Sociocultural crossings and borders: musical microhistories

Sociocultural crossings and borders: musical microhistories
Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (Vilnius)
4th–7th of September 2013

In the current global world the interaction of cultures penetrates into musical practices and discourses, radically affecting the sociocultural imagination and altering the established shapes of cultural territories. Yet the history of music demonstrates that the dynamics of cultural encounters and segregations have always been a key factor in the formation of individual and collective identities and the understanding of other cultures. Musicologists of neighbouring regions – the Baltic States, Central and Eastern Europe and Russia – are initiating an international transregional musicological conference, devoted to the critical review of cultural interactions and reactions from the microhistorical perspective. One of the key objectives of the event is to initiate transregional musicological discussions based on new information and theoretical approaches.

Focussing upon the region of the Baltic States and Central and Eastern Europe, the conference seeks to encourage the discussions concerning the sociocultural crossings and borders within the musical practices and discourses over the course of two centuries, e.g. from early modernity up to the present day. Taking into consideration the challenges of critical musicology and the “anthropological turn” in cultural studies, the organisers wish to focus on ’microhistory’: the history of events and performances, individual testimonies and narratives, and at the same time encourage participants to take into account the case studies, informal relations and environments, interpretative communities, and networks of communication. The conference also aims to provide an opportunity for music scholars to share the results of their research using new resources and data that became available after the end of the Cold War. The topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Sociocultural crossings and individual configurations of creativity;
  • Cultural borders and musical imagination: creation versus interpretation;
  • Beyond borders: personal encounters and cross-cultural networks;
  • Sociocultural interactions and contradictions: individual and institutional discourses;
  • Migrations of ideas and practices: the currents of cultural exchange and attraction (Vilnius–Tallinn, St. Petersburg–Paris, etc.) and individual traces;
  • Listening to the Other: the transformations of cultural reception and policy;
  • Cultural memories: the competing perspectives and musical practices;
  • Metanational, regional music histories based on a network forming a complex unique identity (e.g. Balkan, Near East, North, Baltic etc.).

The languages of the conference are English and German. You are invited to submit the proposals for round table discussions, study group sessions and individual papers by the 15th of January 2013. An abstract (up to 300 words for 20-minute individual paper) and a CV (up to 150 words) shall be submitted to the conference coordinator Dr. Rima Povilionienė at For round table discussions and study group sessions a general summary is required. Information about the selected proposals will be announced at the end of February 2013. Further information on conference programme and accommodation arrangements will be announced in April 2013, on the internet site of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre ( The selected papers will be published in collaboration with the scholarly journals “Lithuanian Musicology” (Lithuania) and “Opera Musicologica” (Russia).