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Call for Papers:  The Holocaust in Music

10 31, 2010

The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) and the Institute for Analysis, Theory and History of Music will be hosting an international congress on “The Holocaust in Music”. The event is scheduled for October 4th and 5th 2011 at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts and will be accompanied by an artistic supporting programme.

Already during the Holocaust, and even more so in the 1950s and 1960s, musicians and composers focussed on Nazi mass murder as a major theme for their work. They referred to relevant places such as concentration and death camps, ghettos and sites of murder, as well as to individuals, events and other aspects central to the Holocaust, but also addressed more general issues like memory, mourning and grief. Focussing on those compositions, and interpretations thereof, the congress aims to illustrate music as an instrument of memory and of coping with the past, and to analyse such pieces of music in the context of cultural studies and memory research.

The crucial question is in what ways the Holocaust itself, as well as the processing, handling and remembrance of the Shoah, have found their expression in contemporary compositions; and, more specifically, to what extent has the Holocaust as a historical fact affected the discourse on musical aesthetics?

Representatives of musicology, contemporary history and cultural sciences interested in active participation (lecture duration: 30 minutes; official congress languages: German, English) are hereby invited to submit topic proposals and abstracts (20 lines) to the following two addresses by December 15th 2010:

Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies

Institute for Analysis, Theory and History of Music (University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna)