Incompletion is an essential condition of cultural history, framing it at both ends: the oldest extant aesthetic products have been partially erased by time, and the most recent ones have always yet to be finished. In between those moments, the idea of the fragment has continued to appeal to those who resist classicist ideals of completeness: it played a vital part in the imagination of the romantics, and became even more fundamental to the various strands of modernist aesthetics, including its post- and late stages.

In recent years, fragmentation and incompletion have been the focus of much critical attention, not least because the boundaries and very idea of the ‘work’ have undergone much rethinking. This conference invites papers that reexamine both the boundaries and the idea through the lens of what would once have been treated as secondary matter: drafts, sketches, works-in-progress, words or music supposedly supplanted by revision, left unfinished or partially effaced by the passing of time – discarded fragments, involuntary fragments, the fragment as a genre unto itself.

It is our pleasure to invite you to Stockholm for the Eleventh International Conference of the International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA), which also marks the association's 20-year anniversary. Speakers from around the world will participate during the four days of the conference, and we are confident that the Stockholm conference, like its forerunners, will be a significant event in the field.

The conference is open to anyone and free to attend, but registration is required. If you wish to attend, please send an email to

For full programme and further information, please visit:

The conference is held in association with the Foundation of Knut and Alice Wallenberg.