Inaugural event of the Musical Theatre Studies association 9th March 2019

Bookings for the Musical Theatre Symposium,and the full schedule of speakers and performers, are now available online.
The event is free, but booking is essential. Tickets are available through Eventbrite only:

There is an Associated Event, a lecture-presentation by ‘Ancient Music Ireland’, taking place on the same day, between 9:30 and 12:00. Tickets for that event are 20 euro, and must be booked separately by emailing:

Saturday 9 March 2019

Oscar Wilde Home, American College Dublin
1 Merrion Square, Dublin 1

Inaugural event of the Musical Theatre Studies association

Musical Theatre Studies is a rapidly developing field. Musical Theatre urgently requires historizising and theorizing. It its widest definition, Musical Theatre (MT) refers to any performance with a musical element. The big family of Western MT, for example, would include modern Broadway and West End musicals, as well as opera, medieval passion plays, polyphony, the punk movement, or MTV.

This multicisciplinary symposium focuses on the documentation and analysis of MT in Ireland, from prehistory to the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922. We invite scholars from Irish studies, drama and performance studies, musicology, history, anthrophology, literature studies, art history, sociology, mental health, gender and sexuality studies, philosophy or other disciplines to submit proposals for 15 minute papers. Papers are short in order to promote diversity and facilitate discussion. The selection process will prioritize rigour, originality, and diversity.

Possible topics include:

  • the Newgrange cursus: staging community?
  • historizising Irish lullabies
  • the Wicklow pipes in context
  • music in The Tain
  • bodhran as metaphor
  • harp and status in pre-Christian Ireland
  • oratorio in the celtic monastic network
  • keening and Sheila na gigs: woman as portal
  • Katherine Philips’ royalist songs
  • William Carleton and music
  • from ceilí to cuadrille
  • representations of musicians in Irish painting
  • the ‘Great Silence’ of the famine
  • Alice Milligan’s musical tableaux
  • Irish opera singers in Kate O’Brien and Brian Kennedy’s fictions
  • Salome’s embodied wisdom
  • Loie Fuller and WB Yeats
  • painted ‘compositions’ by Jellett, Hone, and Swanzy
  • queer music in Rex Ingram’s silent films
  • Winnifred Lett’s poetry: militarism, missoginy, and music
  • Pearse’s para-feminist Grainne
  • Irish Americans and the Blues

Please email a 150 word abstract, and a 50 word bio (including institutional affiliation), to:
Extended deadline for abstracts: 20 January 2019

If you are interested in an area of MT studies outside the remit of the symposium, and would like to keep updated on upcoming events and publications, please send us a line to be included in the MTStudies association mailing list.

The MT Studies association would like to thank American College Dublin for sponsoring this event.
The symposium is organised by Dr. A. Legarreta.

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