mdw structured doctoral programme


Berlin, Graz, Paris & Shanghai

Where research takes you


Just before the new semester starts, we report back with an overview of the last weeks and with two announcements. Welcome to our newsletter's tenth edition!

During the summer break, the PhD students of the sdp have been busy and traveling a lot. Isabel Frey and Peter Lell have been to Graz, participating at the XXXVII European Seminar in Ethnomusicology. The event was held under the motto "Joint knowledge production and collaboration in research", which fits perfectly with the spirit of the sdp.

Tianyu Jiang completed a five months research stay in China to examine inclusive safe space and music networks built up by female, queer and non-binary DJ collectives. We would like to share a summary of the observation of the scenes Tianyu made during this time:

Photos: © Private

"Shanghai’s three-month lockdown ended on the 1st of June, and it is impossible to put that period of despair, anger, anxiety, and all other mixed emotions into exact words. When the lockdown finally lifted, what one could hear in everyday conversations was all about how people survived the desperate situation on their ways and decisions to stay or leave the city. Several clubs were open only around the beginning of July; events (held at a limited amount of venues including ALL, Heim, Dada) during any weekend might be canceled at the last minute, so clubbers tried to make whatever party was on schedule—parties and raves were the spaces for one to mingle and socialize. Perhaps fortunately, inconveniences of international travel have offered more opportunities for local DJs to perform and connect. Fresh faces and sounds surely are slowly healing Shanghai’s nightlife; however, the question is whether or not the new ones, together with the urban residents, can diversify China’s underground club culture from its tendency of homogenization, in a not-yet-fully-arrived post-lockdown context."


Further, we would like to announce two upcoming conferences involving sdp's PhD students: 

The annual meeting of the Society for Music Research (Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Musikforschung) will be held in Berlin from Sept. 28 - Oct. 1, 2022, and Peter Lell will present parts of his PhD-project. In his talk "Afghanistans Musikerbe(n) – Wie Archiv(platt)formen (be)deuten" he will discuss the case of archives of Afghan music. There are only few institutional archives, among them the historical archive of Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) in Kabul as well as archives of ethnographers from Western universities. In the last years, however, we can see important steps in this field being carried out by individuals all over the world, uploading and making available historical recordings on accessible platforms such as YouTube.

Sophie Zehetmayer will present at the IV International congress in Music and Musicology of the Bureau des Jeunes Chercheurs des Institut de recherche en Musicologie, that will take place in Paris from Oct. 5.-7. 2022. In her talk on "Synthesized Times. Relations of Musical and Social Rhythm“ she will connect Deleuze’s and Guattari’s notion of the synthesizer with the mid-2010s micro-genre Vaporwave to analyze the correlation of temporality, digitality and aesthetic experience in musical practices at the beginning of the 21st century.

We wish everyone a good start into the new semester.


Structured Doctoral Programme (sdp)
Nikolaus Urbanek, Dagmar Abfalter, Hanna Brinkmann
mdw - University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna
Anton-von-Webern-Platz 1
A-1030 Vienna

mdw - University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna