“From the New World”?
Eurocentrism in Jazz

We have started preparations for the next Darmstadt Jazzforum conference to take place from 30 September to 2 October 2021. Continuing discussions prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement we want to talk about the idea of “Europe” which had a lasting influence on aesthetics and ethics, the presentation and the reception of jazz. We want to ask about how a Eurocentric view has changed and continues to shape our perception of what jazz stands for, how it connects both to the music’s African American origins and to our own individual cultural environment. Our discussions may start with the name “jazz”, we may look at historical examples of Eurocentric tendencies, and we may take into account the current discourse about the relevance of jazz in non-African American communities. We will talk about racism in jazz, reflect on how exclusion and different forms of othering are present in today’s jazz scene, and look at alternate readings of how the example of African American culture has changed and enriched the understanding of music all over the world. We won’t limit the discussion to jazz but also look at similar debates about Eurocentrism or African-Americanism in contemporary composed music or pop culture.

The Darmstadt Jazzforum is an international conference aimed at a more general than just the scholarly community. We hope for papers that spur on discussions beyond the limits of jazz research, expecting an audience of musicians, journalists, dedicated jazz fans as much as students and scholars from different fields. Papers should be no longer than 25-30 minutes to give ample time for discussion. We are also grateful for panel suggestions and will (within limits) be able to help with travel expenses.

Please send any questions or proposals to jazz@jazzinstitut.de

[Deadline for proposals: 30 November 2020]