CFP: Hatred and/of Music

What might it mean to hate music, or for music to be a site of hatred? What
is hate, such that it can affect, or be affected by, music?

The Music and Philosophy Study Group invites submissions for fifteen-minute
papers on the topic of “Hatred and/of Music.” Longstanding traditions of
musical thought and practice have associated music with feelings and
affects. But what is the place of hate among these feelings, and how has
music’s relationship with hatred been theorized historically? To what
extent has our ethical aversion towards hatred in society produced a bias
against a better understanding of how music can be linked to hatred? In
recent years, many humanities disciplines have raised productive critiques
of their objects of study framed in terms of hatred, or related feelings of
disgust, contempt and anger. These critiques can take on added significance
within music studies in light of recent challenges to the disciplinary
habits that have limited or defined the field’s proper object of study.

If scholarship sometimes uses powerful language to perform a kind of love
for the music it studies, can this kind of love bring with it the risk of
subsuming any sounding practice under the label of “music,” thus
reproducing forms of sonic colonization via claims of emotional or
intellectual ownership? And if there is a risk to this love, what might be
the place of hate in the delineation of disciplinary objects? Attempts to
discipline music’s elastic borders can also join up with affective
responses to music that are rarely discussed, as when listening to
particular music leads to feelings of genuine disgust or hatred—or feeling
nothing at all, as in musical anhedonia. Given that many musicologists
pride themselves on loving music, and given how that emotion can be
rewarded, celebrated, and considered reason enough to enter the discipline,
we ask panelists to reflect on potential hatred(s) towards music as
sounding practice and as disciplinary object.

Proposals should be of approximately 250 words; imaginative approaches to
the topic are encouraged. Please submit an anonymous PDF of your abstract
to mpsg2020.ams -at- Make sure to provide your name, the
proposed title of your talk and a brief bio of 50 words in your email. The
deadline for applications is March 12, 2020, 11:59pm PST. Applications by
independent scholars, underfunded scholars, and scholars of
underrepresented identities are especially encouraged.


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