Marxist Music Studies Now

Marxist Music Studies Now

Lecturer in music Jo Hicks gave a paper on "green Marxism" and historical musicology at the recent meeting of the American Musicological Society in New Orleans

The university is under threat from two flanks. The first is the neoliberal austerity of revenue-driven management of higher education, born of steady decreases in state support over decades, and increasingly reliant on tuition and fees paid by students. In turn, those students are taught by poorly remunerated and job-insecure contingent faculty members, in contrast to a powerful and well-compensated administrative class. The second comes from various strands within the far right, chauvinistic boosters of “Western civilization,” and crusaders against (the woefully misunderstood) “Critical Race Theory.” With a growing and alarming prevalence in public discourse, this contingent claims to rescue the academy from Leftist dogmatism but in fact seeks to preserve long-entrenched white supremacy in academia by neutralizing diversification and decolonization initiatives.

As some of the most well-known and exciting recent developments across all of the music subdisciplines have shown, these crises in higher education have been robustly approached from critical race and ethnicity, gender, disability, and critical pedagogy studies perspectives. A roundtable discussion at the recent meeting of the American Musicological Society in New Orleans sought to join this chorus by asking what a Marxist perspective can offer music studies as it navigates this dual crisis of neoliberalization and chauvinistic revanchism. Contrary to the regrettable misappropriation of Marxism as yet another flavour of abstract Eurocentric theory, the participants in this roundtable used Marxist thought to help articulate our commitments to activist scholarship and what Naomi André has called “engaged musicology.”

By asking questions guided by anti-capitalist theory and practice, we explored what Marxist critique can bring to these vital discussions in music studies today, thereby drawing connections between multiple critical conversations in our various subfields. For example, what would a Marxist-informed prioritization of labour teach us both about our work as teachers and about how the university exploits that work? How could a theorization of capitalism’s constitutive reliance on racial violence and colonial extraction support anti-racist music studies? We therefore conceived of this roundtable as a starting point for broader dialogues and as-yet underexplored alliances between engaged music scholars. The roundtable proposed a reanimation of Marxist music studies towards a non-reductive solidarity for music scholars committed to a better world.

Chair: Sumanth Gopinath (University of Minnesota)
Discussants: Eric Drott (UT Austin)
Presenters: Derek Baron (New York University), Jane Forner (University of Toronto), Jonathan Hicks (University of Aberdeen), Rachel McCarthy (Goldsmiths, University of London), Daniel Elphick (Royal Holloway, University of London), Nathan Mercieca (Cambridge University)

Search News

Browse by Month

2024

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2024
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2024
  5. May There are no items to show for May 2024
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2024
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2024
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2024
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2024
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2024
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2024
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2024

2023

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2023
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

2021

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2021

2020

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2020
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2020

2019

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2019
  8. Aug
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2019
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2019

2018

  1. Jan
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2018
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2018
  7. Jul
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2018
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

2017

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2017
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2017
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2017
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

2016

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2016
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2016
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2016
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2016
  5. May There are no items to show for May 2016
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2016
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2016
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2016
  9. Sep
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2016
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

2015

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2015
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2015
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2015
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2015

2014

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2014
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2014
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2014
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2014

2013

  1. Jan
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2013
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2013
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2013
  5. May There are no items to show for May 2013
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2013
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2013
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2013

2012

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2012
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2012
  7. Jul
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2012
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2012

2011

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2011
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2011
  12. Dec

2010

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2010
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2010
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec