Konferenssit ja seminaarit

A doc­toral sem­i­nar on the cul­tural study of music


Call for papers

For three decades, if not longer, the cultural study of music has existed as a strand of music research amongst others. The status of the field is yet arguably contested, as to some it may signal a mere reformulation of ethnomusicology, while others consider it an umbrella term for approaches associated with “new” or “critical” musicology, music sociology and popular music studies. Despite differences in disciplinary bases and methodological preferences, all these fields of research align in their understanding of music as a historically contingent sphere of social activity, inextricable from cultural, economic, political and material concerns.

To address these issues, as well as any other aspect of the cultural study of music, doctoral candidates working with relevant topics are hereby invited to participate in a seminar. In the seminar, all strands of the cultural study of music are welcome, with no limitations as to the musical repertoire or geographical location.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

-intellectual history of the cultural study of music
-issues of interdisciplinarity and disciplinary politics in the field
-understandings of “culture” and ”music” in the analysis
-theoretical and methodological reconsiderations and challenges
-music and social identities: gender, racialisation, intersectionality
-music, politics and power relations
-music, religion and belief systems
-music, technology and the media
-music industries and institutions
-musicianship and related forms of professionalism
-music, environment and ecocriticism

As the aim of the seminar is to support the preparation of doctoral candidates’ theses, the working method consists of in-depth discussions on the basis of article or chapter manuscripts circulated in advance. Each manuscript will receive detailed feedback from the supervisors, and the seminar will also include open lectures by them. Guest supervisors include Sverker Hyltén-Cavallius (Swedish Performing Arts Agency, Stockholm), Tuomas Järvenpää (University of Eastern Finland), Rosa Reitsamer (University of Music and Performing Arts Wien) and Viliina Silvonen (University of Eastern Finland and the Finnish Literature Society). The seminar is chaired by Antti-Ville Kärjä (University of the Arts Helsinki).

The seminar welcomes applications from doctoral students from around the world, but as the number of participants is limited, doctoral students from the Nordic countries will be prioritised. The selection of participants will be based on the applications that should include, preferably in a PDF document:

An abstract outlining the topic, approach and (tentative) findings of the manuscript to be presented; the length of the abstract should be 300–500 words.
A short biography of the presenter and a summary of their doctoral thesis, including theoretical orientation, methods and materials; the maximum length of this section is 500 words.
Upon acceptance of the application, the participants will be asked to deliver an article or a chapter manuscript of 5000–8000 words, to be circulated amongst the participants well in advance. The deadline for the applications is 3 April 2022. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 3 May, and the deadline for full manuscripts is 4 September 2022.


The doctoral seminar is free of charge, comestibles included, but the participants are expected to cover travel and accommodation expenses by themselves. The seminar is organised by the Finnish Society for Ethnomusicology in collaboration with the Nordic branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, and hosted by the Seinäjoki Unit of the University of the Arts Helsinki. Seinäjoki is a regional urban centre located some 300 km north from Helsinki and served by several direct train connections daily. Details about travels and accommodation options will be communicated in due course.

The participants may also be interested interested in the conference “Disciplining Music Heritage” to be held on 13–14 October 2022 at the same venue.