Although we all have been experiencing a “post-truth” phenomenon for a number of years, its impact on academia as well as way the academy has shaped the concept, has not been fully explored. This seminar series – organized by Wolfgang Marx (University College Dublin) and Alexandra Monchick (California State University, Northridge) – will examine musicology as an example of how academia and societal developments in the wider world interact. We seek to present heuristics for the “post-post-truth era.” The five seminars will discuss recent developments in musicology through practical examples and epistemological considerations (such as the discourses on gender and race, misunderstandings of critical and postmodern thinking, or what might be called the “moral turn” in the humanities and social sciences).  We will explore issues such as how increases in societal polarization, individual reliance on faith, emotion, and “gut,” and the subversion of common discourse in the public sphere (particularly through social media) find certain equivalents in both musicological research and teaching. All events will be streamed live and will include ample opportunity for audience participation.

Seminars take place on Monday, 10 a.m. (PDT) / 1 p.m. (EDT) / 6 p.m. (BST) / 7 p.m. (CEST)
Free tickets for the series can be booked here:
Zoom links will be circulated shortly before each seminar.


13 September
Wolfgang Marx (University College Dublin)
Singing between Scylla and Charybdis. Ethics, Power and
Polarization in the Musical Humanities

20 September
Pierpaolo Polzonetti (University of California, Davis)
Polarization in Musicology
(moderator: Kristi Brown-Montesano,
Colburn Conservatory of Music, Los Angeles)

27 September
Philip Ewell (Hunter College, CUNY)
Polarization in Music Theory
(moderators: Wolfgang Marx, Alexandra Monchick)

4 October
Robert Fink (University of California, Los Angeles)
The Empirical Strikes Back: Pop Music, Data Science,
and the White Racial Frame

11 October
Alexandra Monchick (California State University, Northridge)
Post-Truth and Performance Narratives: Knowing What You
Mean (and no Clue) whence Comes that Knowledge

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