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Call for Papers

Didacticism, Satire, and Song: Understanding the Jena Songbook
30–31 May 2014
Somerville College, Oxford


Didacticism, Satire, and Song: Understanding the Jena Songbook seeks to bring together established researchers and graduate students from across national borders in an interdisciplinary environment, aiming to submit the 13th-century Jena Songbook (J) to a wide array of analyses by literary scholars, musicologists, and performers. The conference hopes to transform pre-existing, mainly codicological, contextual research on the manuscript through a joint investigation of the musical and literary syntax of J’s repertoire in order to address the ethics and aesthetics of medieval (German) song, and to open the field to wider participation from English-based researchers.

The two-day conference will include contributions by four established key-note speakers from literary studies and musicology: Prof. Dr Franz Körndle (Augsburg), Prof. Karl Kügle (Utrecht), Prof. Dr Freimut Löser (Augsburg), and Dr Almut Suerbaum (Oxford). Each of these papers will be followed by an extended seminar-style discussion, fostering the establishment of new research questions and interdisciplinary networks. The conference will be rounded off by a concert by the acclaimed lutenist Marc Lewon, and will provide the opportunity for eight further papers.

These contributions might approach J’s repertoire through

• individual songs or sets of songs,
• author corpora,
• studies of musical or textual typologies,
• performative/performance aspects,
• or its reception.

The conference organisers would like to encourage young researchers at graduate and post- graduate level in particular to propose 20-minute papers on any of the above topics. The organisers hope to make available a small number of bursaries to aid travel and accommodation expenses for graduate students, and discounted rates in various Oxford colleges will be available for speakers.
Proposals for open papers should be made by emailing an abstract of 250 words along with brief information about the speaker’s academic affiliation to by 21 March 2014, 12noon.

Please do not hesitate to contact the organisers with any queries:

Conference organisers:
Racha Kirakosian (Somerville College, Oxford)
Friederike Wolpert (Somerville College, Oxford)
Henry Hope (Magdalen College, Oxford)