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Ethnomusicology and Policy

Posted: June 1st, 2015 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

British Forum for Ethnomusicology One-day Conference 2015
International Centre for Music Studies (ICMuS), Newcastle University.
Saturday 31st October 2015

Ethnomusicology holds an extended and substantial history of engagement with, and contribution to, public policy. This conference acknowledges that history, and points to the growing role ethnomusicology plays in influencing how public policies are considered, constructed and revised. It emphasises the potentials and challenges in applied ethnomusicology, and encourages further dialogue around how ethnomusicology contributes to the public good.

 Ethnomusicologists have made substantive contributions to policy in areas such as Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), archiving and curation, cultural policy and the state, cultural tourism, music education, social enterprise, music and conflict, cultural and economic sustainability, world music representation and education, music and minorities, and the economics and instrumental efficacy of the arts at all levels of governance. Many ethnomusicologists who work in this area and in the public sector also have hybrid identities, and often publish in sociological and anthropological journals and author policy reports. We intend to explore the character of policy-focused ethnomusicology and its disciplinary position within the broader arts and humanities.

Ethnomusicology has been more firmly embedded in public policy in the North American context and this conference provides an opportunity to discuss the similarities and differences with that of the UK and EU policy environments, and how these might be improved in the future. Therefore we are interested in opening up a debate about how policy relates both to ethnomusicological methods, interdisciplinary and international ethnomusicology as well as the ethnomusicologist’s place in public sector and government. We hope also to discuss these issues with a view to expanding where and how the next generation of ethnomusicologists might work, be trained, and how the academy should be responding to this challenge today. Papers are encouraged in all these areas of ethnomusicological endeavour and in the relations between policy and ethnomusicological research and training.


Conference committee: Dr Simon McKerrell, Dr Noel Lobley, Dr Nanette De Jong, Mr Darren Fenn.


Papers will be 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion. In addition to individual papers, suggestions for panel topics are welcome. Panels exploring a particular issue around the theme are encouraged, and these would receive one hour including paper presentations and discussion.The deadline for submissions is Friday the 3rd July 2015.

Abstract decisions will be communicated by 24th July 2015.

Please submit your abstract(s) for consideration (max 300 words) to the conference committee at [email protected].

For panel submissions, please submit both an abstract for the whole panel and abstracts for each individual paper. The conference is supported by Newcastle University. For more information see the BFE website (www.bfe.org.uk) and the conference website: http://www.traditionalarts.eu/conference.

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