Call for Papers

Sounding Spaces

7th Biennial
Yale Graduate Music Symposium
February 28-29, 2020
Yale University


Keynote Speaker: Kwami Coleman (NYU)

Workshop: Daphne Brooks (Yale)

Call for Papers

How does sound participate in constructing social, ideological, and conceptual spaces? How do different spaces afford particular configurations of sound to certain people and groups? The organizing committee of the Yale Graduate Music Symposium welcomes abstracts on the topic of “Sounding Spaces.” Intersections of sound and space reveal some of the processes through which the two co-produce one another; whether through shifting behavioral codes implicit in the soundscapes of public and private spaces; the ways in which people throughout history have charted human difference through sonic territories; spatial metaphors that shape understandings of sound; or ideas of past, present, and future that manifest through sound, organizing modes of self-fashioning in social space. Sounding spaces are sites for both naturalizing and contesting politics of identity, alterity, and cultural power. We hope that this conference will foster a rich exchange of critical perspectives on the theme by bringing together graduate students representing a variety of intellectual disciplines and backgrounds.

We conceive of this theme quite broadly. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Acoustics of architectural spaces
  • Sites of vocal production
  • Sound and spaces of protest
  • Spaces of amplification / spaces that silence
  • Sonic mobility
  • Noise and industrial space
  • Afro-futurism
  • Sound in cyberspace
  • The (im)possibility of sound in outer space
  • Music in private spaces, such as salon music, the rise of recorded and broadcast music in the home, or the soundtracks of social gatherings
  • Musical pitch spaces
  • Environmental sounds / sound and the anthropocene
  • Music in public spaces, such as in royal courts, commercial concert halls, or arenas
  • Harmony of the spheres
  • Film sound and narrative space

Submission Guidelines

We welcome submissions from all graduate students engaged in research on music and sound; we look forward to hearing from students of any discipline within the humanities and social sciences. All submissions will be reviewed anonymously. All proposals must be submitted electronically by Wednesday December 4, 2019 at 11:59pm, and must include the following components:

1. A PDF file that contains only:
• The paper’s title
• An abstract of no more than 300 words
• Where appropriate, links to relevant sound recordings, scores, or other supplementary materials

2. An email sent to containing:
• “YGMS Abstract Submission” as the subject field
• The author’s name, contact information, and academic affiliation
• A list of any audio-visual requirements
• The PDF file as an attachment

Formats for presentation include:
• 20-minute papers or audiovisual presentations with 10 minutes for discussion
• 30-minute composers’ colloquia, performances, or lecture-recitals, with 15 minutes for discussion

Queries regarding submissions should be directed to Tatiana Koike at:

pdf available here