Call for Papers

The Midwestern Graduate Music Consortium (MGMC) invites the submission of abstracts for our 2018 conference, which will be held April 26-27th, 2018 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. MGMC is a joint venture organized by graduate students from the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Northwestern University that encourages the presentation of original research and the composition of new music by graduate and advanced undergraduate students. This year’s meeting will focus on the theme “Music and Intersectional Thought.”

While many fields of music studies have developed historical, theoretical, and analytic methods to understand the connections between music and identity, recent scholars have increasingly complicated these paradigms by recognizing that categories of identity are both complex and unwieldy. Power, like music, rarely works neatly, thus requires frameworks that can account for multiple and shifting ways that we encounter it. Intersectional thought provides one such account by recognizing the multiple axes of oppression that connect racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, class oppression and other hierarchical power dynamics. Building on Kimberlé Crenshaw’s foundational work on the intersection of racism and sexism, this conference aims to consider what intersectional thought can bring to music studies, and in turn what music studies can bring to intersectional thought. In short we ask: what are the interlocking and intersecting forms of power that shape our musical experiences and how does music speak back to these demands?

This conference will address these issues through paper presentations, a concert, and a keynote talk by Professor Olivia Bloechl (University of Pittsburgh). In addition, Professor Alisha Jones (Indiana University) will lead a discussion workshop.

We invite submissions from both those in traditional music studies as well as those working on music in other disciplines, such as African American Studies, Comparative Literature, Film and Media Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies. While we will consider all papers that generally address music, we especially encourage submissions that speak to the following topics:

  • Music and Power
  • Intersectionality across History
  • Analyzing Intersectionality
  • Music and Biography
  • Performing Identities
  • Music and Black Feminism
  • Disciplinary Intersections
  • Musical Hybridity
  • Music and Privilege

Abstracts should not exceed 300 words and should include the title of the presentation but exclude the applicant’s name or any other identifying features. In the cover email, please include your name, the title of your presentation, your place of affiliation, email address, and phone number, as well as any A/V equipment needed for the proposed presentation. Each applicant may submit up to two abstracts, with no more than one to be accepted for presentation. Please submit abstracts electronically, as either a PDF or Word document, saved as MGMC_[title of your presentation]. Proposals will be evaluated anonymously and will be selected based on originality, clarity, and appropriateness for oral presentation. To help promote interdisciplinarity, we also invite formats other than paper presentations. Selected presentations will either be twenty-minute paper-presentations, followed by ten additional minutes for questions and comments, or twenty- to thirty-minute-long presentations in other formats. If your presentation is in a format other than a paper presentation, please clearly indicate in the email what format you consider to be most useful for your project. Please submit abstracts electronically to the program committee at

Abstracts for papers are due February 7th, 2018 by 5 p.m. Notification of selection will be sent out at the end of February. MGMC is unable to assist with travel, but might be able to host a few individuals if necessary.

For further information about MGMC please email

MGMC 2018 will be hosted and generously supported by the Bienen School of Music. MGMC 2018 is funded in part by a Catalyst Grant from The Graduate School at Northwestern University. This event is co-sponsored by the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and by Graduate Leadership and Advocacy Council.