Sound / Music / Decoloniality: A Research Colloquium

Maynooth University Arts & Humanities Institute

24-25 March 2020

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Rachel Harris (SOAS)

Dr Thomas Irvine (Southampton)

It is well understood that sound and music operate as media of governance in various historical and contemporary colonial matrices of power. As such, they have been central not only to processes of territorial colonization, but also to cognitive and behavioural colonization. Indeed, efforts to displace or ‘write over’ other soundscapes and to delegitimize and render mute other forms of knowledge production, other aural/musical epistemes, are integral to colonial and imperial processes of epistemicide.

How are colonial epistemes silently perpetuated in the academy and in everyday assumptions about what it means to research and teach, and what might the decolonization of thought mean in the context of sound/music studies and in musicological disciplines which have been fundamentally shaped by west/east, global north/global south, and universal/indigenous binaries? What kinds of dialogue might be pursued between ethnomusicology, historical and urban musicology, sound studies, popular music studies, sound mapping, and archival studies which meaningfully address increasing calls for the decolonization of the academic study of music?

Proposals for papers (20 mins) and panel discussions are invited which reflect upon the decolonial turn in music studies. Presentations might reflect on decolonial theory and popular music studies, sound/music in processes of decolonization, dialogical knowledge-exchange in the context of asymmetrical power relations and the interaction of colonial and decolonial aural / musical epistemes, public and private soundscapes, and how technologies may have created decolonial virtual soundscapes for the expression / enactment of delegitimized or ‘illegal’ identities.

Please note: as this is a single-session colloquium, space is limited. Please send an expression of interest by 20 December to the convener, Dr Shane McMahon, at shane.mcmahon -at- mu.ie