CFP: Representing Classical Music in the Twenty-First Century / Deadline: 30 April, 2020

Posted by Paula Clemente Vega on 18 November 2019

OLH Journal Special Collection: Representing Classical Music in the Twenty-First Century 

Guest Edited by Dr. Adrian Curtin (University of Exeter) and Dr. Adam Whittaker (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire)

Questions concerning representation are currently at the forefront of public and scholarly debate about classical music. What, and whom, does classical music represent in the twenty-first century? How is it represented in the arts and media? How does representation operate in the classical music industry?

There have been many forward-thinking initiatives in recent years that have cultivated new audiences, diversified programming and ensembles, and experimented with new performance formats and technologies. And yet, perceptions of elitism and archaism in classical music persist (encouraged, perhaps, by the word ‘classical’). Representations in the arts and media help to shape ideas about classical music among its devotees and, more broadly, in the popular imagination, although these representations may not be accurate. To what extent are artistic and media representations of classical music helping or hindering efforts to change industry practices?

This special collection of the Open Library of Humanities, connected to an AHRC-funded research network on the same topic, will consider contemporary artistic and media representation of classical music (e.g., plays and films depicting classical musicians) as well as representation in the classical music industry. The latter includes representation of classical musicians by agents and record companies; musicians’ self-representations (e.g., on social media); and the demographics of the classical music profession vis-à-vis gender, class, (dis)ability, and ethnicity. Contributors are welcome to focus on one or more aspects of representation. Articles that combine consideration of representation of classical music in the arts or media with consideration of representation in the classical music sector are especially welcome.

Research articles should be approximately 8000 words in length, including references and a short bibliography. Submissions should include:

Abstract (250 words)

Full-length article (8000 words)

Author information (short biographical statement of 200 words)

The deadline for abstract submission is April 30, 2020. Please email your abstract to the co-editors, Adrian Curtin ( and Adam Whittaker (

Authors of accepted abstracts should submit their articles by October 30, 2020. The special collection, edited by Adrian Curtin and Adam Whittaker, is to be published in the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) (ISSN 2056-6700). The OLH is an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded open-access journal with a strong emphasis on quality peer review and a prestigious academic steering board. Unlike some open-access publications, the OLH has no author-facing charges and is instead financially supported by an international consortium of libraries.

Submissions should be made online at in accordance with the author guidelines and clearly marking the entry as “Representing Classical Music in the Twenty-First Century,” SPECIAL COLLECTION. Submissions will then undergo a double-blind peer-review process. Authors will be notified of the outcome as soon as reports are received. To learn more about the Open Library of Humanities please visit: