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As part of its commitment to groundbreaking research and innovative scholarship, ICASP is dedicated to the publication of new book projects based on our research findings. A groundbreaking series of six books on improvisation will be edited by Daniel Fischlin and published with Duke University Press. In addition, the project is committed to supporting and publishing other book projects that emerge from ICASP research and the work of ICASP Special Projects.

Book Series: Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice

The central focus of ICASP's mission to release pivotal books in critical improvisation research is the Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice Book Series, a series of six co-authored and co-edited volumes with Duke University Press. “It is a tremendous incentive for our researchers to know that we have secured a publishing contract with a prestigious press,” says Dr. Daniel Fischlin, the General Editor for the Book Series. “We appreciate the confidence that the press has demonstrated in the validity and value of our research.” Books in this new series advocate musical improvisation as a crucial model for political, cultural, and ethical dialogue and action—for imagining and creating alternative ways of knowing and being in the world. The books are collaborations among performers, scholars, and activists from a wide range of disciplines. They study the creative risk-taking imbued with the sense of movement and momentum that makes improvisation an exciting, unpredictable, ubiquitous, and necessary endeavor.

The proposed series aims to cover a wide range of theoretical, historical, and case study materials associated with improvisatory musicking. The book series is entirely novel in its conception and will fill a significant gap in the literature and scholarship on improvisation: it will be groundbreaking and cutting edge in an exciting, emergent area of study - critical improvisation studies - that crosses multiple disciplines.

Co-authored and Co-edited Volumes in the Book Series


People Get Ready: The Future of Jazz is Now! (Ajay Heble and Rob Wallace, editors)

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Improvisation, Rights, and the Ethics of Cocreation (Ajay Heble, Daniel Fischlin, George Lipsitz)


Improvisation and Pedagogy (Ajay Heble and Jesse Stewart)

Negotiated Moments: Improvisation, Sound, and Subjectivity (Ellen Waterman and Gillian Siddall, editors)
  • View an archived Call For Papers for the collection here.
  • View more information on this volume here.

Improvisation, Text, and Other Media (Frédérique Arroyas and Kevin McNeilly)

Improvisation and Social Aesthetics (Georgina Born, Eric Lewis, and William Straw, editors)

Further Reading: Other Texts Showcasing ICASP Research

ICASP researchers, musicians, and community partners undertake innovative research in a number of divergent fields and areas of study. While this research explores the horizons of scholarly engagement, much of this work also involves a dedicated commitment to community involvement and social activity. Below is a selection of texts produced by ICASP researchers and through the many avenues of ICASP Special Projects. These books all explore the possibilities inherent in critical improvisation research and the forms of risk-taking and dialogue that ICASP holds central to its research mandates.

Other ICASP Book Projects


The Video Art of Sylvia Safdie (Eric Lewis)

Things That You Hope a Human Being Will Be (2011 Improviser-in-Residence, Jane Bunnett; Videos by Dawn Matheson; Ajay Heble and Alissa Firth-Eagland, editors)
  • Published August, 2011.
  • View more information on this multimedia volume here.


The Improvisation Studies Reader: Spontaneous Acts (Rebecca Caines and Ajay Heble, editors)

So one of the things that improvisation has come to mean in the context of highly technological performance is that improvisation is the last claim to the legitimate presence of a human in the performance of music.

– Bob Ostertag