Deadline extended to: 12 November 2020
Conference dates: 1-2 July 2021 
Hosted by the Department of Music, King’s College London, UK

Themed Session Convener: Edwin Li, Harvard University

‘Philosophy must go global’, said philosopher Jonardon Ganeri in 2016,
writing against the background of an increasingly polycentric philosophical
industry, the internationalization of students and institutions, and
diversity in philosophical articulations and epistemic stances. This
statement should not strike music scholars as surprising: in Anglo-American
music departments, too, discussing the global has become a social and
ethical imperative that encompasses defamiliarizing the Western musical
canon, provincializing European perspectives, and tracing transnational
musical flows. Yet ‘global imperatives’ for music and philosophy seem to be
under-discussed. Such imperatives might be interpreted in three ways: 1)
working towards a global, universalizing philosophy of music that stands
above particular traditions, as in Mark Hijleh’s (2012) recent work on a
global music theory; 2) creating what Jesse Fleming (2003) has called a
‘philosophy of comparison’ that stimulates dialogue and reciprocity between
global philosophies of music, as other scholars in the field of Comparative
Philosophy have also been doing (Bo Mou (2010), Michael Levin (2016),
Chakrabarti and Weber (2016); or 3) delving into the history of
philosophies of music and global exchanges between them, as explored for
global music history in Lester Hu’s (2019) and Daniel Walden’s (2019)
dissertations. As well as approaching such broad methodological questions,
this session aims to examine the range of experiences and ideological
assumptions involved in responding to global music-philosophical
imperatives. When and how might these carry neo-imperialist connotations,
sliding towards a pan-assimilationism by which the West expands its
intellectual governance? Can and must we talk about our own experience in
pursuing this endeavor as (post-)colonial subjects, and how do we negotiate
global power imbalances as we do so? If ‘music’ is not even a consistent
object across global cultures, how can we construe it for the purposes of a
global music philosophy?

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to Edwin Li, edwin_li -at-, by 12th November 2020.


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