Musical Screens: Musical Inventions, Digital Transitions, Cultural Critique

Call for articles
Special Issue of Music, Sound, and the Moving Image
Musical Screens: Musical Inventions, Digital Transitions, Cultural Critique
Special Issue Editor: James Tobias, Associate Professor, UC Riverside

This special issue of Music, Sound, and the Moving Image will be dedicated to position papers analyzing “Musical Screens” in transmedia contexts. We seek contributions that will attempt to stake out the crucial histories, contemporary practices, and methodological innovations for understanding musicality across digital screen cultures, and amidst ongoing digital media transitions.

Contemporary transmedia production and reception practices make clear the ways in which networked platforms (including mobile devices) expand modalities of production, distribution, and reception for media commodities. At the same time, digital transitions have made patently clear the value of musical meanings, values, and effects as cinema, television, and radio industries have incorporated online distribution, amp up digital rights and licensing strategies, and invest in social media. Musical invention and digital transitions are firmly entangled across globalizing mediascapes, presenting new challenges for cultural critiques of subjectivity, affect, sociality, and cultural and subcultural form. Finally, advances in computation continue to enable new possibilities and new affordances for visualization and sonification that are especially relevant to studies of musicality across media.

In these contexts, historical uses of musical or sonic instrumentality for affective transformations, whether positive (as in “music therapy”) or destructive (i.e. in theaters of war or in interrogation practices) make clear a broader set of problems around ethical uses of musical media and media effects more generally.

This special issue of Music, Sound, and the Moving Image dedicated to musical invention, digital transitions, and cultural critique thus calls for both position papers that will stake out the key range of relevant methods and concerns for the analysis of music and musicality in digital screen cultures as well as of the histories and ethical potentials relevant to them.

We are especially interested in transdisciplinary approaches which might mobilize affect theory, new theories of labor and media, ethics, studies of gender and sexuality including or beyond queer theory, critical race and ethnicity theories, post-colonial or de-colonial theories, etc., along with film or video music studies, production and reception studies, etc.

Send 300-word proposals for papers by no later than 1 May 2014 to: james.tobias[AT]

Topics for position papers may include but need not be limited to:

1. Industrial or hyperindustrial transformations and musical media commodities
2. Musicals and musicality in digital cinemas or digital music video
3. Music and the animated image
4. Ludomusicologies; musicality and musical meaning in digital gaming
5. Technologies of sound, listening or the voice and the digital screen
6. Interaction design, musical authoring, graphical musical interfaces
7. Cross-media, cross-cultural, or cross-sensory mappings of musical sound and image in screen technocultures
8. Visualization and/or sonification
9. Computation, code, and the musical screen
10. Science, music, and screen cultures
11. Music, labor, intellectual property, and value in screen cultures
12. Material transformations, musical sociality, and media ethics
13. Musical ethics and media ethics
14. Music, history, and the media archive
15. Affect, corporeality, and musical effects in screen cultures
16. Mobility and musicality
17. Music and media temporalities or chronotopes
18. Intersections with gender, critical race and ethnicity, sexuality, disability, post-colonial/de-colonial,post-psychoanalytic or post-phenomenological studies

Deadline for 300-word proposals: 1 May 2014
Deadline for full papers: 1 November 2014
Publication date: 2015

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