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Event Access

  • Free Event
  • ASL Interpretation

October 14, 2022 - October 15, 2022

Curating for Change: The Work that Music Festivals Do in the World

The Department of History at Queen’s University and the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) at the University of Guelph are proud to present “Curating for Change: The Work That Music Festivals Do in the World,” a two-part, online conference addressing roles that music festivals play in our communities. The first part, facilitated by the University of Guelph on Aug. 26-28, explored the current state of music festivals to imagine their future; the second part, facilitated by Queen’s University on Oct. 14-15, will address the histories of music festivals with an ear to the present. All are welcome to attend this free event.

Through keynote addresses, panels, workshops, film screenings, and musical performances, this conference will explore music festivals as resonant—even if at times contested—sites of activism, equity, environmental stewardship, and community-building. It will bring together scholars, practitioners, artists, organizers, and patrons in the realm of music-making to reflect on the work that independent, artist-run, or boutique music festivals do in promoting vital forms of activist arts-based practices and pedagogies.

The second part of this conference (Oct. 14-15) will take place via Zoom, and will feature a keynote address by George McKay (University of East Anglia); a panel on the histories and futures of music festivals with Anaïs Fléchet (Université Paris-Saclay), Steve Waksman (Smith College), and Katharine White (J & M Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies); a conversation between signed music theorist Jody Cripps (Clemson University) and artistic director Chris Dodd (Sound Off, Canada’s national festival devoted to Deaf performance); a presentation on archives and digital history by Michael Kramer (State University of New York-Brockport); and a presentation by Ian Garrett and Devon Hardy (Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts) on Creative Green Tools Canada; as well as panels on topics such as “Festivals as Community-Making” and “Enacting Local Forms of Sustainability.” Part two of our conference will also include a short film on “Book of Rules,” a staple in reggae music’s formidable canon, and the launch of a new Cuban Serenade podcast episode titled “‘The Cubans Are Coming!’: ¡Afrocubanismo! and the ‘Artistic Coup’ of Banff.” For the full schedule, visit the conference website.

Note that there will be live ASL interpretation for the full duration of this event (Oct. 14-15).


There will be live ASL interpretation for the full duration of this event (Oct. 14-15).