cfp: “Instruments, Interfaces, Infrastructures: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Musical Media”


“Instruments, Interfaces, Infrastructures: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Musical Media”

Harvard University Department of Music, May 11-13, 2023

Deadline for submissions: Friday, January 13, 2023

We are pleased to announce a three-day conference bringing together researchers and artists from a variety of music-related disciplines for a dialogue on the interconnected themes of instruments, interfaces, and infrastructures.

As evidenced by the rise of “new” organologies, there is growing interest among music scholars in studying instruments as epistemologically loaded objects that encapsulate knowledge of sound and mediate sonic practices. Our conference aims to extend this work into the interdisciplinary zones of interface studies and infrastructure studies. Bridging these discourses, the conference will open space for imagining new theories, methodologies, and practices that scale between different layers of musical media, showing how bodies, tools, and techniques are entwined in a dynamic web of material-semiotic relations.

The conference will feature three keynote speakers—musicologist Emily Dolan, sound artist and media scholar Tara Rodgers, and music theorist Sumanth Gopinath—each responding to one of the main conference themes. There will also be creative workshops and performances featuring the 40-loudspeaker HYDRA system of the Harvard University Studio for Electroacoustic Composition, as well as faculty-artists from the Electronic Production and Design (EPD) program at Berklee College of Music. Finally, conference attendees will be offered guided tours of acoustical artifacts at Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, and researchers are invited to propose papers and panels focusing on these historical objects at hand.

The conference organizing committee welcomes proposals for individual papers, themed sessions, roundtables, workshops, and creative contributions. To foster an interdisciplinary space of collaboration, we encourage applications that respond to the conference themes from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives. We especially encourage proposals by scholars, artists, and activists working within and across BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented communities in the fields of music, media, and sound studies.

To apply, submit an abstract (350- word), short biography (150-word), and a list of five keywords describing your project. Optionally, you may also provide a select bibliography (1-page) and supplementary examples (1-2 pages), or in the case of creative proposals, a URL weblink to access audio/visual material (2-3 minutes).

The deadline for all proposals is at 11:59pm EST on Friday, January 13, 2023. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified in early February 2023. Email complete proposals to

Organizing Committee

Landon Morrison, lead organizer

Carolyn Abbate
Michèle Duguay
Toru Momii
Alexander Rehding

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