Arts, Culture and Public Sphere

The Research Networks Sociology of Arts and Sociology of Culture of the European Sociological Association (ESA) are organizing a joint mid-term conference this year in Venice, 4-8 November 2008 on

Arts, Culture and Public Sphere
Expressive and Instrumental Values in Economic and Sociological Perspectives

The local organizer is Prof. Pier Luigi Sacco from the Faculty of Design and Art (FDA), and in cooperation with the Department of Art and Industrial Design (DADI), from the IUAV University in Venice.

The conference represents the 5th ESA Sociology of the Arts Research Network mid-term conference and the 2nd ESA Sociology of Culture Research Network mid-term conference, and it will be the first opportunity to have three European networks – the two ESA-Research Networks and the network ‘Economics and Planning of Arts and Culture’ – meeting around a common theme.

Call for papers and information: artculturevenice2008

The Arab Avant-Garde

The Arab Avant-Garde: Musical Innovation in the Middle East
Edited by Thomas Burkhalter, Kay Dickinson and Benjamin J. Harbert

We are currently soliciting chapter proposals for an anthology on the largely under-researched area of avant-garde music affiliated to the Arab world. All definitions of experimentalism and any disciplinary (or anti-disciplinary) approaches will be considered as we are hoping to produce as varied a volume as possible. The Arab avant-garde is to be taken as boundary work from both perspectives of pulling from the outside of tradition and of pushing from the inside of tradition; in other words, both iconoclasm and radical traditional expansion are equal targets. That said, discussions of the avant- garde as repeated practices of established boundary work or investigations into conventional vanguards are also welcome.

The Arab Avant-Garde, as a title, mobilizes two already complicated concepts whose alignment asks a number of challenging questions. Firstly, there are the issues of invoking the avant-garde – a term with particularly Eurocentric resonances – within a supposedly “other” geopolitical imaginary. Here one might wish to: draw on or challenge the models of alternative modernities; posit crucial lineages of radical innovation within or via the Arab world; critique or reaffirm the presumed stabilities of “tradition”; or insist upon shared global projects of cultural rejuvenation that do not prioritize points of arrival or departure.

Then there are issues of place to consider. To what extent is the Arab avant-garde partially constructed from “outside” as, for example, a marketing category and what are the political repercussions of this? What might we mean by “Arab” anyhow, and where, amidst this term, could we place stateless minority groups such as the Kurds or settled diaspora groups? How do the fraught histories of nationalisms and other unities frame the Arab avant-garde? And where might all this be situated, in terms of origins, performance or suitable places for scholarly attention, to name but a few crucial locales?

In order to address these intricate problematics, we encourage work from diverse disciplinary traditions, including and traversing: music, history, cultural studies, ethnography, Middle East area studies, sociology and subcultural geography. We would happily welcome straight academic essays, as well as more experimental submissions, interviews and translations. Word lengths to be negotiated.

Deadline for short abstract: 5.May 2008

Please email the abstract to: arabavantgarde@norient.com

Dance, Timing and Musical Gesture

Call for abstracts

13 – 15 June 2008
University of Edinburgh, Scotland

The Institute for Music in Human and Social Development, in collaboration with Queen’s University, Canada, invites abstracts for an interdisciplinary, international conference on the topic of Dance, Timing and Musical Gesture. The aim of the conference is to consider the temporal dynamics, expressive possibilities and communicative power of dance and musical movement. The meeting will include talks, posters, dance workshops and performances and will take place in the beautiful and culturally vibrant city of Edinburgh. Three student scholarships are available, covering registration and accommodation.

Invited Speakers:
Prof. Stephanie Jordan (Roehampton University, UK) Dance Studies
Prof. Mercédès Pavlicevic (Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre, UK) Community Music Therapy
Prof. Dee Reynolds (University of Manchester, UK) Dance and Performance Studies
Prof. Daniel Stern (University of Geneva, Switzerland) Developmental Psychiatry
Dr. Vicky Karkou (Queen Margaret University, UK) Dance Therapy
Dr. Peter Keller (Max Planck Institute, Germany) Neuroscience of Movement
Dr. Sophia Lycouris (Edinburgh College of Art, UK) Dance Improvisation
Dr. Jessica Philips-Silver (University of Montreal, Canada) Neuroscience of Dance

Invited Performers and Workshop Leaders:
Tricia Anderson (St. Andrews, UK) Choreography and Creative Dance Education
Etch N Sketch (Scotland, UK) B-Boy/B-Girl “Breaking”
Dr. Shelley Katz & Diana Gilchrist-Katz (ISC at Herstmonceux Castle, UK) Gesture in Vocal Performance
Luis “Alien Ness” Martinez New York City, USA) B-Boying and Hip Hop Culture
Méta-Méta (London, UK) Cuban Jazz Performance

Deadline for abstracts: Monday 7 April 2008
Please send abstracts of 300-400 words to Dr. Nikki Moran, indicating your discipline and your preference for a 15 minute talk, a 30 minute workshop or a 1 hour poster presentation. For further information, please contact Dr. Katie Overy or Karen Ludke or see the conference website: www.music.ed.ac.uk/Research/imhsd/DanceConference2008

Sounding Science Fiction

Call For Papers: New Edited Collection
Closing Date: July 1st 2008

Sounding Science Fiction will be an edited collection that examines the way that sound, in all its aesthetic and technological forms, is deployed to audio-sense a science fiction encounter, world, or universe. The collection will be concerned with sound design and sound signification, and with affect and feeling, so that questions of form, style, narrative, authorship, production, subjectivity, and embodiment, will all work their way into the book. Science fiction film and television, live cinema, music video, computer games, advertising, weblogs, digital art, mixed media installations, radio, and music, are all potential sites of investigation and analysis.

The questions that energise this call for papers centre on:

  • How does one sound science fiction?
  • How do the sounds of science fiction affect/move/interpolate audiences?
  • What semiotic, ideological, spatial, phenomenological, psychoanalytical relations are in play when one sounds science fiction?
  • What is the relationship between science fiction sound and image, or sound and space, or sound and exhibition context?
  • When one hears (but does not see) science fiction, what images are brought to the mind, what feelings of the ‘future’ are created?

Essays could take any number of approaches to the topic, but could include:

  • Otherworldly sounds
  • Hearing the uncanny
  • Sound as prophecy and enlightenment
  • Alien sounds and otherness (sex, race, gender, class)
  • Sound design (and full future world immersion)
  • Sound effects/affect
  • Composition/composers
  • Sounding future weapons/warfare/cities/movement/travel/invasions/space
  • Sounding Global (catastrophe)
  • The interiority of science fiction sound (existential sound)
  • Sound as trauma, loss, dystopia
  • Sounding science fiction paranoia
  • The carnality of science fiction sound
  • Posthuman sound
  • Sounding cyborg
  • Contrapuntal music and the science fiction image/artefact
  • Sounding scientific/rationalist (in dialogue, speech, voice-over)
  • Live science fiction sound
  • The sound image
  • The ‘moment’ of sound (close textual analysis of a key sequence)
  • Authoring science fiction sound: key auteurs of sound design Cultish science fiction sound

Sounding Science Fiction’s multi-disciplinary and multi-site focus will build on the work done in single case studies such as William Whittington’s Sound Design and Science Fiction (2007), and on edited collections such as Philip Hayward’s Off The Planet: Music, Sound And Science Fiction Cinema (2004), which take film/cinema as their central/sole text.

Proposals of approximately 500 words can be sent electronically, preferably as a word attachment, to:

Sean Redmond
Senior Lecturer in Film Studies,
Victoria University of Wellington,
New Zealand
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Cultural Politics 4 (1), March 2008

The latest issue of Cultural Politics has just been published:

The Voice of the People? Musicians as Political Actors
Seth Hague, John Street, and Heather Savigny on Bob Geldof, Live 8 and the legacies of Rock Against Racism

Making Space: Image-Events in an Extreme State
Johanna Drucker asks whether in our image-saturated culture works of imaginative art can have any impact?

Enjoying Neoliberalism
Jodi Dean on Slavoj Zizek, ideology, and the global formations of the neoliberal order

‘Wikivism’: From Communicative Capitalism to Organized Networks
Paul Stacey on the cultures of networked technologies, Wikis, and postrepresentative politics

Field Report
Can a Place Think? On Adam Sharr’s Heidegger’s Hut
Timothy Clark on Heidegger’s work hut at Todtnauberg, contemporary thought, and the ‘earth’

Book Review Essay
Academics Behaving Badly
Ian Gordon on intellectuals, their duties, and their engagements in Eric Lott’s The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual and Stefan Collini’s Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain

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Cultural Politics, Volume 4, Number 1, March 2008

Multiculturalisms and art research

School of Arts, University of Turku, Finland
August 29-30, 2008

Call for Papers

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Anne-Marie Fortier, Lancaster University
Jocelyne Guilbault, University of California, Berkeley
David Leiwei Li, University of Oregon
Maria Roth-Lauret, Sussex University

Possible paper topics for 20-minute presentations might include but are not limited to the following:

  • representations of multiculturalisms
  • multiculturalisms in the arts
  • multiculturalisms and the media
  • gender and multiculturalisms
  • multiculturalisms in the Nordic countries

Abstracts of no more than 250 words in English should be received by Conference Secretary Outi Hakola (outi.hakola@utu.fi) by May 15, 2008. Messages of acceptance will be sent by the end of May 2008.

The conference is organized by the School of Arts (Art History, Comparative Literature, Finnish Literature, Media Studies, Musicology and Women’s Studies) and the International Institute for the Study of Popular Culture at the University of Turku in Turku, Finland.

Beyond the Dance

Study Day on the subject of Electronic Dance Music

Keele University
22 May 2008

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Hillegonda Rietveld (London South Bank University)
  • Dr Rupert Till (University of Huddersfield)

Research students from the UK and abroad are invited to submit proposals for papers and compositions related to Electronic Dance Music/Electronica.

Calls are also to be found on the Study Day website

If you have any questions regarding the Calls or the Study Day, please contact Rupert Till

Musicology in the contemporary societies

Meeting for students in musicology and young musicologists
ESMUC, Barcelona, 8-10 May 2008

The students in musicology of the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC) organize a meeting for students and young musicologists, in the School. The aim is to share questions and interests about our discipline and to create a web of communication that allows for the collaboration and interchange between us. Among other things we will discuss subjects like musicologists’ labor market and current curriculums of the discipline.

You will find more information in the School’s website. If you have any doubt contact info.jornades@esmuc.net.

Bad Vibes

The hunt for the worst sound in the world

Fingernails scraping down a blackboard… the scream of a baby… your neighbour’s dog barking: what is the worst sound in the world? This is what this website has been trying to find out:
Vote for the worst sound

Acoustic science is concerned with the production, transmission, manipulation and reception of sound, from unwanted traffic noise to beautiful music. Acoustics is about both the physical properties of sound waves and the reaction of humans. This website is interested in the often complex ways in which people perceive and interpret sounds. The aim is to increase awareness of sound psychology by examining what makes a sound unpleasant to hear. Your votes on the site will also give us an insight into what is the worst sound in the world, and maybe why it is the worst sound.

The project is being led by Prof. Trevor Cox of Salford University’s Acoustic Research Centre.