last modified 11-20-2017

Musicology at Kalamazoo
2020 Call For Papers

The program committee for Musicology at Kalamazoo (Anna Kathryn Grau, Luisa Nardini, Gillian Gower) invites abstracts for the 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 7-10, 2020. The topics approved by the Congress include:

  • Chant and Liturgy will focus on the role of monophonic chant in liturgical contexts. We particularly invite papers that are interdisciplinary in focus and methodology, or that place chant and sacred polyphony in their historical and cultural contexts.

  • Musical Craft, Composition, and Improvisation will analyze musical creativity under the point of view of composition and improvisation, which, for most of the middle ages, are deeply interrelated. How did improvisation affect musical composition in the middle ages and how this interplay is reflected in manuscript sources? Conversely, how can modern performers improvise in an historically-informed manner?

  • Musical Medievalism is devoted to discussion of the uses of medieval or medieval-inspired music in later works, including music, drama, film and television, video games, and other popular culture. This may include both modern examples and those from periods closer to the middle ages. We invite participants from other disciplines and sub-disciplines to consider the relationship between musical medievalism and other types of medievalism. Does the engagement with music history by later creators differ from their engagement with other elements of medieval culture?

  • Music Theory & Practice will explore the intersection between theory and practice in the musical production of the Middle Ages. Although formal and stylistic features as well as musical techniques tend to predate their discussion in theoretical treatises, theory and practice are interdependent. We welcome papers that investigate these connections for both sacred and secular repertories.

  • Musical Intertextuality/Intratextuality will explore relationships between and within works, including musical and textual repetition, allusion, citation, and borrowing. Topics may include, for example, refrain citation, motivic repetition, cantus firmus technique, and musical symbolism. These are not only matters of tracing connections or labeling works; intertextuality and intratextuality relate to broader questions such as issues of audience, communities of listeners, and concepts of originality and influence. We welcome papers on music of any period, genre, or place of origin within the broader Middle Ages, to allow for discussion about the changing nature of music relationships.

  • Musical Margins and Migrations offers the opportunity to explore music outside the major centers of musical production, either in geographical or demographic terms. This may include discussion of music produced or performed in “peripheral” regions, transmission between regions, manuscript encounters, and musical production by groups marginalized in medieval Europe.

  • Roundtable: Medieval Music and Inclusive Pedagogy invites proposals for short presentations and discussion on timely questions of diversity and inclusion in the classroom, with a focus on issues that are unique to music classrooms. How can our obligation to prepare students for future study be balanced with the need to broaden and diversify the content of our surveys? How can we better welcome students from varied backgrounds into the study of music from the medieval Christian tradition, in which deep knowledge of Christian imagery and texts is often presumed? This session invites teachers from any educational environment who have found success in increasing the inclusivity of their curriculum or classroom to share their experiences and recommendations, and provides a space for discussion of these problems in the context of our specific intersection of disciplines.


We hope these topics can foster dialogue between musicologists and scholars in other areas, so we encourage specialists in fields other than Music to submit proposals. Musicology at Kalamazoo strives to foster an environment that is supportive of medievalists of color and other marginalized groups. Papers tackling themes of diversity, inclusion, pedagogy, class, race, disability, gender, and sexual orientation will also be particularly welcome at our sessions.

Please keep in mind that we intend these session titles mostly as "hooks," rather than limitations, on which a multitude of proposals can be placed, so send us your best work. Proposals for papers (usually 20 mins) should include an abstract of around 300 words; please do not include your name in the file containing the abstract. Proposals should be submitted by 15 September 2019. You'll also need to complete and submit the “Participant Information Form” from the conference website. This is very important, not only because it is your only chance to make A-V requests, but because it is required by the Medieval Institute. It is available as either a Word or PDF document. Please send submissions to, with the subject line: KZOO 2020.


If you have any questions, please contact the committee at We look forward to seeing you in Kalamazoo next May.


The Musicology at Kalamazoo Program Committee

Musicology at Kalamazoo
Statement (July 12, 2018)


      In light of recent discussions about inclusion and representation at the International Congress of Medieval Studies, members of Musicology at Kalamazoo express their support for Professor Dorothy Kim and all members of Medievalists of Color. We would also like to emphasize a need for transparency in the organization of the conference and a will to represent an increasingly diverse scholarship in demographics and perspectives.  ICMS, for many of us, is an ideal setting in which scholarly discussions, performances, a superb book exhibit, and outright collegiality enlighten our lives as scholars and sympathizers of medieval studies. With this in mind, we strive to foster an environment that is supportive of medievalists of color at the upcoming 2019 meeting. Papers tackling themes of diversity, inclusion, pedagogy, class, race, disability, gender, and sexual orientation will also be particularly welcome at our sponsored sessions.

Musicology at Kalamazoo

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