Music and trauma

I am writing to invite contributions to a collection of essays on music in relation to trauma. Essays in the collection will relate aspects of trauma to aspects of music in a range of ways. Trauma may be understood as individual or collective/social; as the result of particular traumatic events or as the “insidious trauma” of sustained negative experiences, e. g. of racism or sexism etc. Any musics – popular, vernacular, concert, ritual, etc. – may figure in these essays. Essays may be case studies, or more general or theoretical treatments. The collection will represent a range of disciplines within music scholarship, and will draw on various non-musical disciplines within which trauma has been discussed, including psychiatry, psychoanalysis, literary studies, historiography, etc.

Contributions already agreed upon deal with childhood sexual abuse, childhood experiences of war, spousal abuse, responses to the Holocaust, and responses to AIDS; authors come from primary backgrounds in musicology, music therapy, ethnomusicology, and composition. I hope this call for proposals will yield further expansion of topics and approaches; additional treatments of topics already represented will also be welcome. Essays will be around 8000 words in length, though some variety is possible. Here is the anticipated schedule:
1. submission of proposals for essays by September 23, 2007; my decisions shortly thereafter;
2. my preparation of a prospectus for submission to press, October 2007; formal abstracts, author bios, and other supporting materials due to me by October 7 if possible;
3. completed essays due to me in May 2008;
4. my editing of essays and submission to press by September 2008.

Please send, by September 23, a description of work that you wish to contribute, to me as the collection editor: Fred E. Maus, University of Virginia, at A description along the lines of an abstract would be helpful, as would any draft material (such as the text of a conference presentation) that you can supply.

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