4 May 2011

CfP: Patterns of Prejudice - Special Double Issue on Music and the Other

A special double issue of Patterns of Prejudice on music and the Other

I will guest edit a special double issue of the journal Patterns of Prejudice on the role of music in the demonization of the Other, to be published at the beginning of 2013.

Since the end of the nineteenth century, music has played an increasingly prominent role in constructing national identities and promoting various types of nationalist projects. Some of these projects turned to (largely re-invented) musical folk traditions as evidence of the rootedness and longevity of their nations. Later, music was often employed to show the grandeur of nation-states and empires. With the rise of illiberal nationalisms, many composers and performers contributed to the formation of ‘closed’, exclusivist concepts of national identity.

However, no matter how deeply involved particular composers or musicians might be in promoting illiberal social, cultural or political projects, music cannot, as such, be regarded as nationalist, racist or xenophobic. The racist or nationalist associations of a piece of music might arise from the lyrics that accompany it, but often are constructed from without, from the larger social, historical, political or cultural context. For example, the reasons why ‘Giovinezza’ is banned in Italy or Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen is rarely heard in Israel do not have much to do with the music itself, but rather with the memories these works evoke, the historical or cultural baggage they bring with them. The majority of punk fans don’t listen to the songs of Skrewdriver or Macht und Ehre, not because they are ‘bad’ punk rock but because the band members are racist.

This special issue will feature original research articles focusing on historical and contemporary instances of intersection of music and nationalism. We are particularly interested in contributions that address the following issues:

* musical works as lieux de memoires
* appropriation of folk music in nationalist narratives
* music and racial or ethnic conflict
* the role of music in the demonization or stigmatization of ethnic, racial or national communities
* xenophobic tendencies in contemporary musical genres such as Punk, Industrial, Hip-Hop, Neo-Folk, Dark Ambient, Black Metal and others
* the use of music by historical and contemporary far right movements, organizations and parties

Proposals for articles (500 words) addressing these and related issues should be submitted by e-mail before 15 June 2011. All final contributions must be the original work of the author/s; they will be subject to peer review and the editors’ decisions will be final. Please send proposals to Anton Shekhovtsov (anton.shekhovtsov@gmail.com) and Barbara Rosenbaum (b.rosenbaum@dsl.pipex.com).

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