RMA 56th Annual Conference, Goldsmiths University of London, 8-10 September 2020

The RMA and Goldsmiths are both hoping that the annual conference will be able to proceed as planned and on the advertised dates. However, this is of course uncertain at the present time, and we expect there to be further announcements as government and health advice continues to be updated. While there is a chance that the conference may be postponed, or may need to consider alternative modes of delivery, we continue planning and preparing for the event, and we very much hope that we will be able to welcome you in September. 

However, at present, the situation at Goldsmiths as many other universities throughout the UK, is that significant work is being undertaken to move teaching and assessment online. In addition, many key staff are working remotely. This means that some aspects of organisation will be delayed, in particular the announcement of the programme and the opening of registration. Please accept our apologies for the delay; we expect that these may become available later in the year, and most likely in late April or May. 

Further announcements regarding the conference will be made as further information becomes available: please look out for these on the RMA and conference websites, and other music 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).