Rhythm Changes: Re/Sounding Jazz
The fifth international Rhythm Changes Conference ‘Re/Sounding Jazz’ will take place at the Conservatory of Amsterdam from 31 August to 3 September 2017. The event is delivered in partnership with the Conservatory of Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam, Birmingham City University, the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, CHIME, and a number of academic publishers and journals
Dr Sherrie Tucker (Professor of American Studies, University of Kansas).
Dr Wolfram Knauer (Director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt).
In the centennial year of the recording of ‘Livery Stable Blues’/‘Dixie Jass Band One-Step’ by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, we invite paper submissions for ‘Re/Sounding Jazz’, a four-day interdisciplinary conference that brings together researchers across the arts and humanities to explore the relationship between the distinctive sonic histories that define jazz, and the way in which these histories have been transmitted across cultures and societies over the last century. With an ear for the unexpected, we welcome contributions that address the conference theme from multiple perspectives, including musicology, sociology, cultural theory, music analysis, history, media studies, and practice-based research. Although not restricted to specific themes, possible topics could include:
- Re/Sounding dissonance: Jazz is often celebrated as a music that has the power to unite, but has also been the site of disagreements about what it is and isn’t, who owns it and who appropriated it, and whether it is dead or alive, has a future, or just smells funny. The jazz world has disagreed over race, gender, power, and class, as well as over jazz’s meanings, traditions, practices, and education. We invite papers that celebrate the cultural clashes that are at the very heart of this music.
- Sonic histories: Marking the centenary of the first jazz recording in New York in 1917, we invite explorations of the significance, or indeed of the secondary nature, of jazz as recorded form. This could include questions of recording technologies, studio organisation, ‘liveness’, ownership and copyright.
- Everyday experiences of jazz: Explorations of the connection between sound and place in jazz, histories of listening, issues of everyday aesthetics and soundscapes, and the relationship between sound and lived experiences.
- Margins/peripheries: Jazz and related improvised forms in Europe have often been positioned as well as self-identified at the margins of commercial success, of high culture, of career structure, of formal and informal funding. Its preferred live venues – clubs, pubs and bars – compare unfavourably with the classical world, while its media presence compares unfavourably with pop and rock. Is jazz the music of the precariat? Also, turning the question round, how and who does jazz marginalise?
- The sounds of jazz: Investigations into different aspects of jazz’s sonic world – ‘the music itself’ as a primary source and basis of jazz discourse – including innovative and/or experimental sounds and creative processes, work and stylistic analyses of musicians and repertoires, (new) genre-related studies, instrumental and sound studies, as well as recordings.
- The politics of jazz: Jazz has been, and arguably remains, a contested cultural form. From the Cold War to Black Lives Matter, musicians, writers and activists have drawn on jazz as a symbol of freedom from oppression. To what extent has the music challenged, provoked and re-sounded political debates?
- Jazz encounters: We are interested in examining ways in which cultural encounters with jazz have shaped different artistic practices and social movements and how the music has worked as a catalyst for social change. What are the achievements – the resounding successes – of jazz?
The Conference committee welcomes individual papers and proposals for panels and round table discussions. Please use one of the following formats:
- For individual 20-minute contributions: up to 250 words.
- For themed 3-paper sessions or panel discussions: up to 250 words per contribution plus 250 words outlining the rationale for the session.
- For 75-minute sessions in innovative formats: up to 750 words outlining the form, content and rationale for the session.
- Please include a biographical by-line of no more than 50 words.
Send abstracts and event queries to Prof Walter van de Leur W.vandeLeur@uva.nl by 1 March 2017.