Responses in Music to Climate Change: Call for Papers (deadline 13 January 2020)

The Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York announces the multidisciplinary international conference

Responses in Music to Climate Change

to be held at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, 21–23 April 2020.

The deleterious effects of anthropogenic climate change continue to shape music making in a post-industrial, global society. Indigenous communities—those typically least responsible for the carbon emissions that have contributed to global warming—face the elimination or depletion of natural resources necessary for their musical practices and traditions. Composers of art music, many compelled to bear witness to our current times and bring awareness to threatened ecosystems, draw sound material from endangered environmental sources. Popular music, too, continues to respond through concerts, songs that thematize the environment, and celebrity endorsements for protection measures. Across all forms of music making, discourses of preservation, sustainability, visibility, and action are pervasive.

With the aim of collecting and sharing research on music’s place within the context of anthropogenic climate change, this conference welcomes contributions from a broad range of disciplines. A multidisciplinary approach not only seeks to capitalize on the wide range of ontological frameworks that each field brings, but also foregrounds the necessity for clear communication and criticism within and between disciplines. Increasingly, studies that address climate change and notions of environment point to the limitations of common categories for sound and music. As the problem is a human one, we hope to tackle the perennial question of how to develop vocabularies that transcend the boundaries of specialized jargon. Simply put, to confront a shared problem, we must develop strategies and techniques that address its complexities in a language accessible to all. A precondition for inciting and facilitating action is the widespread comprehension of the stakes, difficulties, and necessities as a global community.

We are excited to have Dr. Ana María Ochoa Gautier, Department of Music/Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Columbia University, as our keynote speaker.

We seek to inspire papers and panels on the following themes:

  • Music and acoustic ecology
  • Environmental sound sources in composition
  • The sounds of endangered lands
  • Sustainability
  • Perspectives on sonic environments
  • Music and globalization/industrialization
  • Sonic ecologies
  • Politics
  • Sound studies

Please submit a proposal, with title and an abstract of no more than 300 words, and include contact information (address, phone, and email). Proposals for papers, whole panels, posters, and lecture-recitals are welcome.

Proposals may be submitted before 13 January 2020 to:
Michael Lupo
The Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation
The City University of New York, The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309
mlupo@gradcenter.cuny.edu