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56th RMA Annual Conference, Goldsmiths, 8-10 September: Moving to an Online Event

The ongoing uncertainty as a result of the coronavirus has meant that it remains unclear to the conference committee whether a face to face event in September would be possible, or if many people would be able to attend it. You may also have seen that other events around the same time have also been cancelled or will be offered online.

In light of this extraordinary situation, the RMA Conferences committee has made the decision that the RMA’s annual conference – due to take place at Goldsmiths, University of London – will now move online. We hope that this online showcase will represent the wide range of scholarship that we had intended to present at Goldsmiths; we are excited to be doing something that means the musicological community can still get together and exchange ideas in a time of isolation.

Our online event will take place on the dates originally planned for the conference, and we hope that we will soon be able to provide more details of the programme and the ways that you can engage. As soon as these are available we will share them via the conference and RMA websites and the usual mailing lists.

The 56th Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association will be hosted by Goldsmiths, University of London, between 8th and 10th September 2020.

Details of the call for proposals can be found on the ‘Call for Proposals’ page. We are very much looking forward to putting together a programme involving both leading figures and emerging scholars and practitioners within the discipline. The RMA Annual Conference provides an opportunity for all members to meet and participate in a wide range of events. The conference programme includes the Dent Medal lecture, the Le Huray lecture, and the Annual General Meeting. You can find details of previous Annual Conferences (including programmes and abstracts) here.

The conference will also afford excellent opportunities for research networking for both established and junior scholars, and delegates will also be offered opportunities to attend a number of events celebrating the diverse musical interests represented at Goldsmiths.

There will be two keynote events at the conference:

The Peter le Huray lecture will be delivered by Dr Marie Thompson. Dr Thompson’s research centres on the gendered, affective and sociopolitical dimensions of sonic media and auditory culture. She is the author of Beyond Unwanted Sound: Noise, Affect and Aesthetic Moralism (Bloomsbury, 2017) and the co-editor of Sound, Music, Affect: Theorizing Sonic Experience (Bloomsbury, 2013). She is the academic lead of the University of Lincoln’s Extra-Sonic Practice research group and the co-lead (with Annie Goh) of the Sonic Cyberfeminisms project, which critically examines the intersections of gender, sound and technology.

The Edward Dent medal award lecture will be delivered by the 2019 award winner Dr Gundula Kreuzer. In both her writing and her teaching, Dr Kreuzer approaches music from a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives, such as social, cultural, and political history as well as theories of technology and multimedia. Her award-winning first book, Verdi and the Germans: From Unification to the Third Reich (Cambridge University Press, 2010), examines the changing impact of the popular Italian composer on German musical self-perception and national identity. Her second monograph, Curtain, Gong, Steam: Wagnerian Technologies of Nineteenth-Century Opera (University of California Press, 2018) addresses how composers since the late eighteenth century increasingly tried to control certain aspects of staging by embracing specific stage technologies. Focusing on the cultural resonances and hermeneutic potentials of the titular technologies of the curtain, the tam-tam, and steam before, in, and beyond Wagner, the book develops a deeply contextualized practical perspective on the nature and ephemerality of staged opera as well as its legacies in contemporary culture. Dr Kreuzer’s first monograph won the 2011 Lewis Lockwood Award of the American Musicological Society, the 2012 Gaddis Smith International Book Prize of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, and the inaugural Martin Chusid Award for Verdi Studies (2013). Among other grants and awards, Kreuzer has received the Paul A. Pisk Prize (2000) and the Alfred Einstein Award (2006) from the American Musicological Society, as well as the RMA’s Jerome Roche Prize (2006).