This conference will explore the relationship between music and migration by providing new insights into the creative practices and life-stories of migrant artists across the globe. A core theme of the conference will be the motivations and experiences of migrant musicians who leave, return, stay or move beyond their localities. Through the focus on such specific groups of migrants the conference aims to throw light on their identifications in their artistic and every-day lives.
Past and on-going research shows that patterns of migration are clearly linked to transnational networks. By focusing on the role of migrant musicians within such networks, this conference seeks to analyse and understand the extent to which musicians’ networks may or may not be special cases within migration studies. We suggest that artists who create or enter such networks may follow a different logic of translocal and transnational links than is normally associated with migration research on music. Thus we aim to widen the scope from ’bi-focal’, ethnically and spatially defined communities in sending and originating countries to more complex flows and the networking of individuals. Whilst recently there has been a plethora of research which theorises networks and flows in migration studies, little empirical research has as yet emerged which studies these in closer detail. We therefore welcome contributions which explore artists’ transnational networks and movements both empirically and theoretically. We expect to highlight the role of highly visible cultural hubs and all they have to offer to migrant musicians in terms of cultural infrastructure whilst not neglecting the role that less visible cities play in the re-directing of artistic energy. We therefore hope to include discussions of well-established musical networks as well as interconnections with those emerging from musical industries in so-called sending countries. We also seek to further understanding and debate on the interconnection between migrant musicians and the socio-political engagement of associations within civil society, thus evaluating their impact on a variety of cultural, social, political factors within countries of settlement and origin.
The conference will have both a theoretical and an empirical focus. It will be a forum for interdisciplinary debate and will appeal to colleagues working across the Humanities and Social Sciences. The conference delegates will also include musicians, media, cultural industries’ and cultural policy representatives who will take part in a specially convened stakeholder panel discussion.
Keynote speakers :
•Professor Nina Glick-Schiller, University of Manchester
•Professor Philip Bohlman, University of Chicago
Suggested themes for academic papers include (non-exhaustive list) :
•Transnational musicians’ networks
•Musical experiences of diaspora
•Global and local music industries
•Return migration and ‘emergent’ cultural hubs
•Migration routes that by-pass well-established (e.g. post-colonial) pathways
•Texts/musical genre/aesthetics/ multimodality
•Local and global cultural hubs
•Migrant and post-migrant cultural production
•Relationships between artistic and socio-political engagement
•Historical perspectives on musical culture transfer
The conference is organised by the University of Southampton (Modern Languages, Music) and the University of Aberdeen in collaboration with the Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton. It is the final conference of a 3-year research project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council programme Diaspora, Migration, Identities : ‘Diaspora as Social and Cultural Practice : a Study of Transnational Networks across Europe and Africa’ www.tnmundi.com. The conference is the third of three events arising from the project. The first event, ‘Musics of Madagascar : South < > North Crossroads ?’ took place in Antananarivo, Madagascar on 16-17 November, 2007 and the second event, ‘Music and Migration : North African Artists’ Networks across Europe and Africa’ will take place in Rabat, Morocco on 13-14 November 2008.
The conference forms part of a week’s innovative cultural activities to be held at the University of Southampton in conjunction with the City of Southampton and Black History Month. The week-long series of events will start with a lunchtime concert by the acclaimed ‘Madagascar AllStars’, at the Turner Sims Concert Hall on 12 October 2009. On the 13 and 14 October, musicians of Malagasy and North African origin who are based in Europe and Africa will be engaged in creative outreach sessions with local Southampton schools and on the 15 October, the conference will be officially opened with a special concert which will bring together Malagasy and North African musicians in a one-off public performance at the Turner Sims Concert Hall.
We welcome submissions to present papers (20 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions) on the conference themes. Your paper might present some empirical findings, a theoretical review, critique and new argument ; it might consist of a textual analysis, raise provocative questions or analyse one case, site or context.
Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted to Ulrike Meinhof firstname.lastname@example.org ; Nadia Kiwan email@example.com and Marie-Pierre Gibert firstname.lastname@example.org by December 4, 2008 including full contact details for all authors.
Scientific and Artistic Committee
Prof Ulrike Meinhof (Cultural Studies, Linguistic Ethnography, Sociolinguistics), School of Humanities, Centre for Transnational Studies, Modern Languages, University of Southampton
Dr Nadia Kiwan (Sociology and Francophone Cultural Studies), School of Language and Literature, French Studies, University of Aberdeen
Dr Marie-Pierre Gibert (Social and Cultural Anthropology, Ethnology), School of Humanities, Centre for Transnational Studies, Modern Languages, University of Southampton
Dr Thomas Irvine (Musicology and Performance Studies), School of Humanities, Music, University of Southampton
Prof Taieb Belghazi (Cultural Studies, Sociology and Literature), University Mohamed V-Agdal, Rabat, Morocco
Dama Mahaleo (Musician and cultural consultant), Antananarivo, Madagascar