CFP: Intersections. Yearbook for Early Modern Studies Identities, Intertextuality and Performance in Song Culture (c. 1500- c. 1800)

by Jessica C. Murphy

Working Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, October 17-19, 2012


In the late medieval / early modern era, songs were an important factor in constructing social identities. Social identities – understood here as the way individuals and groups define themselves and are defined by others – as well as shifts in it through time, can be traced in patterns of song production and reception (texts as well as melodies), and in performance. The intertextual patterns, the borrowing of melodies and the performance practices illuminate the dynamic process of group formation through the production and appropriation of songs. Which songs were sung by whom, what effect did the songs have (emotionally, ideologically) on groups and individuals, on singers as well as listeners?


We invite papers dealing with the dynamics of song cultures, and their role in the construction of social identities. We welcome contributions in English from multiple disciplines (literature, musicology, history, cultural studies, book history, church history etc.) that address the theme in a wide-range of geographical regions, from the 16th through the 18th century. Topics may include:

  • the establishing of identities: how were songs used to develop, defend or maintain a distinctive group identity (youth (e.g. students), local/civic/national identities (e.g. rhetoricians), political groups, religious denominations)? How specific were the songs involved? In how far could they be adopted by other groups / nationalities, and how were the songs adapted to suit different audiences, purposes and situations?
  • the interconnectivity between identities: how were local identities and the national identity intertwined?  What do we know about songs traveling between confessions? What themes and melodies might have been adopted and/or adapted by dissident groups?


The working conference ‘Identities, Intertextuality and Performance in Song Culture (c. 1500-c. 1800)’ will be held in Amsterdam on October 17-19, 2012. This small conference (i.e. some 20 people) is aimed to be the preparation for a Collection of Essays, to be published in the peer-reviewed series Intersections, in May 2013 (Brill Publishers, Leiden). The volume will celebrate the completion of a huge database, ‘Dutch Songs On Line’ (DSOL), which aims at collecting all Dutch song texts (full text) between c. 1500-1900.  DSOL is a continuation and expansion of the already existing Dutch Song Database (Nederlandse Liederenbank). This project is a cooperation of Utrecht University, the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam and the Digital Library for Dutch Letters (DBNL) in Leiden.


Keynote speakers:

Ingrid Åkesson Ph. D., The Centre for Folk Music and Jazz Research, Stockholm

Prof. Patricia Fumerton, English Department, University of California, Santa Barbara

Prof. Dr. Franz-Josef Holznagel, Institut für Germanistik, Universität Rostock


Abstracts of up to 300 words should be submitted by April 15, 2012 to Dr. Dieuwke van der Poel, Selected papers will be considered for publication in the volume of Intersections.