Saturday, March 9, 2024
Sunday, March 10, 2024
Submission Deadline
Friday, September 15, 2023
Murfreesboro, TN

Date: 8/1/2023
From: Joseph E. Morgan, Associate Professor (Middle Tennessee State University)
RE: Call for Papers for Conference Laughter in Music to be held March 9-10, 2024

Conference Title: Laughter in Music
Conference Facebook:
Abstracts Due: September 15, 2024

Laughter in Music, MTSU March 2024
Laughter has long played a very sophisticated role in opera, from the villager’s mocking of Max in Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz, causing him to continue down into the Wolf’s Glen, to the emergence of comic opera across Europe as the revolutionary ideals of the enlightenment began to emerge into the mainstream. However, its use was obviously never restricted to the operatic stage. One example is Mozart’s Great G Minor Symphony (K. 550) which brings the rhetoric of comic opera into the symphonic hall. Laughter’s use transcends time and place from its troubling role in American minstrelsy or its madness in heavy metal, to George Johnson’s “The Laughing Song” (1898) finding a resurgence and viral popularity in China in 2016 with the “Ha Ha Song.” As Terry Eagleton noted in Humour (2019), “As a pure enunciation that expresses nothing but itself, laughter lacks intrinsic sense, rather like an animal’s cry, but despite this it is richly freighted with cultural meaning. As such it has a kinship with music.” This “kinship” calls for investigation.
The School of Music at MTSU invites proposals of 300 words for scholarly presentations broadly aligned to the theme of laughter in music. We welcome a diversity of perspectives, from across the globe and human history, from comedies in songs of classical antiquity to contemporary parodies of dictators in modern Russia (“Takogo kak Putin”). Thus, we seek perspectives across the spectrum of musicological and ethnomusicological investigation including (but not limited to) those based on a historical, social, ethnographical, theoretical, or performance approach. Presentations may take the form of traditional paper presentations, panel sessions, roundtable discussions, posters, or lecture recitals. Please note that submission of a proposal constitutes a commitment to attend the conference if the proposal is accepted. Authors of the strongest papers will be invited to revise their work into critical essays for a projected book-length collection. Please see the conference Facebook for a complete call for papers.

To be considered, please submit a 300-word abstract, a short 100-word biography, and
supporting documentation (if desired) to Dr. Joseph E. Morgan, Joseph.Morgan -at-, by September 15, 2023. Presenters will be notified by October 15, 2023 of the status of their applications.
The conference is scheduled for the weekend of March 9-10, 2024. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Joseph E. Morgan at the email above.