Conference on Early Modern Songscapes (2019)
Toronto (8-9 February 2019), avant le 15 avril 2018

Proposals are invited for a two-day international symposium coinciding with the launch of the digital platform “Early Modern Songscapes” to be held 8-9 February 2019 at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies in Toronto, Canada. We invite contributions from scholars of music, literature, theater, and digital humanities interested in “intermedia” approaches to sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English song and its performance—that is, methodologies that foreground points of connection between music, lyric, and performance, and their presentations and transformations across different media. Proposals could outline new ways of conceiving of song’s media and performance history, discuss formats or methodologies for curating song, reflect upon book history and media studies as they pertain to song, or consider the role of the digital humanities in scholarship on early modern song. The conference will incorporate a range of formats, including traditional paper sessions, roundtable discussions, and digital media presentations.

Featured keynote speakers include Patricia Fumerton (Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara), Whitney Trettien (Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania), and Amanda Eubanks Winkler (Associate Professor of Music History and Cultures at Syracuse University). Formal presentations will be limited to 20 minutes each, and digital salon or poster session pieces may be on display for a longer period. Please indicate the desired format of your proposal and include a clear statement of its originality and significance. Proposals should not exceed 300 words and should include the following information: contributor’s full name and contact information, institutional affiliation, academic status, nationality, and any audio/visual requests.

Proposals should be sent via email in Word format by midnight EST on 15 April 2018 to the Program Committee at with the subject header “Early Modern Songscapes Proposal.”

Program Committee: Katherine Larson, University of Toronto; Scott Trudell, University of Maryland; and Sarah F. Williams, University of South Carolina.

The online platform “Early Modern Songscapes,” which will be launched at the conference in beta form, is co-developed by the University of Toronto Scarborough Library’s Digital Scholarship Unit and the University of Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. It aims 1) to provide insight into song’s versatility in diverse textual and performance contexts; 2) to produce Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) and Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) editions of a selected corpus of early modern songs, together with audio and video recordings of those songs in performance; 3) to animate the acoustic and visual facets of early modern English song culture; and 4) to generate an interdisciplinary and collaborative hub for work on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English songs.

The focus will be on English song, but transnational proposals are welcome – and vital to the English context. 
As long as the proposed piece connects to the central questions of the conference, we are very open to different solo vocal genres and keen also to include varied performance settings.