Call for Papers


Thank you for your interest in the conference.


The conference committee welcomes submissions from a diverse field of interdisciplinary scholars including those working on music theory and analysis, musicology, ethnomusicology, aesthetics, music and philosophy, sociology of music, popular music studies, critical theory, historiography, and German studies. Considerable scholarly attention has been given to the subject of Theodor W. Adorno’s relationship to music in recent years. The committee, therefore, particularly welcomes papers on members of the Frankfurt School besides Adorno, and on Marxist music critics of the Austro-German sphere.

Themes of inquiry include:

  • The question of common ground or divergence between members of the Frankfurt School, and how/to what extent their continual reexamination of Marxist concepts informed their theoretical writings on music;
  • An exploration of the relationship between the writings of the Frankfurt School and those of Marxist critics such as Ernst Bloch;
  • The legacy of the Enlightenment, Romantic aesthetics, and German Idealism on the musical writings of Marxist critics;
  • The relationship between musical form and social meaning in Marxist writings on music;
  • The implications of World War I for Marxism in relation to music;
  • The implications of World War II for Marxism in relation to music; comparative studies of pre- and post-WWII writings on music;
  • The relationship between music and modernism as evidenced in the writings of Marxist critics and the Frankfurt School;
  • Modes of listening and the notion of the objectification of artworks into commodities;
  • Popular music studies and cultural critique;
  • An application of the writings of figures such as Jürgen Habermas, Herbert Marcuse, and Martin Heidegger to music;
  • The emergence of a “Frankfurt School” in the 1960s and its impact on contemporary composition and musical thought;
  • Frankfurt and Darmstadt;
  • Notions of utopia and dystopia, hope and despondency, in Marxist music criticism and the writings of the Frankfurt School.

Papers will be twenty minutes in duration followed by 10 minutes for questions and discussion. Proposals for individual papers should be no more than 300 words. Abstracts for sessions/panels/roundtables should be no more than 900 words; please indicate the number and title of each individual paper with its abstract. Proposals must be in the form of a Microsoft Word attachment which includes the name, contact details, and institutional affiliation (if any) of each speaker, and a short biographical note of no more than 150 words on each speaker. The conference language is English. Please submit proposals to by 5pm GMT on 31 December 2013.

Conference Committee

Amy BauerNicole Grimes (Chair), Julian Horton, Jaime JonesWolfgang Marx, Christopher Morris