*The 58th International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo, May 11-13, 2023) informs us that the deadline for submission has been extended to September 23.* 

The program committee for Musicology at Kalamazoo invites abstracts for the 58th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 11-13, 2023. The session topics approved by the Congress can be viewed at wmich.edu/medievalcongress/call and include:


  1. Medievalism and Music (ID 3693). Virtual Session.

This session explores the use of medieval music in the modern imagination.  We encourage papers that explore (but are not limited to) the following topics: How composers re-imagined the Middle Ages sonically in their music compositions from the Early Modern period on, and how these works help shape our own understanding of the past; the use of medieval music as a cue for certain social, religious, and cultural ideas in film, television, video games, and recordings; and how ideas about the Middle Ages are embedded in certain musical genres, and how those genres are portrayed in different media.

  1. Instruments and Music (ID 3701). In Person Session.

This session explores instrumental music in the Middle Ages.  Instruments were used by people of all walks of life and in all geographical areas.  We invite contributions that discuss instrument construction and cultural exchange that spawned new musical practices not only in Western Europe but also in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and beyond.  Other topics of interest are instrumental music composition, improvisation, and the connections between music and dance.

  1. Medieval Music in the Digital Age: Research and Pedagogy (ID 3708). Virtual Session.

Digital tools available for musicological research run the gamut from the publication of online repositories of manuscript facsimiles and databases of musical repertories to innovative epistemological solutions in which the digital medium allows scholars to analyze and explore the inner features of musical and cultural phenomena. This panel will include presentations of new digital resources as well as papers that critically examine the theoretical and practical connections between computing and medieval musicology, address the technological divide among different parts of the world and how this can affect the circulation of ideas, and illustrate possible pedagogical applications of digital medieval musicology.

  1. Translation, Transformation, Transmission: Global Perspectives on Medieval Music (ID 3702). In Person Session.

This session will welcome scholars working on topics, religions, and cultures traditionally considered to be outside the scope of the study of medieval music, including (but by no means limited to) historical ethnomusicologists, anthropologists, sociologists, and so on. It explores how we can de-canonize both Western and non-Western musical cultures.  We anticipate papers that will address issues of multilingualism (in historical sources as well as in modern scholarship), multimedia, and cross-cultural exchange, and the usefulness and limits of comparative approaches.

  1. Latin Song in the Middle Ages (ID 3726). Virtual Session.

As the language of the church, education, and civic administration, Latin served as a language shared by clerical, monastic, and intellectual communities, creating pathways through which non-liturgical Latin song could travel. Yet, at the same time, the majority of Latin songs surviving in medieval sources are unique, reflecting local and often deeply personal engagement. This panel explores Latin song as it sits between the local and the trans-regional, the personal and the shared, locating ways in which songs written in a language that was no one’s mother tongue could become markers of personal and corporate identity.

  1. Current Issues in Medieval Music Studies (A Roundtable) (ID 3700). Virtual Session.

This round table explores how current events in the world and in academia have influenced the field of musicology. Participants are invited to reflect on the development of the discipline from the point of view of DEIB.  Presenters will share their research projects – individual or collaborative – or didactic experimentations, evaluating how they fit in or deviate from current trends, and how they could potentially alter the direction of future research.

7. Contrapunctus: Many Voices, Many Styles (ID 3710). In Person Session.

Contrapuntal techniques of any kind (written, oral, improvised) are at the center of the repertory in both secular and sacred music in the Middle Ages. This session invites papers on the many styles, genres, and practices of polyphonic singing, whose vestiges can be found in sources with music notation, as well as in treatises and other texts, and visual arts.  Papers can address issues of repertory, techniques, performance and relations among the different genres; they can evaluate methodological tools and their results; and finally, they can deal with theoretical issues of counterpoint and their practical consequences in the repertory.  

  1. Music, Place and Space.  Virtual Session.

This session investigates the relationship between music, space, and place in the Middle Ages. We invite contributions that address the locations—real or imagined—within which medieval music existed, analyzing the relationship between sonic, spatial and environmental experience. Topics may include acoustical spaces, medieval soundscapes, and the interactions of performed music with natural and artificial sound (such as animal poems or the ringing of bells).

  1. Chant and Liturgy.  In Person Session.

The session focuses on monophonic chant in its liturgical context, with a broad geographical and chronological scope ranging from the early Middle Ages to the Renaissance (and beyond). While we expect papers to be primarily focused on music, we encourage interdisciplinary methodologies that place chant in its historical and cultural contexts. We also invite papers that compare Western chant with other monophonic liturgical traditions, providing a broader and more inclusive vision of how the sacred word has been musically projected in different cultures.

  1. Authors, Performers, and Audiences in the Middle Ages.  In Person Session.

This session invites contributions that problematize the idea of composition as a fixed, authoritative act and explore a more fluid relationship among the agents of music making. Medieval music repertories are pervasively anonymous. Contrary to today’s focus on composers and the individual, medieval performers interacted with authors to modify and re-create compositions, both in writing and in performance. The audience could be involved in this process through participation in dancing and singing. We invite papers that explore issues of attribution, performance, reworking, multiple versions and reception of any musical genre in the Middle Ages.


Another session – not directly sponsored by Musicology at Kalamazoo – but of musicological interest is:

Music and Liturgy in the Low Countries (ID: 3792)

We hope these topics can foster dialogue between musicologists and scholars in other areas, so we encourage specialists in fields other than Music to submit proposals. Musicology at Kalamazoo strives to foster an environment that is supportive of medievalists of color and other marginalized groups. Papers tackling themes of diversity, inclusion, pedagogy, class, race, disability, gender, and sexual orientation will also be particularly welcome at our sessions.

Please keep in mind that we intend these session titles mostly as “hooks,” rather than limitations, on which a multitude of proposals can be placed, so send us your best work. Proposals for papers (usually 20 mins) should include an abstract of no more than 300 words.  All proposals must be submitted by 23 September 2022 via the Confex call for papers system on the ICMS website:  https://icms.confex.com/icms/2023/cfp.cgi. This is required by the Medieval Institute.*