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The University of Edinburgh is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for the third instalment of Documenting Jazz to be held at the Reid School of Music, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh 23rd-26th June, 2021. Documenting Jazz seeks to draw together colleagues with an interest in jazz studies from a diverse array of backgrounds and welcomes contributions from scholars of all career stages, independent and non-academically affiliated scholars and researchers, critics, archivists, and practitioners to foster an atmosphere of rich interdisciplinary discussion and debate.

The CFP can be downloaded here:

Documenting Jazz 2021 is particularly pleased to announce a partnership with the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), and will be intersecting with aspects of the EIFF’s 2021 Jazz Retrospective series of films co-curated by Niall Fulton and Dr. Marian Jago. With a mixed programme of feature films and documentaries including some titles rarely seen on screen, this exciting partnership will provide many opportunities to consider the ways in which jazz is encountered as art, soundtrack, mythology, commodity, by the cognoscenti and by the broader public. How does what we see of jazz inform what we might hear, and how we might think about jazz? (films t.b.a)

Keynote Speakers

Documenting Jazz 2021 is also proud to announce a keynote talk by award-winning critic and writer Nate Chinen (Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century (2018), Myself Among Others: A Life in Music (2003), WGBO, NPR Music, etc.). Further guest speakers TBA.

NATE CHINEN is the author of Playing Changes: Jazz For the New Century. A former jazz critic for The New York Times and former columnist for JazzTimes, he is the director of editorial content at WBGO, and a regular contributor to NPR Music. A thirteen-time winner of the Helen Dance–Robert Palmer Award for Excellence in Writing, he is also the coauthor of George Wein’s Myself Among Others: A Life in Music.


This year Documenting Jazz invites proposals on the theme of ‘encounters’, and encourages papers and projects to consider the various ways, places, and contexts in which jazz is encountered and the impacts these encounters have upon the identity, reception, reputation, practice, and perceived value of jazz and its constituents. While in no way limited to these, the conference committee offers the following points of departure:

  • Jazz and Race
  • Jazz on/in Film & Television                           
  • Jazz as Cultural Practice
  • Jazz and Gender
  • Jazz and Capitalism
  • Jazz in the Popular Imagination
  • Jazz and Visual Culture
  • Jazz and Improvisation
  • Jazz and the Environment/Ecology 
  • Jazz and Technology  
  • Jazz and Wellbeing
  • Jazz and Politics
  • Jazz and Aesthetics
  • Jazz as Discourse

Proposals are invited in the following formats:

  • Individual papers (20 mins duration plus 10 mins Q&A, 250-word abstract).
  • Joint papers (max 2 speakers, same format as above).
  • Themed sessions (3 papers totalling 90 mins, up to 250-word abstract per paper plus 250 words outlining the rationale for the session).
  • Round-table discussions (90 mins, max. 6 speakers. 750-word abstract outlining the format, content and rationale for the session).
  • Lecture-recitals or other forms of practice-based content (500-word abstract outlining the format, content and rationale for the session).
  • Posters (250-word abstract).

NB: Please note that while presentations that make use of film or video within the time limits are welcome as always, it is not possible for the conference to consider the inclusion of entire films. 

Proposals should include:

  • Title for the paper and/or session.
  • Name, contact details and affiliation of the speaker(s)(if applicable). In the case of themed sessions and round-table sessions, the panel convenor.
  • Brief biography of the speaker(s) (100 words per speaker).

Please send proposals to Dr. Marian Jago by 8pm (GMT) 16th November 2020: marian.jago@documentingjazz.com. Contributors will be informed of acceptance in early January 2021. 

NB: Given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, the conference committee will plan for options should online or hybrid approaches be necessary, but remain hopeful that we’ll be able to welcome you to Edinburgh in-person next summer! Online engagement for those unable to attend will be supported in some capacity.

Conference Committee:

Dr. Marian Jago (Conference Chair, University of Edinburgh)
Niall Fulton (Edinburgh International Film Festival)
Roderick Buchanan-Dunlop (University of Edinburgh)
Dr. Pedro Cravinho (Birmingham City University)
Maya Cunningham (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Dr. Damian Evans (Research Foundation for Music in Ireland)
Prof. Björn Heile (University of Glasgow)
Prof. Raymond MacDonald (University of Edinburgh)
Dr. Haftor Medböe (Edinburgh Napier University)
Dr. Nikki Moran (University of Edinburgh)
Prof. Gabriel Solis (University of Illinois, Urbana)

Programme Committee:

Dr. Marian Jago (Conference Chair, University of Edinburgh)
Dr. Pedro Cravinho (Birmingham City University)
Maya Cunningham (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Dr. Damian Evans (Research Foundation for Music in Ireland)
Dr. Marc Edward Hannaford (University of Michigan)
Dr. Matthias Heyman (University of Antwerp)
Dr. Kelsey Klotz (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Dr. Mark Lommano (Albright College)
Dr. Gayle Murchison (William & Mary)
Dr. Loes Rusch (Utrecht University)
Dr. Floris Schuiling (Utrecht University)
Dr. Aleisha Ward (National Library of New Zealand)
Dr. Christi J. Wells (Arizona State University)
Dr. Katherine Williams (University of Plymouth)