CFP (conf): Music: Parts and Labor


The Department of Music at New York University is seeking submissions for the inaugural graduate student conference, Music: Parts and Labor.

The constitution of a musical work is a topic of much historical debate in musicological, philosophical, and legal discourses. Music: Parts and Labor is an interdisciplinary conference that aims to interrogate what is at stake in challenging or maintaining certain conceptualizations of the musical work by dismantling it, examining the parts (e.g. intellectual, material) and labor (e.g. intellectual, material) constitutive of its being. We ask how thinking through the labor of the musical work itself, as a part of larger corporeal, cultural, and economic systems provides unique insight into these often intertwined networks and, in turn, music’s efficacy and functionality. Scholars working within the Western Marxist tradition have broadened the associations of labor as well as the labor theory of value from their initial associations with the working class, thereby allowing them to span across age, race, gender, and class lines. We encourage dialogue on both the applicability of these concepts in global scope and local scale, and also explorations of alternative models that address similar generative and organizational mechanisms and spaces. We warmly invite scholars from across all disciplines to submit abstracts that consider how investigating the parts and labor of the musical work, and the musical work as parts and labor, allows us to understand these contested objects as dynamic and vital to the contested spaces of personal lives and global economies that define and are defined by them.

Possible topics to consider:

* Practices of musical inscription: notational, phonographic,
pedagogical, discursive
* Forms of embodiment: practice, rehearsal, performance
* Structures of and structured listening
* Economies of affect, emotion, and desire
* Economies of production: producers, promoters, publicists
* Analyses of musical places
* Music and labor movements
* Immaterial labor and the emerging creative industries
* Codification of ?music? in the field

The conference will be held on April 27-28, 2012. We are pleased to announce Professor Elisabeth Le Guin (UCLA) as the keynote speaker. Additionally, there will be seminars and a roundtable discussion led by distinguished faculty from NYU and New York area universities. For further information, please visit the conference website:

Submissions should be e-mailed to Jessica Schwartz (jessica.a.schwartz at no later than January 15, 2012. Please attach the following two documents (.doc or .pdf form):
1) A 250-word abstract with the title of the paper. The abstract itself should be anonymous.
2) A cover letter that should include your name, the title of your paper, your affiliation, contact information (e-mail and phone), and brief bio of no more than 200 words.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

The MPL Organizing Committee


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