In­ter­na­tional Sym­po­sium ”Gen­der and mu­si­cian­ship in North(-)/​East­ern Eu­rope”

Geographical divides such as ‘North-South’ and ‘East-West’ have long been problematised in music scholarship both globally and in Europe, while more comprehensive perspectives such as transnationalism, cultural transfer, and translocality have gained foothold in music history-writing. Furthermore, academics specialised in feminist and decolonial music research have sought to question value-laden ideas of geographical or cultural ‘peripherality’ as well as cultural imperialism. In this symposium, we invite music researchers and musicians across genre-borders to engage in a conversation about gender and music-making in the specific context of ‘Northern’, ‘Eastern’, and ‘North-Eastern’ Europe – i.e., regions such as the Baltic Sea area, which have long served as important meeting points and travel route for (women) musicians, artists, and composers.

We hope to discuss issues regarding gender and music-making from a wide variety of perspectives and with an open and critical understanding of geographical and geopolitical categories. What do regions traditionally labelled ‘Northern’ and ‘Eastern’ Europe share in terms of gender and music – both historically and today? What kinds of local and cross-cultural networks of women musicians have existed or are currently working in these specific contexts, and why? Alongside gender, how do diverse linguistic, cultural, ethnic, and religious identities affect musicianship and music-making in these areas? How could we enhance meaningful and ethical feminist collaboration among scholars and musicians in these regions today?

The presentations and performances may focus on research projects and/or artistic practice across genre borders, and they may discuss problems of gender and (in)equality from a historical perspective or focus on the music industry today or in the future. Crucial themes include, but are not limited to:

– Gender, power hierarchies, and institutions in music industry today and in the past
– Music industry, publicity, and gender
– Histori(ographi)es of gender, music-making, and composing
– Feminist music research
– Gendered canons in music pedagogy, performance, and research

We especially welcome papers/lecture-concerts discussing intersections of gender, class, and race. Early-career researchers are also specifically encouraged to submit proposals.

Proposals (max. 300 words) and short presenter bios (max. 150 words) can be sent online until May 31, 2023.

We invite proposals for both traditional conference papers and short lecture-concerts (20-minute presentation + 10-minute discussion / 30-minute recital + 10-minute discussion). We will inform all applicants on the committee’s decisions by June 15.

Send  your proposal: In­ter­na­tional Sym­po­sium ”Gen­der and mu­si­cian­ship in North(-)/​East­ern Eu­rope”

Everyone interested in the seminar topic is welcome to attend. Uniarts Helsinki doctoral candidates have the chance to get extra credits for attending (for more information, please see the Sibelius Academy study guide).

The symposium will take place on February 12–13, 2024, at the Helsinki Music Centre, and the event is organised by the University of the Arts Helsinki History Forum, the Sibelius Academy doctoral schools DocMus & MuTri, and the research association Suoni.

Regarding funding opportunities for travel and accommodation: e.g., the Mariann-Steegmann Foundation grants funding for research on women and music. Their next call will take place from August 18 till September 8, 2023. For more information, please see the Mariann-Steegmann Foundation. We will do our best to provide travel assistance for Ukrainian scholars: if you are from Ukraine and planning to attend, kindly contact the board at .

More information about University of the Arts Helsinki guidelines regarding the war in Ukraine: University of the Arts guidelines regarding the war in Ukraine

Organising committee
Nuppu Koivisto-Kaasik, PhD, postdoctoral researcher, University of the Arts History Forum (Chair)
Prof. Anne Kauppala, University of the Arts History Forum
DMus Päivi Järviö, Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki
DMus Anu Lampela, Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki
DMus Saijaleena Rantanen, Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki
Dr Anja Bunzel, Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
Johanna Rauhaniemi, Coordinator, University of the Arts History Forum