Friday, March 12, 2021
Sunday, March 14, 2021
Submission Deadline
Friday, January 1, 2021

The McGill Music Graduate Students’ Society (MGSS) at the Schulich School of Music in Montréal, Canada is pleased to announce its 34rd annual Symposium, which will be held virtually via Zoom March 12–14, 2021. All abstracts must be received by Friday, January 1, 2021. Decisions will be communicated at the beginning of February.

Our research keynote speaker, Prof. Noriko Manabe, is an Associate Professor of Music Studies at Temple University. She conducts research on music and social movements, popular music, and music and trauma, particularly in Japan, Latin America, and the U.S. Her research is interdisciplinary, pairing ethnography with musical analysis and drawing on theories from political science, sociology, urban studies, literary studies, linguistics, media studies, and anthropology. Her most recent article, "We Gon’ Be Alright? The Ambiguities of Kendrick Lamar’s Protest Anthem," published in Music Theory Online, won the 2019 Outstanding Publications Award from the Society for Music Theory, Popular Music Interest Group.

Our performance keynote address will be delivered by flautist, singer, and visual artist Justine Stephens. Based in Boston, her current work aligns most closely with jazz and neo-soul, a journey that began upon her jazz debut feature in the 2011 short film Kuvuka Daraja, a work featured in both the International Black Women’s Film Festival in San Francisco and the Zanzibar International Film Festival. More recently, she enjoys performing sets covering the music of soul greats, Black spirituals, and soaring improvisations over live looped beats. She also dedicates much of her time to the nonprofit sector, giving back to the very cultural institutions that inspired her during her formative years.

We welcome abstracts (300 words) in any area of music research including, but not limited to, ethnomusicology, music theory, musicology, music education, music technology, sound recording, music psychology, performance, and composition. Papers, lecture recitals, and improvisations are encouraged. Presentations may occur either synchronously via Zoom or asynchronously. Paper presentations will be twenty minutes in length, followed by a ten-minute question and answer period.

Abstracts and presentations may be in either English or French. Please attach abstracts as MS Word documents without any personal identification in the attachment. In the body of your email, please include your name, email, and academic affiliation.

We especially encourage submissions for an afternoon session devoted to diversifying and decolonizing music academia to be held on Friday, March 12.

In the interest of accessibility and in keeping with the MGSS’s commitment to equity and diversity, we ask applicants to let us know about any issues of accessibility, including (but not limited to) those regarding childcare arrangements for the conference or disability-related accommodations. Every effort will be made to accommodate accessibility issues, when possible. Abstracts will be evaluated on their own merits and all personal information disclosed will remain confidential.

Please send abstracts and inquiries to