Call for Papers
Ideology in Words and Music
2nd Conference of the Word and Music Association Forum
November 8-10, 2012, Stockholm University, Sweden
Deadline for abstract submissions: March 1st 2012

The Word and Music Association Forum (WMAF) offers emerging scholars
-- mainly graduate students and researchers and post docs --
opportunities to present papers and to establish a network of scholars
who share an interest in word and music studies. WMAF was founded in
2009 under the auspices of the International Association for Word and
Music Studies (WMA). The central event of the Forum is a biennial
conference, held in alternating years with the WMA international

The second biennial conference of the WMA Forum “Ideology in Words and
Music” will be held at Stockholm university, Sweden, November 8-10,
2012. We are pleased to welcome prof. Lawrence Kramer (Fordham
University, New York) and ass. Prof. Jørgen Bruhn (Linnæus University,
Växjö) as the conference's two keynote speakers.

This conference will attend to the intersection between words, music
and ideology. How might musico-literary intermediality be construed as
a site where ideology is both established and questioned? How have
combinations of words and music historically interacted with
ideological systems? How do contemporary encounters between verbal and
musical media reflect ideological issues? Which ideological
presuppositions underlie current intermedial research?

The term ideology - from Greek idea (form, pattern) and logos (reason,
discourse) - has been conceived of in an abundance of ways throughout
history. The critical debate on ideology is perhaps most often
associated with the Marxist tradition of thought, which in turn has
given rise to several generative perspectives on ideology. In
Althusser's work, for example, it is the agency that shapes human
subjects by interpellating them, and in Adorno's writings, it is
frequently found at the nexus of discourse and music. From other
theoretical vantage points, however, Thomas Kuhn has described
ideology as the commitments, beliefs, and values shared by scientists
within alternating scientific paradigms, while Clifford Geertz has
stressed the metaphorical nature of ideology by introducing cultural
semiotics into the study of historical societal processes.

This conference aims to address these and other conceptions of
ideology in relation to musico-literary interplay, and thus opens up a
vast field of questions. Case studies, papers with a historical
approach, and papers dealing with theoretical or methodological issues
are invited. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

- historical instances of musico-literary works and practices that
reproduce or are engendered by ideological systems, ranging from the
problematic status of literature and music in Plato's ideal state to
the modern phenomena of national anthems and protest songs, and
beyond. Totalitarian societies are of obvious relevance in this
context: in situations where certain ideologies and certain concepts
of literature and music have been prescribed, how have writers and
composers dealt with these conditions in their works?

- all theoretical questions connected to the conference topic such as
the question of whether the intermedial combination of verbal and
musical elements as such has any ideological implications. How do the
specific definitions of ideology affect its relation to words and

- music and language in their respective relations to ideology.
Stereotypically, music has been taken to epitomize an autonomous art
beyond ideology, whereas language has been thought of as more
obviously enmeshed in history, culture, and politics. In recent
decades, however, such binaries have also been subject to sustained
critique. How do artefacts involving combinations of words and music
reflect these different tendencies?

- the ideological foundations of academic research. How have existing
or changing academic structures reconfigured the field's ideological
foundations in a subject area as obviously interdisciplinary as word
and music studies? Has a focus on intermedial typologies and
structuralistic frameworks obstructed the visibility of ideological
aspects of musico-verbal relations?

While the general relationship between art and ideology may give rise
to a wide variety of questions, the scope of this conference will be
limited to issues where ideological thought or critiques intersect
with intermedial phenomena involving both words and music.

The Word and Music Workshop

In addition to papers related to the principal topic, the conference
will also include a workshop of work-in-progress presentations, as
well as the possibility to discuss questions within the field of word
and music studies. Participants of the workshop will be required to
submit their discussion manuscripts of maximum 10 pages approximately
one month before the conference and to read the other participants'
contributions. Workshop presentations will be restricted to 10 minutes
and are meant to focus mainly on open questions the participant in
question wants to discuss. The discussions will be approximately 30
minutes long. The keynote speakers will participate in the workshop
discussions and all workshop participants will be expected to engage

Please submit abstracts of ca. 300 words plus a brief biographical
statement (ca. 50 words) to [log in to unmask] by March 1, 2012.
Please note that in order to allow adequate time for discussion papers
must not exceed 20 minutes presentation. You should also indicate
whether your paper is intended for the conference topic or for the
Word and Music Workshop.

The Organizing Committee:

Axel Englund (Stockholm)
Hannah Hinz (Stockholm)
Markus Huss (Stockholm)
Beate Schirrmacher (Stockholm)
Mario Dunkel (Dortmund)
Emily Petermann (Göttingen)

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
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