Call for Papers

The notion of the avant garde in music has stereotypically been linked with the post-1950 internationalisation of early 20th-century modernist ideas, while the historical and aesthetic delimitation of boundaries between the musical avant garde and post-modernism is still under discussion. The 'mainstream' historiography attached to the avant garde quite expectedly focuses on the idea of innovation in the music and theoretical texts of specific pioneers, and on notions such as universality and the significance of time as parameters affecting the appraisal of the work of art.

The approach of this International Conference, as inferred from the first part of its title (‘Beyond the Centres’) can be perceived either with regard to places, times and individuals (i.e. beyond the places, times and individuals that have defined the starting points of musical avant gardes), or with regard to dominant categorizations (i.e., beyond the dominant, centric, perceptions of the avant-garde irrespective of places, times or individuals).

Thus the aim of the Conference is twofold:

  1. To gather together research on widely unknown musical realizations of the notion of the avant-garde since 1950, and encourage the examination of multiple, heterogeneous currents built around the ideas of innovation and / or radicalism.
  2. To stimulate theoretical critical discussion on how the notion of the avant garde can be assessed today 'from outside' (beyond the centric generic ideas of the time of its formation) and embrace problematisation of the very premise of a unified term for the avant garde. In other words, to motivate the critical appraisal of the function, reception, realization and dissemination of what was or is considered avant-garde in different geographical and cultural contexts. In this respect, the examination of the pedagogic methods that were developed by institutions or individuals for the establishment and dissemination of avant-garde techniques is within the scope of the Conference.

Historical, analytical, ideological, political, sociological, cultural, interdisciplinary, anthropological and other approaches are all welcome. The broad thematic categories of the Conference can be summarized as follows:

More specifically, the following list of possible thematic areas is intended not to be restrictive, but informative of the priorities of the Conference:

The Conference is dedicated to the memory of Yannis A. Papaioannou, celebrating the centenary of the birth of the most influential figure in the dissemination of avant-garde ideas in post-1950 Greece through his musical, educational and institutional activities. In addition to being a stimulus for further research on Papaioannou's life, music and ideas, the present Conference is inspired by the universality of his approach to music and teaching, thus aiming at a universal critical appraisal of different expressions of the notion of the avant garde.

The Conference is organized by the Department of Music Studies, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and will take place in Thessaloniki, Greece between 1 and 5 July 2010. The official language of the Conference is English.

Abstracts are invited for presentation in one of the following formats:

Abstracts must address the conference theme and clearly state the aims and methodological approach of the proposed paper(s). Abstracts for individual papers should be no longer than 300 words. Panel proposals should include a general 100-word description of the panel's proposed theme, accompanied by individual 300-word abstracts for all paper contributions.

Abstract submission deadline: 30 November 2009

For details on the submission and review procedure, see the Review section of this site.