"Through the Looking Glass": 41st Musicological Society of Australia Conference Call for Papers

Conference dates: 6-9 December 2018
Call for papers deadline: 19 April 2018
Event Location: Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University, Perth. Western Australia
Website: MSA website

The function of art has been considered a kind of mirroring, wherein art reflects the world (imitation for Aristotle; and a mirror revealing the world's virtues and flaws for Donatus, Cicero, and Hamlet). But like the various types of glass, music (or musicology) can reflect, colour, or distort meaning in a variety of ways. As suggested by the author of Corinthians, our perception can be clouded, such that we see as through a glass darkly. And sometimes, like Alice's fantastical wonderland, music not only holds up a mirror to society, but reveals something magical.

In what ways can music embed a deeper meaning hidden below the mirrored surface? To what extent do musicological paradigms reveal or distort our perceptions of music and its significations? Topics related to this theme might include:

  • Music reflecting lived experience
  • Music reflecting and/or subverting contemporaneous culture/s or politics
  • Explorations of subjectivities and potential distortions inherent within musicological or analytical paradigms
  • Investigations of the conjectural nature of musicological knowledge (from HIP studies, to artistic research in music, or other specialised areas)
  • Post-modern deconstructions or 'readings' of musical works
  • Considerations of the mysterious nature of music's power or its social functions, including ethnomusicological studies
  • The darkness of colonial histories
  • Eco-musicology, music mirroring nature (or vice versa).