Call for papers Prague 2014

ESEM XXX: Crossing Bridges

Deadline for the submission of abstracts: January 10th, 2014

The XXX European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESEM) will take place from Wednesday to Sunday, September 3-7, 2014, in Prague, the Czech Republic. The principal host will be the Institute for Ethnomusicology of the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University.

The basic thematic frame of the conference –  “Crossing Bridges” – is inspired by the venue: Prague, a metropolis not only on both banks of a river, but also combining in history – in the words of Bruno Nettl (1993) – “Czech and German languages and cultures,” and “reaching an equilibrium between Christians and Jews.” The visible shape of Prague witnesses transmission and crossing at each step. And it is exactly here, in the dynamics of the most various interactions, that we see a metaphor for the seminar.

The following subthemes suggest a focus on aspects of the central theme:

1) Across generations focuses on the diachronic aspect – on the narratives and interpretations that provide human society with continuity (Assman 2001) and give it a perspective from which to look at the future (Hall 1996).

2) Journeys, migrations, and diaspora focus on the synchronic dimension, on contemporary events and their impact on human interaction across geopolitical, cultural and social boundaries, on the effects of that interaction on music and musical life.

3) Moving across paradigms puts the focus on the theory that formulates and refines questions and helps explain the human creativity and musical expression that result from historical events (the focus of “Across generations”) and contemporary phenomena (the focus of “Journeys”).

Formats of presentation

Presentations may be in any of three basic formats: independent papers (20 minutes + 10-minute discussion) panels (90-minute presentations including discussion), and 10-minute poster presentations. Because the aim of the conference is the sharing of ideas and knowledge, we also invite those colleagues who are not going to present their work.

Please send proposals, including a 300-word abstract (in MS Word format), your full name and contact details to:,          

The program will be announced in March 2014 along with details concerning accommodations, etc.

Program committee: Zuzana Jurková, Adelaida Reyes, Ian Russell, Britta Sweers