmpotter at wisc dot edu).
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