• General Information

    isaScience is mdw’s international conference for interdisciplinary research on music and performing arts. We invite scholars, artists, and activists from various disciplinary backgrounds and academic levels to join the discourse on isa’s annual thematic focus. Since 2013 isaScience is part of isa, the international summer academy of mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria.

    isaScience 2023 will take place from 26 to 30 August 2023 at Hotel Marienhof in Reichenau/Rax as well as online.

    • A shuttle service from the train station at Payerbach-Reichenau to the conference venue is available free of charge.
    • Complementary funding will again be available for students and scholars in academic precarity upon acceptance of the proposal and application (if they are able to travel to Reichenau/Rax according to Covid-19 global travel restrictions in effect in August/September 2023). The exact amount of funding will be decided on a case-by-case basis according to requirements of the participant. To apply please email isascience@mdw.ac.at after your proposal has been accepted with a short description of your situation and academic affiliation (or lack thereof).
    • The isaScience team is happy to organise childcare for researchers travelling with children of any age. Please let us know beforehand to make sure all needs can be met. Hotel Marienhof is very family-friendly with a large garden as well as an in-door pool and wellness area, while the towns of Payerbach and Reichenau are popular holiday destinations and offer a variety of family-friendly activities.

    For further information please contact isascience@mdw.ac.at



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  • Call for Papers 2023

    Sonic Ties: Rethinking Communities and Collectives


     →Download Call for Papers


    isaScience 2023, mdw – University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna
    Reichenau/Rax, Austria and online, 26-30 August 2023

    Sound and social relations are tightly interwoven and oftentimes contingent upon each other. ‘Sonic Ties’ offers a lens through which to study the qualities of connection and intersubjectivity that arise through sound. isaScience 2023 invites you to explore ‘Sonic Ties’ as a central mode of sharing communality and experiencing collectivity through music, dance, and other phenomena of performance and cultural expression.

    By focusing on this specific mode of relating the sonic and the social, mdw’s interdisciplinary, international conference investigates how sound shapes collectives and communities in different societal, historical, and geopolitical contexts, and the ways in which these sonic ties reflect back on the individuals involved. Looking at communities and collectives from social movements to musical ensembles, from ethnic communities to artist collectives, isaScience 2023 seeks to investigate the entanglements of sound and power relations. What are the different forms and degrees of sonic participation and to what extent are they tied to local or globalized experiences?

    We welcome proposals from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives including, but not limited to, Queer Theory, Musicology, Cultural Studies, Music Theory, Indigenous Studies, Music Sociology, Critical Race Studies, Ethnomusicology, Popular Music Studies, Dance and Performance Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, and Film and Media Studies.
    Possible topics may include:

    • The reproduction or subversion of hegemonic social structures in sonic communities and collectives
    •  The relation of sound and music to political activism (from the labour movement to decolonisation struggles, from feminist protests to critical mass bike rides)
    • Exile, diaspora, and collective memory: how communities pass on their sonic legacy across history and ruptures of displacement and create forms of sonic belonging
    • The relation between musical communities and collectives and the tradition or innovation of musical and performance styles, idioms, and aesthetics (from historical to contemporary contexts)
    • Negotiations of identity and social status in and through the participation in communities and collectives (e.g. racialization through sound, sonic dimensions of queerness)
    • The effects of sonic ties in various musical styles and genres: e.g. from ethnic reckoning in traditional music to (sub)cultural distinction in popular music to elite formation in classical art music
    • The impact of digitality on social structures through new (social) media or technologies
    • Collective practices of listening and their impact on the social (from phonograph gatherings to punk concerts, from soundwalks to the social experience of fandom)
    • Sound and public space: how the right to the city is claimed or contested in sonic terms
    • Communality through sound in relation to rurality, vernacularity, and regional communities
    • Questions of methodology: from collective authorship to the reflection of approaches and research practices, particularly the academic categorization of and its influence on communities

    Contributions can include paper presentations (20 minutes plus discussion), panels, lecture performances, workshops, or other, innovative formats. Online contributions are possible.

    Abstracts must clearly state your research question(s), theoretical framework, methodology, and presentation format. Please include max. 5 keywords.

    Please submit your abstract in English (max. 300 words including references), a short biography (max. 100 words), and your institutional affiliation or location by 5 March 2023 in a single PDF file to isascience@mdw.ac.at
    Decisions on the acceptance of proposals will be announced in April 2023.

    isaScience is mdw’s international hybrid conference for interdisciplinary research on music and performing arts. It is held annually at Hotel Marienhof in Reichenau an der Rax, an hour outside of Vienna in the Semmering region, which is also home to mdw’s International Summer Academy isa. The conference’s conclave-like setting aims to foster intensive exchange between researchers in a relaxed atmosphere. The conference’s hybrid mode allows for active and passive online participation.

    Academic Board: Andrea Glauser, Marko Kölbl, Stephanie Probst

    Registration is free of charge. Complementary funding for travel and accommodation costs is available after acceptance of the proposal on a case-by-case basis.
    mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna covers lunch and coffee breaks on-site.

    Contact: Kathrin Heinrich isascience@mdw.ac.at
    Websites: https://www.isa-music.org/de/isascience/ & mdw.ac.at/isascience

  • Location

    How to get to isaScience?

    isaScience 2022 will take place at Hotel Marienhof, Hauptstraße 71-73, 2651 Reichenau an der Rax.


    • by train from Vienna Central Station (Hauptbahnhof Wien): Trains serve approx. every 30 minutes the destination of Payerbach-Reichenau, travelling time is approx. 1 hour; find your train and ticket here: ÖBB Austrian Railways
    • by car: Highway S6 (arriving from Vienna on the highway A2 or from Graz on the highway A9), take the exit n°17 – Gloggnitz, direction Gloggnitz, then on B27 to Reichenau/Rax
    • by airplane arriving at Vienna International Airport: Trains run from VIE airport to Vienna Central Station or Wiener Neustadt where you have to change the train for Payerbach-Reichenau
    • by shuttle bus from the trainstation in Payerbach-Reichenau


    The train station for reaching Reichenau/Rax is in Payerbach, both villages ar next to each other and our shuttle busses will connect Payerbach and Reichenau!

  • Organisers & Contact

    Organisers of isaScience:

    isaScience 2022 team
    isaScience 2022 team: Karoline Feyertag, Marko Kölbl, Therese Kaufmann, Stephanie Probst, Andrea Glauser (f.l.t.r.) (c) Stephan Polzer

    Academic Board

    Andrea Glauser, Department of Cultural Management and Gender Studies, mdw
    Marko Kölbl, Department of Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology, mdw
    Stephanie Probst, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies, mdw

    Kathrin Heinrich, Research Support Unit of the mdw

    Therese Kaufmann, Head of the Research Support Unit of the mdw (currently on leave)


  • Data Protection Declaration


    If you are participating in a meeting via Zoom, you will be visible with your registered name and, in case of having enabled the camera, your picture. If you are participating in the discussion actively with a comment, under use of the microphone function, you are going to be heard and seen by all participants live. The lecture only shall be recorded, not however the discussions thereafter, which will only be available in the live stream. Video and audio recordings of the lecture will be produced for purposes of documentation and information of mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (mdw).

    The recording becomes part of the entire meeting records and is going to be permanently accessible to the general public in the media section of mdw (mdwMediathek). Other possible uses include e.g. publication of a transcript or of a video documentation of the meeting series. Please consult our detailed data protection information (https://www.mdw.ac.at/datenschutz/datenschutzinformation-der-mdw/).

    If you do not want to be part of the recording, please use a pseudonym for participation in the Zoom lecture and do not enable camera or microphone functions while using Zoom. Those are deactivated by default by mdw in its capacity as host. An active participation in the discussion is only possible after activation of those functionalities.


    I have read the data protection information.