Our Call for Papers had an open definition of ‘hidden figures’, and we didn’t know what to expect but were delighted by the response. It’s been wonderful, in particular, to hear so much about (and from) women working in screen music and sound, but also about others we rarely consider, from musicians on the sets of silent film to present-day library music composers.
That said, there are many hidden figures we didn’t hear much – or anything – about. Perhaps most notably, given the events of the past weeks, this has been a conference in which mostly white people have talked about mostly white people. We all need to be thinking about decolonising our research, and we would hope that if the CFP went out today the response might well already be different. But there is surely more we can do collectively, as a community of screen music and sound scholars, to encourage diverse voices in our field.
We organisers are certainly keen to keep the ‘Hidden Figures’ label alive. We welcome any suggestions you have for developing our website as a resource. We’d also like to know if there’s an appetite for another Hidden Figures event (or events) in the future, whether another conference or something in a different format.
We’re happy to continue the conversation on the website (there’s a comment section for each of our panels, if you have questions and comments on specific themes) and by email in the coming days and weeks.