Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Institute for Jazz Research in Graz (KUG)

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Institute for Jazz Research
Jazz Re:Search in 21st-Century Academia and Beyond


13th International Jazz Research Conference, Graz (Austria)


18—21 November 2021
Hosted by the Institute for Jazz Research and the International Society for Jazz Research at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz


Founded in 1971, the Institute for Jazz Research at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG) is a historic cornerstone of academic jazz research. Along with similar institutions, like the Rutgers University Institute of Jazz Studies (founded 1966), the Institute helped to pave the way for and profoundly shape the discipline known as “jazz studies”, bearing witness to its transformation from a decidedly musicological to an inter-, even transdisciplinary investigation into what has been understood as jazz in their respective times.
Not only have the people, practices, sounds and settings of jazz changed considerably since then, developments such as the increasingly capitalist character of academia, the globalization of knowledge and the blurring of disciplinary boundaries continue to influence the present and future of jazz studies.
On the occasion of its 50th anniversary and as host of the 13th International Jazz Research Conference, the Institute for Jazz Research invites the submission of papers that celebrate, reflect, enhance and advance the study of jazz, both within and outside academia. We welcome papers addressing the conference theme from multiple perspectives, including musicology, cultural studies, jazz history, media studies, sociology, music analysis and practice-based research. Within the general theme, we have identified several sub-themes; please clearly identify which you are referring to in your proposal.


Re: Fwd: Jazz Research

In recent decades, jazz research has developed into a broad, interdisciplinary field of research, encompassing a multitude of different research approaches. This strand covers global historiographies of jazz research, including the examination of writings about jazz (research), the work of jazz archives and private archival practices and the wider (political) role of scholars, jazz institutions and jazz practitioners in the field. It furthermore explores future perspectives, issues and methodologies (e.g. the digitalization of jazz research), as well as the status of jazz studies in academia and beyond.


The Jazz in Jazz Studies: Boundaries and Synergies
Historically, debates about the nature of the ‘real’ jazz, for study purposes, have shaped the contours of the discipline. But what happens once we widen our scope, including musics from ‘other’ people and ‘other’ regions in our research? Given the local contexts of KUG (e.g. ethnomusicology, popular music studies, music pedagogy, jazz practice and performance practice in contemporary music) and its networks into South-East Europe, this strand invites papers that discuss the synergies and challenges that musical border-crossing entails, from the standpoint of methodology, politics, aesthetics, stylistics, nationality, ethnicity or other related issues.


Jazz Studies and Gender
While research has characterized the jazz world as male-dominated, no sufficient solution for the achievement of gender equality has been formulated so far. To address this damaging gap in jazz scholarship, in cooperation with the KUG’s Centre for Gender Studies, this strand explores questions of jazz studies and gender, including historical and contemporary gender relations, (non-male) perspectives on gender-related jazz studies, and the work and significance of women and members of the queer community in jazz. This theme aims to raise awareness of women and people of non-binary gender in jazz and jazz research, and to generally increase sensitivity for gender issues among (male) scholars.


Sites of Jazz (Research)
Jazz takes place at a multitude of sites, ranging from the physical (clubs, concert halls, festivals, music schools) to the virtual (television, radio and the internet) to the conceptual (networks, collectives, aesthetics, sounds). Therefore, the sites for jazz research and its respective approaches are just as variable. This strand covers investigations about/at various public and private forums for jazz and discusses their impact on applied jazz research, such as artistic research (an international Artistic Jazz Research Network has been founded from within Austria).


Formats and Submissions
• Individual paper (20 min. + 10 min. discussion): abstract of no more than 250 words
• Joint panel (60 min. + 30 min. discussion): themed session with three individual papers of 20 min. each; abstracts max. 250 words per paper, plus a session overview of max. 250 words
• Round table session (60 min. + 30 min. discussion): outlining abstract of up to 400 words


Please submit proposals together with a short biography (max. 50 words) and institutional affiliation as a Word document to Christa Bruckner-Haring and André Doehring at jazzresearch2021@kug.ac.at, subject line “proposal jazz re:search conference”. Given the arrival of vaccinations in the first half of 2021 to bring the current COVID-19 pandemic under control, we plan to host the conference live and in person in Graz. Updates on the conference (including possible online or hybrid scenarios) will be communicated in a timely manner.
The deadline for proposals is 1 April 2021; outcomes will be communicated to authors by 15 May 2021. All submissions will be considered by the conference committee, consisting of Christa Bruckner-Haring, André Doehring, Magdalena Fürnkranz, Franz Krieger, Loes Rusch, Tony Whyton, and members of ISJ’s executive committee. Proceedings will be published as Vol. 52 of the institute’s publication series Jazzforschung / Jazz Research.


The conference will be held together with the 41st Radio Jazz Research Conference that discusses the work of internationally renowned musician and musicologist Ekkehard Jost, themed “Social History in Jazz”. Jost willed his musicological and musical estate to the Institute for Jazz Research, where the “Ekkehard Jost Archive” will be officially opened during the conference.


Updates on the conference and information about travel and accommodation will be available at https://jazzforschung.kug.ac.at/ and https://www.facebook.com/jazzresearch/.