Modernist Musics and Political Aesthetics

full name / name of organization: 
University of Nottingham

Experimental modernist forms are widely thought to question the suitability of traditional cultural structures to represent experience. Whether it is Ezra Pound's desire to 'compose in the sequence of the musical phrase' or the mutual influence of primitivism in Picasso's paintings and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, the formal innovations we call modernism often saw different art forms converge and stimulate one another. We hope this conference will explore these issues in depth.

Modernism is often understood as a response to a crisis of representation. According to Peter Childs, this crisis produced 'paradoxical if not opposed trends towards revolutionary and reactionary positions, fear of the new and delight at the disappearance of the old, nihilism and fanatical enthusiasm, creativity and despair.' Modernist Musics and Political Aesthetics invites papers that consider the political implications of modernist musics and art, the mutual influence of art forms, and the establishment of new aesthetic and political principles within modernism.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
the relations between style, form, and music
music and ethics
the political implications of modernism and music studies
intersections and tensions between approaches to music and modernism
sound in modernism
the limits of language
music, authenticity, and interpretation
ethics, elitism, virtue, anxiety, humanism, and anti-humanism in modernism
Marxist discourses in modernism
fascist modernisms
the implications of twenty-first-century modernist musics
experimental strategies in early twentieth-century cultural production
'late' modernisms
Wagner in modernism and Wagnerism in twentieth-century culture
'programme music' and/or 'absolute' music
Sprechstimme and Sprechgesang
theories of music and culture in the twentieth century

Please submit proposals of max. 350 words, and a brief author biography, to by 1st November 2014.