Music, Mediation, and Disability: Representation and Access

21–22 November 2020
Proposals due 31 August 2020 

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of the centrality of mediation—the
representation and communication of images and sounds via technology—at the
intersections of music and disability. Whether at work behind new
technologies of access in a time of crisis or portraying people with
disabilities on screen, mediation plays a critical role in the social
construction of disability. The current pandemic-driven mediation of music
on digitized platforms draws increased attention to access, as demarcations
between public and private musical experience are navigated and/or redrawn.

This renewed focus on mediating modes of musical experience resonates with
ongoing scholarly conversations about liveness in performance, space and
sonic environments, and qualities of aurality, especially in relation to
audiences with diverse perceptual capacities and dis/abilities. It thus
raises questions about how mediation shapes musical performance creation
and reception, about the effects of live and digitized sonic practices on
embodiment, and about the role of new technologies in shaping our social

With these concerns in mind, we invite a range of proposals for the online
symposium “Music, Mediation, and Disability: Representation and Access.”
The symposium will feature keynote presentations from Joy Elan and Xuan
Thuy Nguyen. Elan is an award-winning author and spoken word artist, who
uses her writing to advocate for civil rights for Blacks/people of color,
women, and people with disabilities. Nguyen is an Assistant Professor at
Carleton University, whose research focuses on women, children, and
disability in the Global South. The organizing committee is committed to
ensuring accessibility and inclusivity in our symposium programming, and
therefore we welcome submissions in multiple formats. Selected
contributions will be considered for inclusion in an edited volume. Please
submit proposals by 31 August 2020 by visiting our website at .

Hosted and sponsored by Carleton University, the symposium is a joint
initiative of the AMS Music and Disability Study Group, the SMT Interest
Group on Music and Disability, and the SEM Disability and Deaf Studies
Special Interest Group.


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