CFP: Music in Global Epidemics, Virtual, 10-11 March 2023

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Sep 20, 2022, 9:01:24 AM9/20/22
As the third anniversary of the COVID-19 global pandemic approaches, we invite proposals for a virtual symposium on music and global epidemics, to be held on March 10-11, 2023. We invite proposals of up to 200 words for 20-minute papers. The deadline for proposals is November 30, 2022.

It has been more than two years now since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The world has since witnessed multiple turns in the progression of the virus in terms of deaths, containment, prevention, and treatment. At the same time, the ensuing political, sociocultural, and economic fallouts have continued to inform our current experience of the disease that has now arguably become endemic. As we have seen, the pandemic has been, on one hand, highly disruptive to musical production. On the other, it has generated creative musical activities and responses, harnessing technologies both old and new.

This symposium is meant to bring together scholars from around the world who study music from multi-disciplinary perspectives—including historical musicology, ethnomusicology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, neuroscience, religion, theatre, dance studies, and more—to reflect on the nature of musical activity in times of medical crisis, through the prism of our recent experiences. Papers may pertain to any epidemic, current or historical, from around the world.

Issue that may be examined include, but are not limited to:
• extraordinary soundscapes of epidemics
• music and healing
• music as communication and historical records of epidemics
• musical or sound-based rituals during epidemics
• the impact of epidemics on musical creativity
• the technologies and techniques of musical production
Participants may seek to answer methodological and/or meta questions such as:
• Can musical activities of the past illuminate our experiences of COVID, and vice versa?
• What are the commonalities and differences in how different cultures respond to epidemics via music?
• Do different kinds of diseases generate or necessitate different kinds of musical responses?
• Do epidemics have lasting impacts on music and music-making once the periods of liminality are over?

Please send your 200-word abstract by 30 November 2022 to:
Austin Okigbo (Austin.Okigbo -at- ) and Remi Chiu (rchiu -at-

NOTE: Accepted presenters may be asked to submit a short essay of up to 8000 words for an edited volume by the end of June 2023. 
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