-	Crossing boundaries of genres and nations

Chair: Franziska Ruprecht

The purpose of this workshop is to explore 
performances that combine poetry with music and 
their impact on the European and global mind.

The Spoken Word movement stems from diverse 
ancient roots.  Today, spoken word is performed 
on countless American stages, and it is vivid in 
the underground art scene of many European and 
international cities.  In contrast to a 
conventional poetry reading, the performance is 
as important as the text. Especially in the last 
ten years, performance poets built up on the 
performativity of language and now collaborate 
with musicians.
This is generally called "Spoken word music", a 
term yet largely undefined: Is this a new musical 
genre?  Does spoken word music refuse 
categorization?  Is it an idealistic movement, or 
a marketing tool that promotes poets? What is the 
relation of these artistsī collaborations to 
contemporary history? What is their impact on a 
world growing smaller every day?
	What are reasons for the combination of 
poetry with music? What are examples? Electronic 
music, hip hop, jazz: The choices made by poets 
depend on the tastes of their time and culture. 
The art projects seem individual and unique, 
still many influences are based in America. Do 
the spoken word artists refuse cultural 
dictatorship and mass production?
	Not only neurologists call music an 
international language.  Is spoken word music an 
emotional or intellectual experience, or both? 
Can it dissolve national borders? Does it rather 
cherish the national literary styles so selfishly 
that people who cannot understand the language 
cannot grasp the spoken word music of another 
country? The advantages of European identity 
relate tot his question - but what are the 
chances and duties of artists in Europe?
	The workshop is designed to place 
collaborations of poetry with music in 
contemporary European and international culture, 
and to promote exchange of art and artists. This 
workshop encourages live performances, 
performances on media during the academic 
presentations, and invites to take part in a 
performance event in the evening after the 
	Papers presented at the workshop form the 
basis of an edited book collection. Contributors 
will be asked to present original work. Given the 
parameters established by ISSEI, the workshop 
paper is likely to be shorter than the final 
draft submitted for publication. Those interested 
in the workshop and its more extensive purpose 
should submit an abstract of no more than 250 
words to the workshop chair.

Franziska Ruprecht
Junior Year in Munich at
Ludwig Maximilians University Munich
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