Call for Papers: The Business of Music Symposium 2023 - EXTENDED

Jennifer McGillan's picture
Call for Papers
January 30, 2023
Mississippi, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Humanities, Music and Music History, Popular Culture Studies, Business History / Studies

Call for Papers

The Business of Music Symposium 2023
Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Ragtime & Jazz Festival
Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS

Wednesday and Thursday, March 22-23, 2023

Mississippi State University Libraries is pleased to announce the inaugural Business of Music Symposium to be held as part of the 17th Annual Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Ragtime & Jazz Festival. The Symposium will be held Wednesday and Thursday, March 22-23, 2023, preceding the Templeton Festival which will be held March 23-25, 2023.

The Symposium is a free, two-day multidisciplinary symposium that aims to encourage and support research and scholarship on topics supported by the Charles H. Templeton, Sr. “Business of Music” Collection at the Mitchell Memorial Library on the campus of Mississippi State University. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Eric Weisbard of the University of Alabama, speaking on “Constructing a Music Business: Notes from a Tenured Pop Critic.”

The focus of the Templeton Collection is the business of music during the Ragtime era (1890-1930), but session proposals may be from any era. The Templeton Music Collection includes approximately 20,000 pieces of sheet music, over 200 instruments, 2,000 cylinders and 14,000 flat discs. More information about the collection, as well as digitized material from the collections, is available here:

The first day of the symposium will be virtual; the second day will be reserved for in-person presentations. All presenters will be offered the option of having their presentation recorded, and participants presenting on the second day will have the option of having their presentations streamed in order to facilitate participation by a remote audience.

Submissions are now open for proposals for individual presentations and panels that consider all aspects of the business of music through 1960. Presentations based on research conducted using the Templeton Collections are encouraged, although use of the collections is not a requirement for acceptance.

Possible topics include:

  • Careers of individual singers, composers, or people otherwise involved in creating music
  • Role and impact of individual publishing houses
  • Art and design themes of sheet music and record sleeve covers
  • Approaches to teaching with sheet music
  • Intersections of art, design, and commerce: musical instruments and machines as home décor
  • Music and advances in recording and playback technology

Please submit an abstract (with title) of no more than 300 words and a brief professional bio to  by January 30, 2022. Pre-selected panels of 3-4 presenters are welcome; individual presentations will be assembled into panels by the program committee. Individual papers should be no longer than 20 minutes and complete panels should not exceed 60 minutes. Please also indicate if you are able to present virtually, in-person, or both and if you would like your presentation to be recorded and/or streamed.

We welcome proposals from scholars at all stages of their professional and academic careers.

Chip and Connie Templeton Research Scholarship

MSU Libraries is also pleased to announce the inaugural Chip and Connie Templeton Scholarship, which is $500 to be applied towards the costs of presenting at the Symposium. To apply, please complete the scholarship entry form at and include your name, affiliation, proposed session title, and a brief summary (not more than 500 words) on how the funds would positively affect your participation in the symposium. Deadline for applications for the scholarship is January 30, 2022. While the use of the Templeton Collection is not a requirement of the award, preference is given to scholars who have utilized the collection in their research.

About the Charles H. Templeton Ragtime and Jazz Festival

The Charles Templeton, Sr. Ragtime & Jazz Festival is sponsored by the MSU Libraries and the Charles Templeton Sr. Music Museum as a means of enhancing the research in the area of ragtime music, increasing the awareness of the Templeton collection housed in the MSU Library and introducing people to the sounds of Ragtime being performed by world-renowned ragtime musicians.

The festival is comprised of a blend of major concerts, mini-concerts, seminars and tours of the Music Museum. Seminars are held in Mitchell Memorial Library and major concerts are held at the Bettersworth Auditorium in Lee Hall on the MSU Campus. For more information about the festival visit


Contact Info: 

Jennifer McGillan, Associatte Professor / Coordinator of Manuscripts, Mississippi State University Libraries