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Music and Censorship in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Historical, Political and Social Context

Call for PapersMusic and Censorship in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Historical, Political and Social Context

organized by

Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini (Lucca)

Virtual conference

10-12 February 2023


The Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini is pleased to invite submissions of proposals for the symposium «Music and Censorship in the 20th and 21stCenturies», to be held from 10 to 12 February 2023.

The word ‘censorship’ when referring to music immediately brings to mind the dictatorships of the twentieth century, although the practice has also always existed within democracies in various forms and for different reasons (moral, political, ideological, religious, or related to copyright). Usually, censorship means a form of control by third parties acting on the thoughts, works or actions of individuals. Yet, even in the absence of legislated repression, composers, performers, or music critics have often ‘self-censored’ themselves to adapt to forms of censorship that are not framed in law but are nevertheless enshrined in society, institutions or the media.

The justification for censorship is often that it is intended to ‘protect’ society from content that is considered ‘dangerous’, or harmful, or that could undermine peace or political stability. But the practice is not based on universal and shared concepts in all cultures and societies, and so to understand the true meaning of acts of censorship, it is crucial to analyze the historical, political and social context in which they are applied. Starting therefore from a reconsideration of the meaning of censorship in music, the present symposium seeks to investigate the different objectives of music censorship during the 20thand 21st centuries.

The programme committee encourages submissions within the following areas, although other topics are also welcome:

  • What does ‘Censorship’ Mean in Music? Redefining the Concept
  • Censorship and Control of Music in Power Structures
  • From Legal Regulations to Actual Practices of Music Censorship: Contradictions and Paradoxes
  • Beyond Institutions: Self-Censorship and Self-Control as Ideological and Psychological Mechanisms
  • (Self)censorship in Music Criticism
  • Music Industry and Music Market as Agents of Censorship and Control
  • (Musical) Freedom of Speech and Mass Media
  • Objectives of Music Censorship: Genres and Repertoires; Music Festivals and Concerts; Recordings
  • Censoring Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation
  • Censorship and Religion
  • Towards a Political Censorship of the Body (Dance, Popular Music)
  • Forms of Censorship and Exclusion of ‘Dissident’ and ‘Opposing’ Music
  • Censorship as Exclusion Mechanisms in Processes of Identity Construction
  • Censorship in Colonial and Postcolonial Contexts
  • Explicit and Implied Censorial Measures over Musicians, Performers and Ensembles
  • Music Censorship and Exclusion in the Social Networks
  • Censorship and Music Training / Education

Programme Committee:

  • Germán Gan Quesada (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
  • Roberto Illiano (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Fulvia Morabito (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Gemma Perez Zalduondo (Universidad de Granada)
  • Massimiliano Sala (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)

Keynote Speakers:

  • James Garratt (University of Manchester)
  • Iván Iglesias (Universidad de Valladolid)

The official languages of the conference are English, French, Italian and Spanish. Papers selected at the conference will be published in a miscellaneous volume.

Papers are limited to twenty minutes in length, allowing time for questions and discussion. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and one page of biography.

All proposals should be submitted by email no later than ***Sunday 13 November 2022*** to <conferences@luigiboccherini.org>. With your proposal please include your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail and telephone number) and (if applicable) your affiliation.

The committee will make its final decision on the abstracts by the end of November 2022, and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter. Further information about the programme and registration will be announced after that date.

For any additional information, please contact:

Dr. Massimiliano Sala




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