CfP: Falling Out of Line: Music and the Exceptional (University of Music and Performing Arts Graz)

Centre for Gender Studies & Institute for Music Aesthetics, University of Music and Performing Arts Graz:
“Falling Out of Line: Music and the Exceptional”
4-5 December 2015 – University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria
Deadline: 1 August 2015
Keynote: Dr. Paul Attinello (Newcastle University)

Music is represented historically by examples of exceptionalism (virtuosic, white, middleclass, able-bodied, heterosexual, European men), yet since the 1960s we’ve increasingly incorporated various outliers (e.g. female composers, disabled musicians, and various sexual and racial minorities) in an effort to revise this history. In turn, the outliers have become the exceptional; they are now celebrities with a historical presence enabled by the very circumstances that differentiate them. Whether by way of image, body, ideas, sexual history/orientation, lifestyle, race, „special“ abilities or capabilities, the previously aberrant have come to the fore.

Are eccentricities a prerequisite for musical recognition? What traits define people as musically exceptional? What is the necessary background against which to frame musical exceptionalism? Where does one draw the line between the exceptional and the unremarkable? Who decides and why?

This conference seeks to explore the history of exceptionalism in music, including the reception of musical works, musical instruments, people, and places.

Abstracts for 20-minute paper presentations should be no longer than 300 words in length and should be submitted for anonymous review to MusEx2015 -at- by 1 August 2015. Modest financial support for students or scholars without institutional support is available, and child care and special needs accommodation is also likely possible. Please indicate in your submission email whether you would like to be considered for financial support or if you require any such services.

For additional information, please visit or contact the conference organizers, Anna Benedikt [Anna.Benedikt -at-] and Danielle Sofer [Danielle.Sofer -at-].

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