ICTM World Conference 2017 – Call for Papers

Submit proposal to the 44th ICTM World Conference, 13-19 July 2017, Limerick, Ireland


Abstracts should be from 250 to 300 words in length, and written in English (papers may be presented in either English or Gaelic, but all abstracts must be in English). Deadline for submission of proposals was 30 September 2016.

It is the policy that only one proposal may be submitted by each member for a World Conference, whether the proposal be for an Individual paper, a paper within a panel, participation in a roundtable, or a film. If more than one proposal is submitted by a member, only the first one received will be accepted.

The themes of the conference are listed and described below. Abstracts should include a clear statement of the problem, a coherent argument, evidence of the author’s knowledge of previous research, and a statement of the implications for ethnomusicology, ethnochoreology, or other disciplines. Because abstract review is anonymous, do not include your name or the names of other panellists in the body of the abstract.

Following evaluation by the Programme Committee, authors will be notified in December 2016.

1. Individual paper

Individual papers should be 20 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes of discussion. The proposal must include a 300-word (maximum) abstract.

2. Panel

Organized panels are 90 minutes (three papers, each 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of discussion) or 120 minutes long (four papers, or three papers and a discussant). A proposal by the panel organizer (300 words) as well as one by each individual presenter (300 words each) are required. Where an independently submitted abstract appears to fit a panel, the programme committee may suggest the addition of a panelist. The programme committee may also recommend acceptance of only some of the papers on a panel.

3. Film/Video session

Recently completed films introduced by their author and discussed by conference participants may be proposed. Submit a 300-word abstract including titles, subjects, and formats, and indicate the duration of the proposed films/videos and introduction/discussion.

4. Forum/Roundtable

Forum/Roundtable sessions provide opportunities for participants to discuss a subject with each other and with members of the audience. Sessions of up to two hours long should include at least four but no more than five presenters. We encourage formats that stimulate discussion and audience participation. The forum/roundtable organizer will solicit position papers of up to 15 minutes from each presenter and will facilitate questions and discussion for the remaining time. The proposal should be submitted by the forum/roundtable organizer.

5. Workshops

There is no particular format or form for the workshop proposals. The workshop proposal should be sent directly in an e-mail to Colin Quigley, Catherine Foley, and Niall Keegan. Deadline for the workshop proposal only is the 16 December 2016.


Conference Themes

1. 70 Years of ICTM: Past, Present and Future

2017 marks the 70th anniversary of our organization. Begun in 1947 in the aftermath of the Second World War, the International Folk Music Council (IFMC)—later changed to International Council for Traditional Music—was one of the international organizations, with UNESCO and its affiliates, formed to reestablish networks of artists, scholars, scientists, and educators that had been disrupted by war. IFMC/ICTM has tended to represent the small or marginalized performance traditions rather than the great and elite traditions, aligning the Council with issues of human rights, citizenship and social justice.

  1. What has been the impact of the Council’s work on music and dance studies in general and on ethnomusicological and ethnochoreological studies in particular?
  2. What has been the impact of the notions of “folk music/dance” and “traditional music/dance” on the discursive construction of expressive behaviour, scholarly research, and the ways disciplines, fields of study and institutions are configured?
  3. What may be the Council’s future directions for example in relation to regional conflicts, environmental change, and large-scale migration?

2. Legacy and Imagination in Music and Dance

Legacy is a concept that both reaches back to the past and looks forward to the future. In our research we have long interrogated the processes of continuity, transmission, and change; in effect the formation of legacies left to us from our forebears. We ask as well, how are they being treated in our present(s)? But we might also ask, how are legacies created for future generations? Legacies may be constituted in multiple forms, including, for example, the material, aural/oral, and corporeal; they may be so constituted in many ways, through physical, social, or performative practices, for example. Legacies might be found in the intellectual, artistic, and spiritual domains of life, as well as many others. Processes of human imagination are implicated in all three of these stages of legacy creation.

  1. What pasts do we imagine such legacies to represent, preserve, maintain, or pass on?
  2. What do we imagine we are leaving for those to come as we create our legacies, either personal or collective?
  3. What do we imagine for our legacies when in the hands of those who will inhabit unknown futures?

3. Ethnomusicology, Ethnochoreology and Digital Humanities

The field of digital humanities (DH) was officially founded with a manifesto ratified in 2010 in Paris, defining digital humanities as a “transdiscipline, embodying all the methods, systems, and heuristic perspectives linked to the digital within the fields of humanities and the social sciences”. The institutionalization of DH currently comprises 196 specialized research centres, based in 24 countries, according to the observatory for digital humanities, Centernet. The knowledge that has been produced from this perspective focuses mainly on using digital tools and resources to facilitate access to information—as well as to process it—resulting in the creation of archival platforms. In view of this development it is important to know where ethnomusicology and ethnochoreology are situated in the context of DH.

  1. To what extent is the quantitative perspective of DH compatible with the qualitative profile of ethnomusicology and ethnochoreology?
  2. Does the adoption of the methods of DH relegate the sensitive and emotional dimensions of music and dancing to a second level of analysis?
  3. How can ethnomusicology and ethnochoreology contribute towards a “prudent technology” in the management of knowledge about music and dance in the context of DH?

4. Exploring Music Analysis and Movement Analysis in Ethnomusicology and Ethnochoreology

Analyses of music–sound and moving–bodies respectively are regaining significance in both ethnomusicological and ethnochoreological research after a period in which they often played a subsidiary role. Long-established methods and techniques of analysis in both fields are being modified, extended, and perhaps superseded as new technologies and methodologies suggest new possibilities. The historical shift in both fields from their early preoccupation with sound and movement analysis to a primary attention to “context”, as variously understood, may have run its course. Re-theorization of both music and dance practice has attempted for some time now to transcend, or at least mediate that gap and bring these perspectives into conversation. There seems to be an opportunity at this time to revisit the place of music analysis and/or movement analysis in ethnomusicology and ethnochoreology.

  1. What possibilities might be presented by technologies such as motion capture and others?
  2. Might we investigate music and dance as a unitary phenomenon? What might analysis reveal about this question?
  3. Might the vast quantity of music and dance documentation now available and their increasing sophistication revitalize possibilities for comparative study?

5. Music, Dance, Religious Politics and Religious Policies

Music, dance, religion, and politics are endemic in human societies, and very frequently are strongly interlinked. This theme invites educators-scholars-performers to contextualize music and dance as these relate to enforced or changing religious ideologies concerning music and the performing arts and cope with state and religious interventions. The foundation here is that state and religious politics and policies either endorse, subvert, and/or attempt to control the expressions and narratives embodied in the performing arts for their own purposes. Often, music and dance are connected to a matrix of beliefs enmeshed within the fabric of local, national, or global religious practices, but then the ideology changes and state or religious institutions exert pressures upon practitioners to make adjustments to fit this new ideology.

  1. How, precisely, do music and dance interact with religious politics and policies, on a micro– or a macro–scale?
  2. What are the artistic results of religious nationalism in hierarchical or more egalitarian societies?
  3. Can ethnomusicology or ethnochoreology play a positive role in supporting music and dance and their practitioners endangered by religious politics or policies?

6. New Research on Other Topics

Although the Programme Committee hopes that the themes announced above will encourage members to consider new ways of conceptualizing their research data, we also recognize that some delegates will want to present research results that do not fit with any of the announced themes. This broad heading is included to accommodate these scholars.



  • First notice: October 2015
  • Second notice and call for proposals: January 2016
  • Third notice and call for proposals: April 2016
  • Deadline for submission of proposals: 30 September 2016  THIS CALL IS NOW CLOSED
  • Deadline for workshop proposals only: 16 December 2016
  • Notification of acceptances: December 2016
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