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Precarious Sounds / Sounding Sanctuary New York Univeristy Music Department Conference February 16–17 Keynote address: Josh Kun
What can sound-makers and -thinkers tell us about the role of music, sound, and silence in struggles against precarity and the creation of sanctuary?
Precarious Sounds // Sounding Sanctuary, hosted by NYU's FAS Music Department, will unfold over two days of panels, performances, and multimedia installations.
Featured events include a Friday afternoon keynote by Prof. Josh Kun (University of Southern California) about his work with music and housing justice in San Francisco and a multimedia exhibit in NYU Bobst Library’s Avery Fisher Center.
Eighteen presenters discuss colonial legacies of a naval base in the Philippines, soundscapes of precarity on the streets of Cuba, mediation of struggles in a French refugee camp, listening practices across the Mexico-U.S. border, the political potentials of sonic blackness, and silence as tool of oppression or nurturing refuge.
Over twenty composers and performers explore precarity and sanctuary through chamber pieces, found objects, and sonic technologies, highlighting ecosystems in danger, the limits of the human body, America’s history of enslavement, the surveillance state, and memory as precarity and sanctuary.
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS)*
Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Division of the Humanities*
Social and Cultural Analysis (SCA)*
Middle East and Islamic Studies (MEIS)*
Media, Culture, and Communication
Avery Fisher Center
Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies*
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
NYU Sanctuary Coalition
* We especially thank GSAS, FAS Division of Humanities, SCA, MEIS, and the Kevorkian Center for their generous financial contributions to make this conference possible.
Call for Submissions: Precarious Sounds / Sounding Sanctuary
NYU Music Department Conference
February 16-17, 2018
We invite you to submit an abstract for a paper or a performance proposal for the conference “Precarious Sounds / Sounding Sanctuary” to be held February 16-17, 2018 and featuring Professor Josh Kun giving the keynote address. The conference is hosted by the Faculty of Arts and Science Music Department at New York University in New York City.
What are the sounds of precarity? The term “precarity” has been used across the humanities and social science fields to describe vulnerable modes of existence, especially as these lives participate in and are impacted by global financial systems, environmental degradation, group antagonisms, and structures of feeling.
We begin by acknowledging colonialism and capitalism as root problems that contribute to the precarity of our times, marked by widespread exploitation of the many by the few. Such exploitation results in varying degrees of vulnerability, insecurity, and uncertainties for humans as well as other inhabitants of Earth.
As music and sound scholars, we ask: What does this precarity sound like? How have music and sound strengthened communities’ resolve to live, persist, and resist as oceans, poverty, intolerance, and fascism rise? What relation do sounds and activism bear on the fight against precarity, as its condition of possibility? How can sound and music scholarship contribute to this activism?
At this conference, we invite critical approaches to the ways sound and music make, manifest, and mobilize against various kinds of precarity. We are particularly interested in sound and music’s role in the struggle against the insecurity of disenfranchised, displaced, refugee, and targeted peoples since the War on Terror. We welcome work that brings historical moments into conversation with our present conjuncture. We also seek work that critically expands or even challenges prevalent conceptions of sound, activism, and precarity, and creatively brings these terms into relation.
Topic examples include, but are not limited, to the following:
Vulnerability - The many frameworks that grow out of and feed into precarity—past and present— including late capitalist exploitation, Islamophobia and the “Muslim travel ban,” deportation and forced resettlement, state surveillance, police brutality, racial nationalism, permanent states of exception, and crisis ordinaries
“Human” “rights” - Defining the human and concomitant frameworks of rights as they determine paths to citizenship, asylum, and refugee status, especially in the contexts of multiculturalisms; the ways sound is mobilized in the judicial and the carceral systems
Sanctuary - The sounds and musics of safe harbor; how communities organize and allocate resources to those made especially vulnerable by biased policies, and how their humanist forms of aid form more just, prefigurative societies
Activism and Movement Building - Indigenous struggles for social and environmental justice, labor organizing, DREAMers movement building, urban clashes with police and protesters, mobilizing against hate crimes, and ethnographies and critical histories of soundful activists
Hearing Power - Sound studies and music scholarship that contribute critical insights to the histories, logics, and methods of agents of precarity; critical pedagogies of music and sound; scholarship and other forms of writing as a kind of acoustic sousveillance
Submission Information & Guidelines
This conference comes out of discussion surrounding our department’s support of the movement to create sanctuary on our campus. This movement fights for material, legal, and emotional support for undocumented community members and for those affected by recent federal US travel restrictions. We hope for this conference to continue and nuance the conversation about sanctuary spaces, migration, immigration, and precarity.
(1) Call for Papers
We welcome abstracts from all scholars at all stages of their careers, activists, artists, and musicians who engage with music and sound. We ask that abstracts be submitted into our online submission system, and each will receive receipt upon successful submission. Abstracts will be anonymously peer reviewed and authors will be notified on November 21st. A limited number of travel and accommodation subsidies will be awarded to presenters.
Paper Submission Instructions
Please submit paper abstracts of no more than 300 words using the submission system linked here: https://goo.gl/forms/BpGXlLU85U4lelty1
(2) Call for Staged/Street/Participatory Performances and Sound Installations
We invite proposals for a performance or installation of any genre and discipline for the conference, with content that corresponds to the conference call and theme.
Category 1: Staged performances
A proposed work (or set) for stage performance(s) within 20 minutes is strongly encouraged. Works may involve live performers, electronic sounds, and/or video projection. For technical support, we can provide a digital mixer, microphones, up to 12-channel sound system, projector and projection screen, and basic lighting system. All artists are responsible for their performers if necessary.
Category 2: Street and/or participatory performances
We also welcome performance proposals that have a participatory element or involve public space within one mile of the Washington Square NYU campus. This type of proposal allows maximum 90 minutes, including the commute time going to the performance space and returning to campus. We might also be able to provide a large indoor space if needed. Please indicate this need specifically in your proposal.
Category 3: Sound/video installation
For this category, we are looking for sound and/or video installations that can be on display throughout the conference. We can provide up to a 12-channel sound system and at most two video projectors. Artists are also welcome to bring their own equipment if necessary. Please specify in your technical rider any equipment that you will provide yourself.
Performance Submission Instructions
Please use the link to the Google Form below to submit your proposal. The entire submission should be anonymous. ***Please keep your personal information separate from the supporting materials (e.g. scores and any audio or video). If the links to your supporting materials are private links, please also provide the password.***
In the submission form, we ask for your name, email, biography, work title, links to instances of the work and/or work samples, type of performance, duration, technical rider, and a 300 word description of the work/performance.
We encourage innovative ways to approach these performances. Please be creative and surprise us with your ideas! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
To submit your performance proposal, please click on the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/1KBb1EgwMKYjEbVl1
Dates and Deadlines
Conference date: February 16-17, 2018
[New] Extended Deadline for abstracts and proposals: November 5, 2017 at 11:59pm
Notification of acceptance: November 21, 2017
Abstract word limit: 300 words
For inquiries, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduate Committee Members: Elisa Corona Aguilar, Derek Baron, Merche Blasco, Daphne Carr, Samantha Cooper, Brian Fairley, Chui Wa Ho, Charlie Kozey, Chris Nickell, Grace Osborne
Marcus Pyle, Viola Yip, Sofy Yuditskaya
Faculty Advisor: Christine Dang