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Home » Uncategorized » Postponed until 2021 – Travels in Hyperreality: medievalism and postmodern musical cultures

Postponed until 2021 – Travels in Hyperreality: medievalism and postmodern musical cultures

A joint conference organised by the School of Arts at Oxford Brookes University and REMOSS (Representations of Early Music on Stage and Screen)

It has been 37 years since Umberto Eco wrote Travels in Hyperreality. Gazing at the ‘postmodern neomedieval Manhattan new castle’ of Trump Tower, he found ‘a new feudalism’ in a ‘New Middle Ages’. Now that Trump is sovereign, Eco’s playful comparisons between saints and pop stars overspill their boundaries grotesquely. But why is the pop star so sainted? And if ‘the relationship between illuminated manuscript and cathedral is the same as that between MOMA and Hollywood’, does the tower loom as large as the soundbite?

For its fifth annual conference, the REMOSS (Representations of Early Music on Stage and Screen) study group invites proposals on the theme of ‘Travels in Hyperreality’, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between pre- and postmodern musical cultures. We aim to acknowledge medievalism’s pervasiveness in postmodern society and ask what worldviews we share with premodernity—what relationships with ambiguity, truth, reality, and excess—and how they manifest themselves in the world of sound. 

Keynote lectures will be given by Lindsay Steenberg and Bruce Holsinger.

Contributions could cover (and are not limited to):

  • pre-/postmodern ideas of reality
  • video game music and soundscape
  • contemporary opera and musical theatre
  • hyperreality in film and television music
  • medievalism, racism, and violence on stage and screen
  • historically informed performance, reconstruction, and roleplay
  • medievalist influences in compositional practice
  • the influence of medieval conceptions of gender, sexuality, body, sound, and music
  • pre-/postmodern ideas of reality

Our conception of ‘early music’ is a broad one, including the use, or re-use, of ‘real’ early music in contexts new and old. As ever, the conference will be live-streamed, and we welcome both speakers and delegates to attend digitally. All proposals and contributions will be considered.

If you have any questions about the conference, feel free to contact any of the organisers, particularly George Haggett, george.haggett@magd.ox.ac.uk .

Programme committee:

James Cook (University of Edinburgh)

George Haggett (Magdalen College Oxford)

Alexander Kolassa (Open University)

Leander Reeves (Oxford Brookes University)

Adam Whittacker (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire)

Sign-up for our jiscmail newsletter at: REMOSS@JISCMAIL.AC.UK

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