Music and Erotics: Call for Papers (Closed)

Music & Erotics

February 22-23, 2019

Department of Music, University of Pittsburgh

Deadline for Proposals: November 20, 2018

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Deborah Wong, University of California, Riverside


The erotic exists at the core of our being, at the peripheries of our consciousness, and is embedded in our senses. It is experienced in the body but is often unspeakable, or exists beyond recognition and conceptualization. As gender, sexuality, and their materiality remain central to music studies today, theorizing the erotic allows us to think through the embodied experience of listening to and producing music and sound. For this conference, we seek papers that ask how the ethno/musicologies, music theory, composition, and other related disciplines might understand music across geographical and temporal distance in relation to the erotic. Audre Lorde famously theorizes the erotic as “a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self, and the chaos of our strongest feelings”, existing on a “deeply female and spiritual plane” (1978). In what ways is the erotic connected to both femininity and masculinity, or to non-binary notions of gender performance? How is the erotic expressed or policed along lines of race and ethnicity? How do these manifest in musical performance? Does this help us to address how  “particular musics may conspire with or against particular bodies, [and] ...constrain and/or enable particular desires and forms of conduct” (Tia DeNora 1997)?

All submissions relevant to the conference topic of “Music & Erotics,” including theory, methodology, and case studies, are welcome. The program committee is particularly interested in those that address the following:

  • Trans- and queer-of-color critiques of music studies
  • Corporeality, im/materiality, and tactile experience
  • Music and erotics as an affective exchange
  • Expressions of love, romance, disgust, and rage in performance and listening
  • D/deafness, disability, and sexuality
  • Post/colonial sexualities and “the erotics of empire” (Wong 2015: 182)
  • Exoticism, orientalism, and the sexualization of Otherness

Papers will be twenty minutes in length, followed by ten minutes for questions. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words. Please send your abstract as an attachment to with the email subject line “Pitt abstract submission.”

Abstracts should be sent as PDF or .docx files, and contain no name, affiliation or other identifying information within the document. Please provide your name, title, AV requirements, and a short biography of 100-150 words in the body of the email.

Additional questions can be sent to