CFP: Mysticism, AMS 2019


CFP: Mysticism

The AMS Music and Philosophy Study Group will convene a panel at the 2019
AMS Annual Meeting on the subject of Mysticism. In a multitude of global
cultures, across vast spans of historical time, music has often been
central to philosophically and spiritually transformative forms of
mysticism. Among philosophers, some have affectively and politically feared
or critiqued music’s associations with mysticism (for example among
positivists or structuralists), whereas others (particularly in continental
and non-Western philosophy) have highly valued such associations. Mystical
experiences range widely: from communing with an underlying reality or
divinity, to achieving an ecstatic or altered state, overcoming the
boundaries of the self, to losing one’s reliable circuits of
self-consciousness. Mysticism can involve privileged individuals (priests,
sages, mediums), communities of initiates (believers, cults, secret
societies, subcultures), and complex reasons for seeking such an experience
(escaping worldly attachments, grasping life’s meanings, predicting the
future, or eluding the coordinates of science and reason).

How might music scholars today consider the relationship between music and
mysticism from a philosophical perspective? How might historical
philosophies of musical and mystical experiences speak to the present
moment? How might music’s intellectual and spiritual capacities operate
beyond the spheres of representation? And how might such experiences relate
to social justice projects?

We welcome papers from any branch of music studies as well as other related
fields. Possible topics include:

• the occult, the esoteric, and the divine
• historical philosophies that broach mystic experience
• music and sound in religious experience
• philosophical, historical, and ethnographic approaches to music and
• global perspectives on music and mysticism
• the role of mysticism in social justice activism
• the historical exclusion of mystical experience from music studies

Please submit abstracts of 250 words (max) to mystic.mpsg -at-

Deadline: May 8th 2019, midnight, EST

By admin

Sign up for periodic announcements via our Newsletter!