Call for Contributions for Edited Collection
(Working Title): Teaching and Learning Difficult Topics in the Music Classroom

At the same moment as the institution of academia is reaching a critical juncture, we find ourselves in a world in which the inescapable news cycle assaults our daily existence. As educators we must consider why and how to incorporate not only the events that happen on a near-daily basis, but our own and our students' reactions and responses as we process them both individually and as a society.We seek to explore multiple dimensions of teaching difficult topics in the music classroom. We hope to include essays on specific "hows" of teaching a set of issues or questions and authors' reflections on the "whys" of doing this significant work - within Music programs / departments; within the pre-professional tracks of music education, music therapy, etc; and more broadly within the liberal arts curricula. Authors might also share how they are working among and with the diverse levels of curricula and institutional frameworks, exploring practices that create and hold space for courses that engage these subjects. We urge contributors to keep in mind the specific nature of addressing such topics within the music classroom - what is it about music that gives us as educators and learners a singular position from which to do this brave and necessary work?

Potential topics include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Race and racism in music history and industry • Sex and/or gender
  • LGBTQ2AI* studies
  • Intersectionality
  • Mental health and illness
  • Disability studies and access
  • Body image and Fat studies
  • Violence and crisis
  • Politics and government (national and global)
  • Religion and spirituality
  • Power and privilege
  • Reconciliation and justice

We invite proposals for contributions of varying lengths (2000-5000 words) from music history or theory scholars, performers and artists, ensemble and/or studio teachers, music educators, librarians and archivists, industry experts, and scholar-practitioners. We seek a diversity of voices and encourage contributions from underrepresented or marginalized voices which are critical to these conversations. As we strive to keep the conversation open and flexible, we welcome a range of research subjects and stylistic approaches.

A reflective Foreword or Afterword will be written by William Cheng (Dartmouth College).

Please submit a 300-word abstract proposal along with a 100-word bio to the co-editors, Laura Moore Pruett (Merrimack College) and Anna Nekola (Canadian Mennonite University) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by August 10, 2019.

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