Skip to main content

Call for proposals for Special Issue: New Approaches to Music and Sound

The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Special Issue: New Approaches to Music and Sound

Guest Editors: David Suisman and Rebecca Tinio McKenna

If new book series and journal special issues are any indication, over the last decade, there has been a surge of interest in the musical and sonic worlds of the past. Scholars of music, sound studies, disability studies, transnational and postcolonial studies, cultural history, history of the senses, and others have been expanding our historical understanding of soundscapes, music cultures, aurality, acoustics, and other aspects of the work sound does in the world. New scholarship is connecting music and sound with politics and social movements, capitalism and commerce, the formation of racial, gender, and class identity and difference, the history of technology and of natural environments, and more.

For historians of music and sound in the U.S. context, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era is an especially important period. The years between 1865 and 1920 saw a great transformation in how Americans experienced music and in the very sounds that populated and punctuated their lives. Tin Pan Alley tunes came to be composed, plugged, and circulated widely, signaling the intensified commercialization of music. Phonographs and player-pianos emitted mechanically reproduced sound, challenging the piano’s parlor empire. Venues for listening and making music ranged from settings for bourgeois music like Carnegie Hall (founded in 1891) to vaudeville theaters and nickelodeons, saloons, churches, and front porches. New soundscapes emerged, defined by railroad whistles, automobiles, assembly lines, sewing machines, department store music counters, and increasingly polyglot voices in American cities and well beyond. These circumstances conditioned the expression of new sounds heard in ragtime, jazz, and what would become known as “old-time” or “hillbilly” music.

This special issue of The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, co-edited by David Suisman (University of Delaware) and Rebecca Tinio McKenna (University of Notre Dame) seeks to present new research on the history of music and sound from 1865 to 1920 and stimulate discussion about what attention to music and sound can illuminate about turn-of-the-century U.S. history. Proposals might concern changes in musical composition or performance practices; the political economy of music; material, environment, or ecological approaches to music or sound; noise abatement and attempts to regulate or police sound; organology; music education; deafness and disability; the “sonic color line”; music in U.S. diplomatic or imperial history; acoustics and the measurement of sound; and music and sound in religious experience. These and other topics may address problems of identity and social belonging, power and control, the economy and environment, among others.

We hope that this special issue will generate conversations that invigorate discussions of music and sound in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.  Please send article abstracts (300 words or less) and short 2-page CVs to by December 18, 2020.

Popular posts from this blog

Call for Papers: #BHC2022MexicoCity

Business History in Times of Disruption: Embracing Complexity and Diversity Annual Meeting of the Business History Conference Sheraton Mexico City María Isabel Hotel Ciudad de México, México April 7-9, 2022 [ bookmark the CFP ] The Covid-19 crisis arrived with little warning, disrupting global business and trade. Industries as different as tourism, retail, and manufacturing were plunged into disarray by travel restrictions, broken supply chains, and quarantines. The pandemic also underscored the growing dangers posed by economic inequality and environmental degradation, hinting at a more tumultuous future. We have, it seems, entered into a new age of uncertainty. Informed by these developments, the 2022 Business History Conference will explore the diverse ways that entrepreneurs, firms, and organizations coped with complexity, uncertainty, and disruption over the long run. The Program Committee welcomes individual papers and session proposals that explore this theme. Submissions can a

Call for Submissions: Business History Collective and the webinar series

Call for Submissions: Business History Collective and the webinar series The network aims to promote scholarship in the fields of business history, management history, organizational history, corporate history, and other related fields. The network will launch the Spring 2021 webinar series to provide a space for the presentation and discussion of works in progress, dissertation chapters, or R&R manuscripts. The webinars are open to scholars primarily from a qualitative perspective, willing to engage in productive conversations by providing supportive and constructive comments to peers. We are currently looking for presenters and attendees to get things moving forward. We especially welcome submissions from graduate students and early-career researchers. We strongly encourage women, people of color, members of minority groups, scholars based in or working on under-represented geographies (such as Latin America, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia), and schola

AHA Virtual Seminar: Business History Today

Virtual AHA Seminar: Business History Today April 13th, 2021 2 pm  Colloquium--An assessment of the doing of business history at the beginning of the 21st century, sketching new trends and themes. Chair:  Philip B. Scranton , Rutgers University-Camden Presenters: Business History, Theory, and Globalization by Kenneth J. Lipartito , Florida International University Rethinking Chinese Economic Life and Business History by Philip Thai , Northeastern University Economic Life and the Margins of Business History by Alexia Yates , University of Manchester Histories of Business in Africa: Lessons from Ghana by Bianca Murillo , California State University, Dominguez Hills