Contested Frequencies: Sonic Representation in the Digital Age

Deadline: September 14th 2018, 5:00 pm EST.

Call for Papers: University of Richmond, Virginia

February 22-24 2019

Contested Frequencies is a part of a yearlong festival hosted by the University of Richmond Music Department, entitled Beyond Exoticism. The conference will extend the festival’s focus on issues of aesthetic decolonization, appropriation, borrowing, and influence within the context of contemporary music, broadly conceived. This multidisciplinary meeting will feature scholarly and creative contributions in the form of research presentations, performances, and new commissions. The larger festival intends to investigate expression across difference and to recognize the ethical ambiguity and aesthetic complexity this entails.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Guthrie Ramsey, Professor of Music, University of Pennsylvania

Confirmed Presenters

Dr. Dylan Robinson, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts, Queen's University

Dr. Michelle Habell-Pallán, Associate Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, University of Washington

Dr. Andrew McGraw, Associate Professor of Music, University of Richmond

Dr. Mary Caton Lingold, Assistant Professor of English, Virginia Commonwealth University

Proposed topics for the Contested Frequencies conference may include but are not limited to:

  • Decolonization in musicology, ethnomusicology, and performance studies
  • The aural/visual spectacle of otherness
  • Intersections of race and gender in exoticism and orientalism
  • Sonic representation of race and gender in digital media
  • Sonic representation of race and gender in contemporary opera
  • Self-othering and strategic (anti-) essentialism
  • Sonic representation of Indigeneity
  • Global representations of racial difference
  • Otherness, copyright, and ownership
  • Representation and economies of popular music
  • Ethics of influence and borrowing


We invite paper proposals for twenty-minute research presentations related to the conference themes. Please submit the title of your proposed paper, a 250-word abstract and contact details to: lfairtil -at- with the subject line “Contested Frequencies Abstract Submission.” Presentations should be a maximum of twenty-minutes in length. Successful applicants will be notified by Monday, October 1, 2018. Please see the conference and website for a full description.


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