International Graduate Student Conference

Identities - An interdisciplinary approach

MIAM, Centre for Advanced Studies in Music, of the Istanbul Technical University will be hosting an international graduate students conference in Istanbul, Turkey from 23 to 25 October 2014 under the auspices of the International Musicological Society. The title of the conference will be "Identities - An Interdisciplinary Approach" . The keynote speech will be given by Professor Dinko Fabris, president of the International Musicological Society.


For the last several decades, the ever-evolving concept of identity has been a central issue for researchers from the many disciplines who examine musical phenomena. Whereas we had once associated identity mainly with religious, ethnic, or national groups, it has recently become a scholarly commonplace that identity functions as a conceptual tool on many levels of human experience, from the individual to the mass societies of nation-states and everything in between. Taking as a starting point the well-worn postulate that music can be a means to manifest identity, construed broadly, we invite proposals that take this subject into fresh territory from any of the music disciplines, including musicology, ethnomusicology, historical musicology, systematic musicology, cognitive musicology, empirical musicology, and music theory, as well as from researchers in other fields for whom musical phenomena are a substantial element (philosophy, sociology, anthropology, history, critical theory, gender studies, psychology, economics, and many others). We are particularly interested in proposals that question some of the long-standing assumptions and central texts in this line of research. For example, while identities are often delineated in isolation or in antagonistic opposition to other identities, perhaps several identity groups existing in the same society could be considered in an agonistic relationship. Similarly, one could call into question the hard boundaries that the discourses of identity politics consistently claim as a rhetorical strategy, but likely do not capture what are in reality more fluid and unstable boundaries between cohering groups. We also welcome papers that explore the epistemology and ontology of the concept of identity itself. In the wake of advances in social and neurosciences since Benjamin’s “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” or Bateson’s cybernetics of the self, for example, we may freshly ask, What is a thing [i.e. the self, a group, a music, the object, the process, relationship, etc.] with which one identifies?

The following topics might be addressed, although they are by no means an exhaustive list of the approaches to the intersection of music and identity:

- Identity during political change and its connection with music
-The role of musical identity in the everyday lives of people who are dealing with rapid societal change
- Music as a manifestation of resistant worldviews of sub-cultures
-National identity and related musical expression
-Cultural identity of minority groups and subcultures within larger societies
-The musical identities of diverse genres from art, commercial, popular, and traditional musics
-The musical outcomes of reformations that have taken place within a particular identity group, as well as the way music can contribute to these reformations
- Music as construction of individual identity and the play between individual and group identity enacted through musical experience
- The relationship of specific elements of a certain identity and musical style
- Processes of identity creation and manifestation that occur through music investigated as they might function at the level of the individual mind (this could include psychological, cognitive, or micro-sociological methodologies)

Please send your proposals for 20-minute papers to the following email address:

Your proposals should include:
- name of participant(s) and institutional affiliation
- abstract (ca. 300 words, in doc. or docx. form)
- short CV (ca. 150 words)

15 March 2014

There will be no fee to attend this conference but we are not in the position to cover any expenses

English and Turkish (with simultaneous translation)

Identities 2014 Call For Papers PDF