Annual Conference

Annual Conference 2020

Irish National Committee of the International Council for Traditional Music
15th Annual Conference

21-22 February 2020

University College Cork

Music | Politics | Power
Keynote Address: Professor Kay Kaufman Shelemay, G.
Gordon Watts Professor of Music at Harvard University

Borders, unity and separatism, fake news, propaganda, political balances of power – all
quotidian terms in our media and conversations. But, what of the role of music?
Throughout history music has been a pivotal factor in sounding the nation, the
resistance and the new. Music provides a sonic link to the historic past, summoned to
generate a sense of belonging. Music identifies, excludes and defines. In the Irish
context, musical performances were key to the national centenary celebrations in 2016,
marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. Some of those revolutionaries were
also musicians who viewed music, language, culture and politics as essential
components of being ‘Irish’ and of national freedom. These celebrations also provoked
much debate on the nature of society today. How do we support marginalised groups
and to what extent is music a barrier or indeed a sonic path for new groups in society to
build and maintain a sense of community and identity? We invite scholars to consider
the nature of power and politics in the music they study. To what extent are musicians,
indeed ethnomusicologists activists for social justice or advocates for marginalised
communities? How do politics and (cultural) policies impact musical expression and
practices? How does music contest, negotiate or represent community/nation/idea?
Who are the activists and cultural leaders that sound the future?


We encourage a variety of methodological approaches and subject areas including but
not limited to those researching instrumental music, popular styles, community music,
music therapy, folklore studies, musicology, ethnomusicology, ethnochoreology, and
applied research inside and outside the academy to contribute to the discussion.

Conference conveners welcome submissions of 200-word abstracts from all relevant
academic fields. Session presentations will be 20 minutes long. Shorter postgraduate
presentations of works in progress may also be considered. ICTM Ireland aims to
include an even mix of research on Irish and non-Irish case studies. Once again we
particularly welcome short (10 minutes max.) video extract submissions, which will be
shown between panel sessions.
Please send abstracts to by 1 November 2019. Successful applicants will
be notified by 1 December 2019. A student travel bursary is available (see below).

Papers that address the following topics will be especially welcome:
• Music/musicians and social justice
• Music and marginalised communities
• Music and policies
• Politics/political movements and music
• Music and power structures
• Music and social change
• New research

Please send abstracts to by 1 November 2019. Successful applicants will
be notified by 1 December 2019. A student travel bursary is available (see below).
ICTM Student Travel Bursary
Purpose: To facilitate travel to the annual ICTM Ireland conference for a postgraduate
student. The award is based on the quality of abstracts submitted. All applications will
be judged by the ICTM Ireland committee.
• Postgraduate students at an Irish/international institute who are currently
registered as postgraduate students
• Applicants who have applied for and been accepted to present at the ICTM
Ireland conference
• Applicants music hold a current ICTM membership.
Prize: €100
Regularity: Annually
Applicants should email by 14 January. Awardees will be notified
by 1 February. Successful applicants will receive a cheque at the annual conference for
the award amount.