Call for papers

Women – Music – Futures
Symposium at the University of Helsinki, Finland
March 9th and 10th 2023

Pre-Symposium Concert on March 8th, International Women’s Day
Call for proposals

In many communities around the world, women are important culture bearers fostering the transmission of local traditions to future generations. However, women also forge new roles in their communities in order to express themselves and to get their voices heard. In these efforts for empowerment, music can serve as a tool for refashioning oneself and one’s place in society, thereby building futures that might not have been possible otherwise. Music also frequently serves as a space for imagination and dreaming, for experimentation with alternative ideas about the past, the present, and the future.

The aim of this symposium is to discuss the agency of women musicians worldwide, and the ways in which they use music to construct imaginary or real futures for themselves. Often working in patriarchal environments and restricted by social norms and expectations of their communities, women demonstrate significant resilience and creativity as they seek to create space for musical activities. In this regard, mutual support and networks between women are important. Sometimes women choose music because it provides a platform for presenting their views and/or influencing their communities in ways that would not be allowed otherwise.

We welcome proposals for papers and other types of presentations that engage with the conference theme. Particularly we encourage collaborative presentations by artists and researchers as well as alternative modes of presenting (e.g. film, workshop or lecture demonstration). The time allotted for individual paper presentations is 30 min., for other kinds of presentations 30 or 45 min., incl. audience questions and comments. It is also possible to suggest a full session of 90 min. with a minimum of three presenters.

In all cases, the author(s) should submit an abstract of max 300 words. Please also indicate on the proposal form the name(s) and contact info of the presenter(s), title and format of the presentation, 1–5 keywords and technical requirements (if other than powerpoint or similar with audio).


The deadline for proposals has passed on October 24th 2022.


The symposium will take place in-person at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

The symposium is organized by the project World Wide Women – Female Musicians Crossing Borders and Building Futures


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