CFP: Music Theory and Posthumanism
Meeting of the SMT Music and Philosophy Interest Group | Minneapolis, Nov. 2020
Deadline: June 15, 2020

It might be argued that music theory has always represented a “posthumanist” branch of the humanities. Contemporary music theory routinely reaches beyond conventionally humanistic modes of inquiry, not only toward analytical formalism, but also mathematics, statistics, and cognitive science. Among historical music theories, too, posthumanist attitudes might be recognized in research on acoustics and the anatomy of the ear, or in influences from Newtonian physics or Darwinian evolutionary theory.

For its Business Meeting at the 2020 Society of Music Theory conference in Minneapolis, MN (Nov. 5–10), the SMT Music and Philosophy Interest Group invites proposals for ten-minute lightning talks that will explore music theory’s past, present, or potential relationships with posthumanism, writ large. What might the category of posthumanism mean in relation to music theory, or what might it come to mean? Can distinctions between sciences and the humanities be interrogated in music theory, and if so, how?

Presenters might be inclined to focus on areas such as:
-Animal studies
-New materialism
-Object-oriented ontology
-Speculative realism

Present at the meeting will be Professor Holly Watkins (University of Rochester, author of 2018’s Musical Vitalities: Ventures in a Biotic Aesthetics of Music), who will give a short talk of her own.

We invite abstracts of no more than 500 words for ten-minute lighting talks. As the conference will include both the SMT and the AMS, both music-theoretical and musicological approaches are welcomed and encouraged. Please send abstracts as Word documents to cannonbrown -at- by June 15, 2020, with the subject heading “2020 SMTPIG Abstract.” Accepted speakers will be notified by June 30, 2020.

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