isaScience is part of isa, the International Summer Academy of the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, and its 2018 edition will take place from 10 to 14 August at Hotel Marienhof in Reichenau/Rax. Since 2013, this conference has offered a platform for variously themed interdisciplinary research on music and the performing arts. This year will see isaScience appear in a new format, with a new organisational team—consisting of Dagmar Abfalter (Dept. of Cultural Management and Gender Studies), Marko Kölbl (Dept. of Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology), Rosa Reitsamer (Dept. of Music Sociology) und Fritz Trümpi (Dept. of Musical Analysis)—having taken over from former programme chairs Ursula Hemetek and Cornelia Szabó-Knotik. With an international call for papers, the isaScience Conference is now open to researchers on all levels (graduate, post-graduate, advanced researchers, and senior scientists) from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds related to the arts and music (e.g. musicology, ethnomusicology, music sociology, cultural studies, queer studies, postcolonial studies, arts and cultural management). Scholars from the mdw are especially welcome to present their papers and partake in the conference. A pronounced goal of the new format is to strengthen interdisciplinary and international exchange on contemporary scientific debates in the field within the mdw as well as between the mdw and the international community.
This year’s topic, Participatory Approaches to Music and Democracy, focusses on music as a resource for processes of societal transformation. The last few decades have seen a rich body of literature explore how individuals and groups have used and currently use music as a resource to achieve social, cultural, and political participation and to bring about social change. The resulting field of research is concerned with music and other art forms along with their socio-political, ideological, and cultural implications. Studies have investigated music’s use by past and present political groups and parties intent on the imposition of authoritarian, neoliberal, or even fascist political ideas, while another area of interest is embodied by the promise and myth of democratisation through technology relating to music’s production, distribution, and reception/appropriation.
The organisers of isaScience 2018 are enthusiastic to announce four renowned keynote speakers: Milena Dragičević Šešić (UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management, University of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia), David Hesmondhalgh (Professor of Media, Music and Culture, University of Leeds, United Kingdom), Marsha Siefert (Associate Professor of History, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary) und Deborah Wong (Professor of Ethnomusicology, University of California, Riverside, USA). Upon registration via the website www.mdw.ac.at/isa/isascience, admission to all events of isaScience is free.