New Approaches to Music, Identity, and the British Empire from the Early Modern Era to Brexit
North American British Music Studies Symposium
August 9 and 11, 2021 on Zoom
Over the past few decades, the academy has seen a growing interest in the history and legacy of colonialism. The British Empire has been explored from a post-colonial perspective in fields including history, sociology, English literature, and performance studies. Critical race theory, new historicism, and other methodological approaches have sought to center the voices of the oppressed and the colonized. This year’s symposium—the inaugural event in a planned series of online symposia to be held alternately with our biennial conference—brings these larger humanistic trends to bear on music, media, and sound studies. Activities include roundtable discussions on “Post-Post Colonialism” and the “Future of Empire Studies” and a performance and presentation by DJ Rekha.
Our project is timely, as politicians in Britain are once again using rhetoric of an idealized Empire to justify their nationalist and isolationist agendas. We invite proposals for papers, performances, short films, panels and other formats that explore:
- The role that sound played in the creation of colonial, imperial, settler-colonial, and post-colonial identities in all locations, including British Caribbean, Asia and Africa
- Studies of music (all genres) and sound practices by the colonized and racial/ethnic minorities in the UK
- Institutions that promoted British music abroad through its colonies, Empire and Commonwealth
- Music as propaganda for Empire/white Britishness/xenophobia, including the role of nostalgia in these discourses
- Music’s part in helping post-colonial societies come to terms with and make sense of the legacy of colonialism
- Research that engages with trauma studies, migration studies, and Indigenous studies
- Colonialism's impact on music pedagogy, past and present
- Other topics related to music, identity, and the British Empire
Submit 250-word abstracts for 20-minute papers and project proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 April 2021.
Symposium planning committee: Eric Hung, Amanda Eubanks Winkler, Imani Mosley, Kate Guthrie