CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Opera and/as Activism, Dept of Music, University of
York (UK), 12 June 2020

Where opera scholarship has dealt with political issues and cultural
critique, it has tended to do so at a temporal distance, thereby insulating
itself from the messiness and volatility of the present. Opera practice, on
the other hand, has in recent years shown a willingness to engage directly
with movements for social justice, broadening inclusion and ameliorating
inequalities. With increasing pressure to demonstrate relevance and impact,
scholarship and practice are beginning to cooperate on an intersectoral
basis, creating an impetus for opera scholarship to engage more boldly with
the political here and now.

The Department of Music at the University of York invites papers, position
papers, and provocations on the topic of opera and/as activism understood
broadly. We are delighted to welcome Professor Naomi André, from the Dept
of Afroamerican and African Studies and Dept of Women's Studies at the
University of Michigan, as keynote speaker. Naomi is inaugural
Scholar-in-Residence at Seattle Opera, where her role ‘involves a series of
free, public community conversations that invite audiences to question
problematic social themes and portrayals of marginalized communities in
opera while appreciating the artistic elements that continue to hold up’
(Gemma Alexander, Seattle Times, 12 February 2020).

We welcome panel and individual proposals for 15-minute contributions from
diverse disciplinary backgrounds, and particularly encourage contributions
from opera practitioners and companies. Please send abstracts of up to 200
words as an attachment in Microsoft Word (not containing the author or
author’s name) to rachel.cowgill -at- by 13 March 2020.
Proposers will be contacted by 20 March 2020.

This conference is hosted under the Northern Opera Research Network (NORN),
and we encourage delegates to consider combining it with attending the
conference entitled ‘“Don't mention the C Word”: Re-assessing the Meaning
and Impact of Censorship in Opera', University of Leeds, 11 June 2020 – see
separate CFP.

There will be no registration fee for the conference. Accommodation can be
booked on campus at delegates’ own expense: 

Travel information – 

Rachel Cowgill Áine Sheil
Music, University of York


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