XXXVIIth European Seminar in Ethnomusicology, Graz 12–16 September 2022

The XXXVII European Seminar in Ethnomusicology will take place in Graz, Austria, University of Music and Performing Arts, from 12 to 16 September 2022.

The theme of the seminar is Joint knowledge production and collaboration in research 

The Program full version here

The Program short version here

Program Committee: 

Kendra Stepputat (chair) 
Rafael Caro Repetto 
Karin Eriksson 
Lea Hagmann 
Mattia Scassellati 

Please see the symposium website for further information


In the face of Russia’s military assault on Ukraine, the ESEM community strongly condemns the brutal violation of international agreements and the standards of social and political integrity in this world.

War means human tragedies and the annihilation of invaluable cultural heritage, archival collections, monuments and other cultural and scientific resources.

We join the demands for an immediate end to the aggression and withdrawal from the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine. 

We express our deep solidarity with the entire Ukrainian people.

To our colleagues, Ukrainian ethnomusicologists, we wish to say:


37th European Seminar in Ethnomusicology, Graz 12–16 September 2022

The European Seminar in Ethnomusicology in 2022 will be hosted by the Institute for Ethnomusicology, University of Music and Performing Arts Graz


Joint knowledge production and collaboration in research 

The topic aims at exploring possible collaborations in research processes. This can include cooperation with expert individuals or communities of practice (online and onsite, local and translocal), as well as academic collaborations with any other field oriented towards inter- and transdisciplinary research. The aim is to cast light on new potentials and expanded possibilities, but also to identify possible challenges and disadvantages that might result from such approaches. Presentations can also address questions regarding alternatives to historically transmitted methods of knowledge gathering that provide for the establishment of joint, collaborative modes of knowledge production, storage, communication, and publication. 

Even though proposals related to the Seminar’s theme will be preferred, submissions about other topics of interest for ESEM will be also considered.


Deadline for proposals is 1 March 2022.  Please submit your proposals via Easychair at (you need to create an account first, then submit your presentation). 
For the online submission, you will be asked to provide: 
1) Personal Data
2) Selected mode of presentation 
3) Proposal consisting of title and abstract (200-300 words) 
4) Keywords 

Evaluation of proposals will be done anonymously, and presenters will be notified of the programme committee’s decision by 30 March 2022. The programme committee might suggest alternative modes of presentation to accommodate as many submissions and contributions as possible. 

Modes of Presentation 
A variety of presentation modes are possible and applicants are encouraged to carefully consider which mode of presentation might work best to present their research. You may only present once during the seminar. 

Individual Paper 
The length of an individual paper presentation will be 20 minutes, with 10 minutes discussion time. Co-authorship is allowed and encouraged. 

Student Paper 
Students are invited to present their current research topics. Student paper presentations have a length of 10 minutes. Student researchers can also join organized panels and roundtables, and are encouraged to submit poster presentations. 

Film Screening 
Film presentations aim at screening your own work, followed by a discussion of the presented film. Please submit a written abstract of the content including general data about the film and its length for the programme committee’s consideration. 

Panels (90 minutes) are planned, coordinated, and prepared by a group of people, one of whom is the responsible coordinator. Proposals may be submitted for panels consisting of three or more presenters and the structure is at the discretion of the coordinator. The proposal should indicate the overall purpose and the role of the individual participants. Each panel proposal will be accepted or rejected as a whole. Please note that you have to submit only one abstract for the whole panel, and add all presenters as co-authors on Easychair. All panel presenters’ individual abstracts will be required for the book of abstracts at a later stage if the panel has been accepted. 

Roundtables (90 minutes) are planned, coordinated, and prepared by a group of people, one of whom is the responsible coordinator. The aim is to generate discussion between members of the roundtable, each of whom presents questions, issues, and/or material for 3-5 minutes on the preselected unifying theme of the roundtable. The following discussion may open into more general discussion with the audience. The proposal explains the overall purpose and the role of the individual participants. Each roundtable proposal will be accepted or rejected as a whole. 

The poster format is open to any researcher whose material is best suited for this format. In the poster session, the moderator will introduce the presenters (online and onsite) at the beginning of the session and each presenter will give a brief introduction to their poster topic. An opportunity to examine the posters and interact with the presenters will follow. All posters will be displayed onsite and made available online as well throughout the symposium. 

Online and Onsite Participation 
Online presenters will be asked to pre-record their presentations and transfer the recording by 5th September 2022. Equally, poster presenters are asked to submit a digital version of their posters, film presenters submit their film material by 5th September 2022. Online presenters are asked to be present virtually for the questions following their presentation. The programme committee will do their best to schedule presentation times in accordance with online presenters’ local time zones. 

English is the official language of the Symposium. However, we would like to make the call for papers entirely inclusive. For anyone who feels their English is not as confident as they would like, we offer the following: 
It will be possible to submit an abstract in your native language if you would prefer to do this. Please send an English translation as well. The abstract will be read by a native speaker prior to being assessed by the committee. Participants not familiar with English may present the paper in any other language. The presenter is asked to provide a translation of the full paper in English at the symposium for the sake of wider understanding. 

Symposium Registration Fee  (Deadline: 10 September 2022
– regular (online or onsite) 70 € 
– reduced (online or onsite) 40 € 

Online registration:

Please see the symposium website for further information

The Symposium registration fee includes: 
– online or onsite participation 
– symposium packet (including electronic Book of Abstracts / Symposium Program) 
– technical arrangements to facilitate the hybrid format 
– coffee breaks 
– two catered receptions 
– concert (streamed) 
– music workshop 
– guided tour through Graz 

The ESEM does not publish proceedings of their meetings. However, a peer-reviewed publication based on selected presentations will be a tangible outcome of the meeting. 

Information about accommodation options, travel information, registration, and other details can be found at 

If you have any further questions regarding accommodation, registration, travel, etc. please do not hesitate to contact the Local Arrangements Committee: 

Kendra Stepputat (chair)
Mattia Scassellati
Felix Morgenstern
Magdalena Maria Wolf 

Questions regarding the program can be addressed to any member of the Programme Committee: 

Kendra Stepputat (chair) 
Rafael Caro Repetto 
Karin Eriksson 
Lea Hagmann 
Mattia Scassellati 

Questions related to ESEM membership should be directed to the

ESEM president Ewa Dahlig-Turek

ESEM secretary general Ignazio Macchiarella 

XXXVI ESEM – Valladolid 13/18 September 2021 – Preliminary Programme

The XXXVI European Seminar in Ethnomusicology will take place in Valladolid, Spain, from 13 to 18 September 2021.

The theme of the seminar is “Ethnomusicology and Intangible Cultural Heritage in the 21st Century”.

The Preliminary Programme is available here.

For any information, please contact Susana Moreno at

Seminar Chairs: Susana Moreno and Enrique Camara
Programme committee: Enrique Camara, Marko Kölbl, Susana Moreno and Laura Leante

Important information

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and to the uncertainties surrounding the developments of the current international health crisis, the organisers of the Valladolid seminar – in consultation with CORD – have come to the decision to postpone our annual meeting. 

Therefore, ESEM XXXVI will take place in Valladolid in September 2021. The exact dates will be announced in due course. The topic will remain the same: applicants have already been informed of the outcome of their proposals and accepted papers will be expected to be presented one year later than originally planned.

As a consequence of this situation, the Plenary Meeting and annual elections are postponed too: as indicated in the ESEM Constitution (section 4.3.5): “all members of the CORD, including any members of the Secretariat whose term of office should conclude in that year, shall remain in office until the next Plenary Meeting”.

ESEM members, however, will still be updated on the running of the society via the annual issue of the ESEMpoint bulletin, which will be circulated in the coming months.

XXXVI ESEM – Valladolid 14/19 September 2020 – Call for Papers

The XXXV European Seminar in Ethnomusicology will take place in Valladolid, Spain, from 14 to 19 September 2020.

The theme of the seminar is “Ethnomusicology and Intangible Cultural Heritage in the 21st Century”.

The Call for Papers is available here: ESEM 2020 Call for papers. The deadline for submission of proposals is 10 February 2020.

Seminar Chairs: Susana Moreno and Enrique Camara
Programme committee: Enrique Camara, Marko Kölbl, Susana Moreno and Laura Leante

XXXV ESEM – Durham 3/7 September 2019

The XXXV European Seminar in Ethnomusicology took take place from 3 to 7 September 2019 in the United Kingdom, and was hosted by Durham University’s Music Department.

The theme of the seminar was “Performing bodies”

The Call for Papers is available here: ESEM2019_CfP.

The final programme is available here: ESEM2019_Final_Programme_20190830.

Seminar Chairs: Laura Leante and Martin Clayton
Programme committee: Rytis Ambrazevičius, Martin Clayton, Ana Hofman and Laura Leante

ESEM XXXIV – Riga 3/7 September 2018

The 34th European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESEM) took take place from Monday 3 September to Friday 7 September 2018, in Riga, Latvia, and was hosted by the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music. The theme of the seminar was “Experience and Expectation”.

The Final Programme and Abstracts Booklet of the XXXIV ESEM are available here:

ESEM Riga 2018 – Final Programme

ESEM Riga 2017 Abstracts Booklet

ESEM Chair: Anda Beitane.

ESEM XXXIII – Tbilisi, September 5/9 2017 – Call for Papers


The 33rd European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESEM) will take place from Tuesday
5 September to Saturday 9 September 2017 in Tbilisi (Georgia), hosted by the International
Research Center for Traditional Polyphony of the Vano Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire.

Ethnomusicology in the 21st century faces many new challenges. One of these is how we might give adequate expression to the wide range of functions for traditional music in contemporary society. To meet this challenge ethnomusicology has become ever more multi-thematic and multifaceted. It remembers its earlier roles, but at the same time it seeks new approaches and methodologies to address newly emerging tendencies of the modern world. Today we probably should talk about “ethnomusicologies” rather than a single “ethnomusicology”, since the range of disciplinary interests is now so wide, from the musical traditions of inaccessible, pre-modern peoples, surviving in the most isolated regions of the world, to multiply transformed and commercialized modern forms.

This is why we have decided to present the topics of the 2017 ESEM meeting under the common umbrella title “Ethnomusicology in the 21st Century”.


Topics of the seminar

  1. Ethnomusicologies in the 21st century: new research and methods

As a relatively new discipline, ethnomusicology has been subject to constant change, but following major modifications to the political map of the World during the last two decades of the 20th century, the changes have become more radical. Today, we speak about “ethnomusicologies”, signaling a multifaceted theoretical and methodological scholarly field and practice within and beyond academia, and one that involves various scholarly traditions around the world. However, despite the emphasis on diversity and the global flow of concepts and ideas, we can still trace an historical trajectory through which the set of discourses and practices associated with the “First world” approach prevail. Ethnomusicology itself has played an important role in decolonizing dominant approaches to the Western art music canon, and partly for this reason it has gained global prominence. In the spirit of the many current voices within the field calling for the decolonizing of our discipline, this topic invites a discussion of more diverse, more complex ethnomusicologies in the 21st century. It seeks to draw attention to a reflexive view of the present, but at the same time to enable future approaches to ethnomusicology in response to a world of ongoing change.

  1. Welcome to the Second World: Ethnomusicology in Former Communist Countries

In the 20th century the “iron curtain” divided Europe for many years, and this had a major impact on the field of (ethno)musicology not only in Europe but worldwide. The so-called »cold war approach«, involved complex relations of power and knowledge, represented by two polarized ideologies and approaches to the discipline, crudely mapped as “East” and “West”, schools and much influenced by the prevailing context of dichotomized public and political discourses. 28 years after the collapse of Berlin Wall, we may ask how questions of the bipolar world, totalitarianism, colonial and imperial legacies are re-narrated in ethnomusicological scholarly discourses in Europe East and West. Rather than maintaining a conceptual division between “East” and “West”, over-emphasized in scholarly deliberations and public discourses, we prefer to focus on the mutual constitution of Western and Eastern ethnomusicological scholarly traditions. We invite papers that thematize cultural representations of “European East and West” in ethnomusicological scholarship, focusing on cooperation and exchange, on mutual access to new trends and achievements, and on dominant topics and approaches before and after 1989. Papers addressing either changing approaches to, or perpetuation of, the old/new boundaries, divisions, and discourses of “European East/ and West” in today’s world are also welcomed.

  1. Market Economy Politics: The Many Faces of Traditional Music and Dance

In the 21st century, the larger part of the world has become a sphere of free market economies. Although the economic status of different countries and regions is far from equal, this new reality has certainly changed the way traditional music and dance, together with their performers and researchers, function in today’s societies, more and more subservient to the law of profit. Traditional culture, music and dance have become attractive “products” in themselves, actively negotiated by music industry promoters, filmmakers, lawyers and performers, and widely exploited by the tourist industry in advertising national products and brands. Within this topic we would like to discuss the benefits and dangers of commercialization, its impact on traditional music and dance, and the potential role of the ethnomusicologist in shaping the “supply and demand” process.



The Program Committee encourages the submission of proposals for individual papers, panels and posters

  • Individual paper – 20 minutes + 10-minute discussion,
  • Panel presentation – 90-minute presentations including discussion
  • Poster presentations, with a special session in which each panelist will have 10 minutes for his/her presentation. Presentations should be sent in advance in the required format.

Proposals including a 300-word abstract, full name and contact details of the presenter (as an attachment in word-file, not pdf) should be e-mailed to Prof. Rusudan Tsurtsumia

The deadline for the submission of abstracts: 15 March 2017

Announcement of a draft program: 1 May 2017


Program Committee
Dr. Rusudan Tsurtsumia (Georgia) (
Dr. Joseph Jordania (Australia/Georgia) (
Dr. Ewa Dahlig-Turek (Poland) (
Dr. Ana Hofman (Slovenia) (