Documenting Jazz 2020

We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves. Our vision is continually active, continually moving, continually holding things in a circle around itself, constituting what is present to us as we are.
John Berger, (ed.) Ways of Seeing. 1987.

Birmingham City University is pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the Documenting Jazz conference, to be held on 16–18 January 2020. Now in its second year, Documenting Jazz brings together colleagues from across the academic, archive, library, and museum sectors to explore and discuss documenting jazz. Since its first edition in Dublin 2019, the Documenting Jazz Conference aims to offer an unparalleled variety of experiences drawn from across the world. We hope to include contributions from individuals of all career stages, from established scholars and practitioners to those just starting their careers. We embrace the academic sector and other heritage and cultural organisations in partnership with each other and with communities. Our keynote speakers are drawn from across the academic sector to inspire debate and discussion amongst participants.

In Ways of Seeing, John Berger argues that though every image embodies a way of seeing–every photograph is the photographer’s selection from an infinite number of other sights–so too our perception of an image changes with our personal way of seeing. The act of documenting jazz embodies ways of documenting that reflect assumptions about the past. As changes in technology, cultures and economies have profoundly influenced and affected our perception of music, alternative ways of documenting jazz must be considered, explored, and discussed. Documenting Jazz 2020 invites proposals on this year’s theme of ways of documenting jazz, either as individual or collaborative projects. The programme committee welcomes submissions focusing on ways of documenting jazz as visual culture, and its distinct representations: photography, press, cinema, television, and web. We also invite proposals that address ways of documenting that challenge the traditional narratives surrounding jazz as a male-dominated domain. This year’s conference also aims to consolidate discussions around issues of gender, and the way those have been documented or marginalised in this music history. While not restricted to these themes, we invite submissions that address critical ways of documenting jazz around the following areas:

  • Jazz in Photography
  • Jazz in the Press
  • Jazz on/in Cinema
  • Jazz on/in Television
  • Jazz online

Within this year’s theme proposals are invited in the following formats: 

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

Proposals should include: 

  • Title for the paper and/or session. 
  • Name, contact details and affiliation of the speaker(s). 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 to Dr Pedro Cravinho pedro.cravinho@documentingjazz.com

by 25 July 2019. The programme committee will examine all abstracts by 1 September 2019, and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter.

Conference Committee: 

  • Dr Pedro Cravinho (Birmingham City University, Chair)
  • Dr Simon Barber (Birmingham City University)
  • Dr Damian Evans (Research Foundation for Music in Ireland)
  • Dr Marian Jago (University of Edinburgh)
  • Prof Nicholas Gebhardt (Birmingham City University)
  • Dr Nicolas Pillai (Birmingham City University)
  • Dr Sarah Raine (Birmingham City University)
  • Prof Tim Wall (Birmingham City University)
  • Prof Tony Whyton (Birmingham City University)

Programme Committee: 

  • Dr Pedro Cravinho (Birmingham City University, Chair)
  • Judit Csobod (Research Candidate at the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation)
  • Dr Damian Evans (Research Foundation for Music in Ireland)
  • Dr Mathias Heyman (University of Antwerp)
  • Dr Marian Jago (University of Edinburgh)
  • Dr Sarah Raine (Birmingham City University)
  • Dr Heli Reimman (University of the Arts Helsinki)
  • Dr Loes Rusch (University of Amsterdam) 
  • Dr Tom Sykes (University of Salford)