Call for Papers Limerick 2015

Making a Difference: Music, Dance and the Individual

The 31st European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESEM) will take place from Thursday 17 September to Sunday 20 September, in Limerick, Ireland, hosted by the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.

Our meeting this year is unusual in being paired with a joint Forum of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) and Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), Transforming Ethnomusicological Praxis through Activism and Community Engagement, that is being held at the same venue from September 13-15 (see Because of this fortuitous conjunction, members of all three organisations will have an unprecedented opportunity to meet together on Wednesday 16 September in a single plenary session of invited speakers, followed by a concert at the Academy and a dinner. ESEM meeting participants are invited to register for this pre-conference event in addition to the regular conference sessions.

This year’s theme, Making a Difference: Music, Dance and the Individual, will focus our attention on the possibilities for research that take as their starting point the individual.

We invite ESEM members to explore the ways in which attention to individuals (musicians, dancers, listeners, producers, promoters, activists or indeed people who occupy any of the myriad roles relevant to dancing and musicking) might offer a usefully different perspective than the more usual and well-established approaches in ethnomusicology and ethnochoreology to the study of music/dance in relation to social groups. How do individuals act upon and affect the worlds in which they live? What are their relationships to communities around them? What are their distinctive roles in the making of music and dance?

Possible topics that develop this theme might be framed around issues such as, but certainly not limited to:

• The individual as methodology: between partial truths and total social facts?
• Life stories: between biography and auto-ethnography?
• Case studies: between the individual and the group?
• Singular individuality: between stability and change?

A focus on the individual also invites attention to topics such as:

• Outstanding performers
• Key figures
• Mavericks
• Music and dance cognition
• Individual repertoire
• Individual style
• Individual creativity

These are suggestions and by no means exhaustive.

We welcome papers of any kind inspired by the theme. Perhaps participants will want to further develop themes taken up in the joint Forum.
As always, we invite contributions of new research outside the scope of the theme.

Presentations may be in any of three basic formats: independent papers (20 minutes + 10-minute discussion), panels (90-minute presentations including discussion), and poster presentations which will be accessible throughout the entire conference and allotted 10 minutes for their individual presentation. The program committee encourages you to consider the possibilities and benefits of the poster format in planning your presentation.

Colleagues who wish to join the conference discussions and opportunities for the sharing of knowledge and ideas but not make formal presentations are also cordially invited to attend and participate.

Proposals including a 300-word abstract, your full name and contact details (as attachment; word-file, not pdf) should be submitted to:

Deadline for submission of abstracts is 1 February 2015: