Being Thelonious
Perspectives on Monk at 100
Birmingham City University
Birmingham UK
Thursday 15 June 2017
10:30am – 5pm

Keynote speaker: Professor Robin D. G. Kelley (Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles)

Call for Proposals

The Birmingham Conservatoire and Birmingham School of Media will be hosting a one-day symposium entitled Being Thelonious: Perspectives on Thelonious Monk at 100 on Thursday 15 June 2017. This symposium aims to undertake a wide-ranging scholarly and creative investigation of the music, history, legacy, cultural significance and wider socio-political, artistic and intellectual contexts of Monk’s music. The symposium committee invites proposals for scholarly, research-led contributions on any aspect of this theme. Contributions may be in the form of papers or papers with supporting performance elements, or presentations of creative practice, performance, and compositional research. We particularly welcome proposals in which Monk might serve as catalyst for the discussion of, or creative response to, wider cultural issues or other specific, related artists and musical genres.

As a guide, contributions might address the theme from any of the following perspectives, but are not limited to these suggestions:

  • Musical analysis
  • Historical, cultural, socio-political contexts (origins, legacy, influence, working conditions, reception, issues of race and the African-American experience, gender and identity)
  • Performance practices
  • Recording, production processes, technology, discography
  • Musical/artistic collaborations
  • Re-workings and re-interpretations
  • Issues in transcription
  • Canon formation, re-formation, or dissolution
  • Media representations and profiles
  • Relationships with other musical styles/genres and other art forms
  • Critical theory

Proposals can be for papers (20 min., plus 10 min. discussion), papers with additional performance elements (30 min.), or predominantly performance-led presentations (30 min.).

  • For individual papers, and papers with supporting performance elements, please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words.
  • For predominantly creative-practice- performance-, and composition-led presentations, please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words, and where appropriate a link to relevant audio material.

Proposals should be submitted by e-mail to Nicholas Gebhardt ( no later than Friday 7 April 2017. Notification of acceptance will be given by Friday 28 April 2017 and details of the conference programme and the registration process will be announced shortly thereafter. Please use the same email address for informal enquiries.