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The historical variation in the keyboard’s many interfaces—ranging across the organ, clavichord, harpsichord, carillon, piano, and their electronic descendants—offers multiple pathways to explore the unsung stories of historically marginalized figures. The Westfield Center, in partnership with the Cornell Center for Historical Keyboards, the Sphinx Organization, and the University of Michigan, is convening an in-person and online dialogue among keyboard scholars, performers, and instrument makers to expand and redefine the history of what it means to #LookLikeAKeyboardist.

We seek papers, recitals, and lecture-demonstrations that illuminate keyboard stories of womxn, African Americans, Latinos/as, Jews, Muslims, Arabs, indigenous people, queers, and other groups historically excluded from institutional recognition. We also encourage arts leaders, scholars, and instrument makers to document and explore the ways they have sought to make keyboard studies and historical keyboard performances more diverse and inclusive. Finally, we invite approaches that draw on global music history and postcolonial studies to question the category of “historical keyboards” within a global context.

Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to, the following areas (and the umbrella term “keyboardists” here refers to performers, composers, builders, and scholars):

1) Historical or contemporary keyboardists or composers for keyboard whose work has been marginalized;
2) Keyboard instruments played, built, or commissioned by marginalized individuals;
3) Keyboard-related ideologies of class, race, gender, and sexuality;
4) The (re)definition of “historical keyboards” in global contexts;
5) Effective strategies to address the underrepresentation of marginalized groups in keyboard performance, history, and building;
6) Barriers to the entry or advancement of minorities and womxn in keyboard professions

We welcome all submissions, especially from students and early-career performers and scholars. Available instruments will include a Silbermann-influenced Fisk organ, multiple harpsichords, Steinway grand pianos, a 60-bell Eijsbouts carillon and a 53-bell Taylor carillon, a late 1790s Walter-style McNulty fortepiano, and an 1866 Erard piano. We also welcome proposals for virtual presentations.

Submit abstracts of ca. 300 words, describing a 25-minute paper, recital, or lecture-demonstration, to diversity-belonging -at- umich.edu. For more information: https://wp.me/p7VjVq-aM
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