About MGMC 2018

The Midwestern Graduate Music Consortium (MGMC) 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.

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, will 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


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 Buffett Institute for Global Studies, the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and by Graduate Leadership and Advocacy Council.