Locating the “Avant-Garde”:

(Post)Modern Music at the Boundaries in the 20th & 21st Centuries

Conference Dates: April 14-15, 21-22, 28-29, 2018

Deadline for Proposals: Friday, December 1, 2017.

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, the term “avant-garde” has been used to describe myriad artists, genres, styles, and compositions, demonstrating that this term has had wide-ranging and yet socio-culturally specific significance. One of the goals of the recently founded Musical Avant-Gardes Project (MAG Project) is to interrogate what it means to be “avant-garde” as well as what performing the “avant-garde” means, has meant, and might continue to mean for those involved in musical histories and performances of avant-gardism throughout the world. To this end, the MAG Project is holding its first web-based conference. Through a combination of live-streamed musical and sonic events, as well as talks and interactive panel sessions involving sound artists, composers, music scholars, historians, teachers, and performers, this conference brings together those working on or practicing avant-gardism in all of its various contexts and forms to address the multivalence of “avant-garde,” while encouraging dialogue across disciplinary and geographical boundaries.

Possible topics include:
  • Teaching, composing, practicing and performing avant-garde music
  • Limitations of “avant-garde” as a category of analysis
  • Histories of avant-garde music
  • Avant-gardism and globalisation
  • Avant-gardism in popular music and/or media
  • Avant-garde music and cultural and/or critical theory
  • Avant-gardism and sound studies
  • Avant-garde music and canon
  • Avant-garde music archives
  • Avant-gardism as revolutionary praxis
  • Technology and avant-garde music

Please send 150-word presenter biographies and 300-word proposals for papers or presentations (20 minutes); panels and/or round tables (60 or 90 minutes); and performances (15, 30, or 60 minutes), that address the question of what it means or has meant to be “avant garde to and to musicalavantgardesproject@gmail.com. Although in the future we will accommodate presentations in multiple languages, for this conference we are accepting presentations in English. Please submit your proposals as .doc or .pdf files as follows: Last Name.First Name.Project Title.Type of Event. Be sure to include your preferred format (i.e. length of time) in your proposal.

Please direct questions to the above address, or contact Jill Rogers at jillian.rogers@ucc.ie or Matt Friedman at m.w.friedman@gmail.com.