CFP: Gendering Music Matter. Power, Affects, and Infrastructures of Music Industries


*Conference: Gendering Music Matter. Power, Affects, and Infrastructures of Music Industries*

*14-15 March 2024, University of Copenhagen, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies

*The gender gap in the music industry (understood in it´s broadest sense) has been evident, perceptible, measurable, and publicly discussed for many years. However, public discussions and policy initiatives on ‘gender inequality’ and ‘gender balance’ often focus on increasing the number of women and gender non-conforming professionals, leaving the patriarchal infrastructures and cultures of the music industries unchanged and unchallenged.

This conference insists on the importance of shifting the analytical focus – at least for a moment – away from the numbers, skills, talents, and productions of individuals in order to look towards their embeddedness and orientation in gendered, social, economic, and historical conventions. What if we approach the music industries not as a blank canvas or smooth space, but as infrastructures that privilege certain bodies and embodied conventions while limiting others? And what if we try to uncover what Keller Easterling has called the “accidental, covert or stubborn forms of power […] hiding in the folds of infrastructure space”? Or how about examining the affects, emotions, and reasoning of individuals including, for example, what Sara Ahmed has called the “affects of disorientation”, and look at how these experiences come to orient, position and affect people and bodies in different ways as they navigate the infrastructures of music industries around the world? Or what if we explore how agents within music industries tinker, remix, alter, appropriate, or hack the dominant infrastructure in order to forge not only new material arrangements, but also alternative anti-sexist ways of imagining possible futures? And last but not least, what can we as researchers do to support and facilitate initiatives and actions of change within these infrastructures of which we ourselves are a part?

By bringing together intersectional fields of music studies, we hope to bring new perspectives to questions of power, affect and the infrastructures of the music industries. We therefore invite a broad range of speakers working with, for instance, feminist musicology, gender studies, ethnomusicology/music anthropology, popular music studies, organizational anthropology, cultural-historical activity theory, critical race theory, affect theory, infrastructure theory, queer and post-phenomenology, disability studies, sound studies, post-structuralism, queer theory, platform studies, actor-network theory, science and technology studies, music history, and music pedagogy.

Potential themes might include (but are not limited to) critical perspectives on gender and:

* cultures and infrastructures of music scenes * biases in music and cultural organizations * intersectionality in music research * music as labor/work (including union work etc.) * career breaks and sustainability in music work * pregnancy, motherhood, aging and menopause of music professionals * musician’s bodily changes and transitions * (fragile) masculinity in music life * music instruments and physical infrastructure * technology and digital infrastructures in music organization * the queering of musical spaces * separatist music communities * affects and feelings in music organizations * “anti-gender movements” and counter-initiatives against feminist and diversity work in music environments * music, memory culture and historical approaches * bodies on and beyond the music stage * the socialities of music * music and sustainability * cultural policies * historiographies of feminist musicology and music anthropology * Applied research in music life