Nearly two decades after its inception as a workshop at the Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) exists as an established international conference significantly distinct from its precursor. Although this origin story is often noted, the implications of NIME's history as emerging from a field predominantly dealing with human–computer interaction (HCI) have rarely been discussed. In this paper we highlight many of the recent—and some not so recent—challenges that have been brought upon the NIME community as it attempts to maintain and expand its identity as a platform for multidisciplinary research into HCI, interface design, and electronic and computer music. We discuss the relationship between the market demands of the neoliberal university—which have underpinned academia's drive for innovation—and the quantification and economization of research performance that have facilitated certain disciplinary and social frictions to emerge within NIME-related research and practice. Drawing on work that engages with feminist theory and cultural studies, we suggest that critical reflection and, moreover, mediation is necessary to address burgeoning concerns that have been raised within the NIME discourse in relation to methodological approaches, “equity, diversity, and inclusion,” “accessibility,” and the fostering of “rigorous” interdisciplinary research.

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