Music, Gender & Difference

Call for papers
Music, Gender & Difference: Intersectional and postcolonial perspectives on musical fields
10-12 October 2013
University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria

Feminist research on music has revealed the gender-specific conditions for the production, distribution, assessment, appropriation and experience of music, and has explored the participation and representation of women in various music genres. However, far less attention has been paid to the construction of exoticism, the processes of “othering” and the production and circulation of representations of difference.

This conference addresses the relevance of gender and gender constructions in the field of music in local and national contexts as well as on a global scale. Feminist, intersectional and postcolonial perspectives on classical music, experimental music, jazz and popular music in particular will be presented and discussed.

The conference welcomes theoretical approaches and empirical studies that explore the meaning of gender, sexuality and the body as well as race, ethnicity and class in the field of music, and analyse how essentialist notions of gender, race and ethnicity are challenged or reproduced in the context of global transformations.

Abstracts are invited on the following topics:

Music and labour markets
· Educational and occupational careers of musicians, music journalists, music teachers, etc.
· Importance of local, translocal and virtual networks
· Musicians’ recognition practices and musical assessment criteria
· Horizontal and vertical mechanisms of segregation in music labour markets
· Identity construction at the intersection of gender, ethnicity and nationality

Representations in song lyrics, media and organisations
· Historical and contemporary representations of all-women orchestras and bands
· Queer practices dissolving the boundaries between masculinity and femininity
· Representations of hybrid identities and ethnic-musical diversity
· Sexualisation and pornographisation of musicians
· Racism, homophobia and transphobia in song lyrics, music videos and music magazines
· Construction of musician’s biographies and careers in magazines and books

Youth cultures and popular music
· Music and (post-)migration in the context of multicultural living environments
· Music scenes as spaces for queer and anti-racist politics
· Post, Pop and Third Wave Feminism in music-oriented youth cultures
· Music-oriented youth cultures, age and gender
· Musical-cultural heritage, gender and ethnicity

Musicians are welcomed to present and comment on documentary material, films, videos, etc. relevant to the conference topics within the usual presentation time (max. 20 minutes).

Abstracts in German or English of no more than 300 words should be sent by email to Rosa Reitsamer ( no later than 31 January 2013. Responses will be sent by mid-March 2013.

Conference fee
50 Euros / 30 Euros for students, musicians and artists. The conference fee covers the opening evening with concerts and refreshments, coffee breaks during the conference and the book of abstracts.

Call for papers in English

Call for papers in German

The conference is organised by the Department of Music Sociology at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria, in cooperation with:

The Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section of the Austrian Society of Sociology

The Women and Gender Studies Section of the German Society of Sociology

The Gender Studies Committee of the Swiss Society of Sociology