cfp: Music and Racism in Europe 21.-22.10.2021

Call for papers: Music and Racism in Europe

Online Symposium, 21—22 October 2021

Race is among the most significant social categories that informs and organises understandings of music. Although there is an abundance of music research that deals with BIPOC minorities and, at least implicitly, also with race, few studies explicitly address how processes of for example racialisation, essentialisation,appropriation and exclusion in music and music research can effectively be categorised as racist. However, recently there has been an increasing interest also in the issue of racism in the field of music and music scholarship and this international online symposium seeks to bring together researchers across disciplines to discussmusic and racism particularly as it relates to Europe.

In emphasising racism, rather than the notion of race, we want to encourage scholars to address the real-world consequences of the articulations of race in music and music scholarship. As we do not wish to merely contribute to narratives of victimization, we seek primarily research that identifies institutional and structural forms of oppression and discrimination. Furthermore, acknowledging scholarship as an active part of civil society, we also seek real-world approaches to dismantling racist structures. As such, the symposium will also include a panel discussion organised in collaboration with Music Finland with participants that represent different aspects of the music industries. The panel will be moderated by Professor Anthony Kwame Harrison.

We welcome papers from scholars in any field of research and we also invite presentations in other than traditional academic paper form by practitioners in any style of music who want to contribute to this discussion. Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following:

– Industry structures that exclude and discriminate BIPOC people, such as mechanisms of chart compilation or myths of neutrality and meritocracy

– White normativity, whiteness as a power and white Eurocentric epistemologies in discourses around music

– Different forms of denial and exceptionalist discourses around racism in music

– The conflation of issues of race with migration in relation to music

– Critiques of white rock centrism in discourses (scholarly or otherwise) of popular music history

– Challenges and successes in antiracist strategies and activism in music

– Challenges involving the (in)ability to collect data about race and ethnicity

– Critiques of multiculturalism and colorblindness in music diversity work

– Appropriation of BIPOC music cultures

– Discourses and representations of exoticism

– Criminalizing discourses and representations of BIPOC music and music cultures

Keynote speakers

Kira Thurman, University of Michigan

Luis-Manuel Garcia, University of Birmingham


Please send an abstract of max 250 words without references and a biography of 50 word plus contact details all in same word or pdf file to

Deadline for paper submissions 4 June 2021.

Registration and fees

Registration will be open from June until September 2021. Details about payment methods will be sent out to registered participants.

Fee for waged participants 35 EUR

Fee for unwaged participants 15 EUR


The symposium is organised by Research Association Suoni and the Kone Foundation funded research project ”Music researchers in society: Advancing social justice through activist music research” in collaboration with CEMFOR — Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism at Uppsala University, IASPM-Norden (International Association for the Study of Popular Music) and Music Finland.

Symposium coordinators: Kim Ramstedt (Suoni) and Jasmine Kelekay (CEMFOR)

Contact: kim.ramstedt[at]

More information: