Seminars: German Philosophy Seminar 2017-2018, “Six Seminars on Music and Marxism” (SAS, University of London, November 2017-April 2018)

We are glad to share the program of this year’s German Philosophy Seminary, “Six Seminars on Music and Marxism”, that will be held at the SAS, University of London, from November 2017 until April 2018.

The issue at stake will be the nexus between music and Marxism, tackled by different perspectives and taking into account various thinkers and problems.

Here below you can find the complete program of the seminars and more information about the possibility of attendance.



Ernst Bloch Centre for German Thought, Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London

All are welcome to attend
Convenors: Jeremy Coleman (Bloch Centre, IMLR; Aberdeen) and Johan Siebers (Bloch Centre, IMLR; Middlesex)
This year the German Philosophy Seminar will be co-convened by Johan Siebers, Director of the Ernst Bloch Centre for German Thought at the School of Advanced Study, London University, and by Jeremy Coleman, visiting fellow at the Centre this year. Jeremy lectures in the Music Department at the University of Aberdeen. He read Music at Clare College Cambridge and received a PhD in Musicology from King’s College London for his thesis Wagner in Paris, supervised by Michael Fend and John Deathridge (2016). His various research interests centre on social and materialist approaches to 19th-century music history, and as part of his Fellowship at the Bloch Centre he is working on a re-evaluation of music history in relation to historical materialism. The German Philosophy Seminar will be followed by a symposium on this theme in 2018.
Seminar series outline
The German Philosophy Seminar series 2017-18 explores critical encounters between music history and historical materialism in an interdisciplinary way. As such, it asks what musicology could still learn from the central insights of Marx and Marxism and to what extent music and historical materialism can even be ‘thought together’. The focus will be on Western music history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with respect to its complex relations to industrial capitalism, bourgeois liberalism and modernity. Ernst Bloch said that music is the utopian art form par excellence; by considering what may be called the allegorical dream-images of Marxist criticism, the series aims to suggest and explore a latent tradition of radical music criticism as it were ‘from the ground up’ via a reading of theoretical and philosophical texts in new, sometimes provocative juxtaposition with music history sources and secondary musicological literature. This may allow us to re-evaluate the social and material significance of the music of the past and to explore new, vigorous approaches to music criticism and philosophy of music today. Each seminar will discuss at least two texts, usually one philosophy/theory and the other musicology. The themes, texts, musicological and philosophical debates will be introduced briefly, after which the focus of the seminars will be on discussion. Reading in the original German (where applicable) is encouraged; however, English translations will also be provided and knowledge of German is not required to participate fruitfully in the seminars.
There will be six seminars over two semesters. Seminars will take place in Room 234 (Institute of Modern Languages Research, Senate House) on the following dates and times:
First Semester
Seminar 2: Form and Production in Bloch’s Philosophy of Music: Wednesday 15 November 2017, 4pm-6pm
Seminar 3: Commodity Production and Musical Idealism: Wednesday 13 December 2017, 4pm-6pm
Second Semester
Seminar 4: Wagner Among the Left Hegelians: Monday 5 February 2018, 4pm-6pm
Seminar 5: Historical Materialism and Models of Criticism: Monday 5 March 2018, 4pm-6pm
Seminar 6: Musical Reproduction in Modernity: Monday 9 April 2018, 4pm-6pm
Contact for registration and more information.
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