Call for Papers: Does it work? Exploring the reduction of gender-based sexism, discrimination, and violence in jazz and improvised music

Jazz Research Journal special issue, Winter 2025

Editors: Marie Buscatto (University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, IDHE.S) and Sarah Raine (University College Dublin)

A growing body of published research clearly sets out historic and current issues concerning gender discrimination, sexist practices and sexual violence within the creation and celebration of jazz worldwide (from early work by Ingrid Monson, Sherrie Tucker, Nichole Rustin-Paschal, and Linda Dahl to the most recent collected editions on gender and jazz – e.g. Reddan et al 2022 and Ward’s special 2024 issue of Popular Music History). Increasingly, the voices and experiences of women and (to a much lesser extent) gender-diverse folks are being written into scholarly work, jazz education, industry recommendations, and policy, with our collective research becoming more visible within and beyond academia. Following the #metoo movement, people involved in jazz have publicly called out gender discrimination, sexist practices, inappropriate, demeaning, and damaging behaviour, exposing what once may have been hidden in jazz music and scene, both historical and current.

These signs might suggest a paradigm shift, yet meaningful change within jazz is still hard to enact and even harder to sustain. These limitations are clear to us as invested individuals as we read academic publications, industry reports, and governmental policy, and as we talk to jazz musicians and industry professionals about their experiences. Through these conversations, we continue to hear the same stories: recent experiences so familiar to those that we and others have captured in many years of research and writing. And in scratching the surface of gender equity initiatives, we too often uncover continuing unreflective practices, male-dominated networks, tokenism, hyper-sexualisation, and gendered barriers to access.

Within this special issue, we wish to critically consider what needs to change – practically and conceptually – in order to reduce gender discrimination, sexist practices, and sexual violence in jazz and improvised music. We would also like to explore why movements and specific actions towards gender equity within jazz have been so hard to create, implement and sustain. In this, we aim to bring together the work of those who have captured and analysed experience (to include their own) and developed potential solutions and ways forward for sustainable change in jazz and improvised music.

Possible topics include:

  • – Grassroots activism, collectives, and gender equity.
  • – Industry responses and responsibilities.
  • – National and global gender equity initiatives in relation to jazz.
  • – Gender discrimination and jazz education.
  • – Sexual violence within the contemporary jazz scenes.
  • – Everyday sexism and misogyny.
  • – Intersectional critiques of gender equity interventions and work.
  • – Jazz-related policies and gender discrimination.

We particularly encourage submissions from writers based in and writing on jazz in countries currently and historically underrepresented in jazz studies, academics of colour, and those considering jazz gender politics beyond the binary and through an intersectional lens.

We welcome submissions to this special issue in a variety of formats – 8000-word essays, and shorter provocations, fiction, poetry, and experimental modes of communicating and sharing research – to be published in the Winter 2025 edition of Jazz Research Journal [Equinox Publishing].

300-word abstracts should be submitted to by 30 April 2024, with notifications of success sent out by the end of May.
Full drafts will be due 30th November 2024, with peer review completed in February 2025.
Revisions will be due in May 2025 with publication in November 2025.
Some degree of flexibility will be possible within this proposed schedule.

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