Public Music Discourse In Honor of the Bernstein Centenary
Proposal deadline: December 1, 2017
Conference dates: March 2-3, 2018
Conference web site:
Conference venue: University of South Carolina, Columbia
Through his Thursday Evening Previews, Young People’s Concerts, Omnibus television programs, and in other venues, Leonard Bernstein demonstrated a voracious appetite for communicating with the public about music and music making. To celebrate the centenary of his birth, the University of South Carolina School of Music hosts a conference devoted to the topic of public music discourse, March 2–3, 2018.

It is our goal to bring music theorists, musicologists, ethnomusicologists, composers, performers, music educators, music journalists, arts administrators, program annotators, and others together to talk about public engagement in musical topics of all kinds.

Conference attendees also have the rare opportunity to see a fully-staged performance of Leonard Bernstein’s monumental composition, MASS, produced by the USC School of Music’s Opera at USC, USC Symphony, Choirs and Jazz program.

The program committee invites proposals for paper presentations, posters, and lecture recitals. Paper presentations will be 20 minutes, with 10 minutes for discussion. Lecture recitals will be 20-25 of lecture and performance, leaving 5-10 minutes for discussion. Topics that we are particularly interested in include, but are not limited to:

Topics about Bernstein, particularly as a public intellectual
Teaching music outside of the academy (retirement homes, prisons, etc.)
The role of analysis in music copyright lawsuits
Historical perspectives on public music discourse
Talking to audiences
The state of music cognitive research, particularly as regards the non-expert listener
Comic representations of music discourses (memes, etc.)
Program notes
Music journalism
Talking to our colleagues in the academy outside of music

Submit an anonymous proposal of no more than 500 words as an email attachment to J. Daniel Jenkins (jenkins.danny -at- In the body of the email, please include the author’s name, paper title, institutional affiliation or city of residence, phone number(s), and e-mail address, and indicate whether the proposal is for a paper, poster, or lecture recital. Please put “Public Music Discourse” in the subject line. Submissions will be acknowledged by email only. Please contact Danny for any additional questions.

For additional details, please visit:

Public Music Discourse will meet jointly with Music Theory Southeast. For their CFP, please visit: