Appel à contribution : Sacred Music, Ceremony and Architecture in Transcultural Perspectives, RSA, Dublin, date limite le 30 juillet 2021

Sacred sound, space and ceremony were intertwined in perceptions of the divine in the early modern world. We seek papers that explore aural and sonic dimensions of religious practices and architectural spaces, particularly proposals that engage with transcultural interactions. Multisensorial dimensions of religious settings (and their critiques) often come into sharper focus in the context of religious and political conflicts. While the sacred permeated societal and political structures of early modern communities, sacred settings were largely determined by both local ecclesiastical and Indigenous models and precedents, and by those that were transposed, such as colonial practices that accompanied European missionary activities in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. These settings were symbolic physical expressions of a specific faith and also performative multisensorial spaces for ceremonies and rites infused with music and sounds. Spaces and music were shaped by on-going translations and reinventions of local and imported devotional and creative practices.

Managing bodies and inciting experiences of the sacred, liturgical performances drew on deliberate architectural and sonic relationships between inclusion/exclusion in the holy site through barriers, screens and curtains, colours, light and materials. Rhythms, sounds, gestures and scents activated spiritual and bodily experiences. Soundscapes of sacred spaces (consisting, for example, of prayers, recitations, incantations, chants, polyphony, mass or other religious musical expressions) were influenced by architectural designs, decoration and acoustics of sacred spaces. Architects and builders also modified or developed new configurations of sacred spaces to meet both sacred ceremonial requirements and also increasingly complex musical compositions.

With the aim of fostering dialogue across disciplines, geographies, and cultures, we are seeking papers that explore the complex relationships between sacred space, sound and ceremony in the early modern period, including (but not limited to):

– sound in transcultural contexts (processes of appropriation, translation, reinvention; as a medium of resistance).
– architectural and liturgical traditions or soundscapes of specific sacred spaces in different geographical settings
– theories of acoustics in relation to architecture and decoration
– theories of sound as manifestations of the metaphysical and transcendence
– politics, gender and sound of sacred spaces
– case studies of composers/works who wrote for specific sacred spaces and/or architects who modified or developed new buildings for composers or new genres or soundscapes of different faiths
– sacred architectures of different religions and their interactions with spiritual sound and performance
– spiritual soundscapes in relation to sacred buildings and manifestations of the divine
– using digital technologies to recreate lost spatial and sonic experiences of sacred contexts of the past

Please send proposals for individual papers to all three organizers by Friday, July 30 2021:
Janie Cole, Africana Studies, (
Bronwen Wilson, Art History (
Evan A. MacCarthy, Music (

Please include:
– paper title (15-word maximum)
– abstract (150-word maximum) abstract guidelines
–  resume (.pdf or .doc upload) 4-page max
– PhD or other terminal degree completion date (past or expected)
– primary discipline

Notification of acceptance by Friday, August 6, 2021

Please note: individuals may submit one paper abstract for consideration at RSA.


Citer ce billet
Fiammetta Campagnoli (2021, 21 juillet). Appel à contribution : Sacred Music, Ceremony and Architecture in Transcultural Perspectives, RSA, Dublin, date limite le 30 juillet 2021. Centre d'Histoire de l'Art de la Renaissance. Consulté le 1 mars 2024, à l’adresse

Fiammetta Campagnoli

Fiammetta Campagnoli est doctorante en histoire de l'art moderne à l'Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Ses recherches se concentrent sur la perception et sur la réception de la spatialité de l’image mariale au XVe et au XVIe siècle.

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