Call For Papers – Joint SEM/ICTM

SEM-ICTM Forum: Call for Proposals

Transforming Ethnomusicological Praxis through Activism and Community Engagement

September 2015

Limerick City, Ireland

We are inviting proposals for an international forum sponsored jointly by the Society for Ethnomusicology and the International Council for Traditional Music. Proposals should be 200-300 words in length and must be submitted to by 1 November 2014.

This first collaboration between the two largest academic organizations for ethnomusicology endeavours to bring some of the finest thinkers and social activists within the global academy of music scholars together with public sector actors/advocates/activists who understand the elevance of sound and movement studies in addressing social, political and environmental issues of urgent importance. The forum will
focus on ethnomusicological praxis and collaborative strategies in different international contexts and political situations. While there is now a long history in ethnomusicology of initiatives that have sought to address problems of inequality, conflict and oppression, and a shorter history pertaining to such matters as health and environmental change, the symposium will focus, not on the problems per se, but on the ethodologies that could best enable our work to have greater social impact. We are interested in critically assessing and finding strategies and best practices of collaboration, communication and policy formulation. Ethnomusicologists have collaborated as cultural enablers, as contributors to polysemic and multilingual texts, as builders of global networks and alliances, as mobilizers for repatriation, and as co-creators of new narratives through audio-visual, print, and other communication modes.  Some have struggled to create alternative modes and frameworks for
training in music, ones that are more dialogic and process-oriented, challenging earlier object-oriented approaches in music research. Many have focused on the privileging of non-western epistemologies. The forum seeks to explore what strategies, in which local, national, and international, and global political arenas have failed or flourished.  Instead of focusing on a specific area of social contestation, we hope to accept the challenges, discuss the collaborative ethnographic practices, and, in particular, embrace the multiple epistemologies that can provide ethnomusicologists with a way forward.

The impetus for this symposium is, of course, the complex array of emerging global challenges that have emerged in relation to conflict and violence, persistent racialized and hetero-normative social imaginaries and policies, vast economic inequity, environmental devastation, and the unprecedented mobility of individuals and communities caused by processes and conditions related to deterritorialization,
global tourism, urban planning, and human health, and so on. Music making has been recognized as a means toward mobilizing human and environmental resources as well as a platform for generating communication, agreement and dispute in response to such phenomena and conditions.  The forum will strive to understand the potential uses of research and the roles that ethnomusicologists are playing and can play as activists and community collaborators.

In addition to selecting papers proposed in response to this CFP, the program committee will invite a number of internationally renowned social and political thinkers whose work has recognized a role for expressive culture in various projects of social transformation.  The SEM-ICTM Forum will be a rare opportunity to have a conversation with participants in government, law, cultural policy formation,
NGO work, and community activism about ethnomusicology’s blind spots as well as our potential to contribute to human well-being.

Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco – ICTM President
Beverley Diamond – SEM President


Joint SEM-ICTM Program Committee: Samuel Araújo, Gage Averill, Jayson Beaster-Jones, Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco,
Beverley Diamond, Svanibor Pettan, Anne Rasmussen, Tan Sooi Beng.


The SEM-ICTM Forum will take place on 13-16 September 2015, hosted by the Irish World Academy in Limerick under the capable leadership of Colin Quigley ( and Aileen Dillane (


The main part of the conference will take place on campus at the University of Limerick on the outskirts of Limerick City (see the University of Limerick App for maps and information on the university).
The papers and panel presentations will take place in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance –

Lunches and the conference dinner will take place in The Pavilion, located directly across from The Irish World Academy building–
see . There are also a number of other cafes and dining options across the campus –


Limerick City is close to Shannon International Airport (20 minutes).  Shannon is serviced by a number of routes from the UK, Europe, and North America.  It is also connected internationally by short flights from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, and London Stanstead, as
well as other major and regional UK and European Airports.  A second airport that services the province is Cork Airport with similar UK and European connections.  Cork is a 1.5 hour drive from Limerick. There are many more direct international flights to
Dublin International Airport.  Dublin is about a 2.5 hour drive from Limerick and car hire is available at the airport.  Dublin Airport is
served by a very comfortable coach (Dublin Coach, known as ‘the green bus’) which drops passengers off at the University of Limerick with minimum stops on the way (and just one quick change at the Red Cow Roundabout in Dublin). This service costs 10 euros each way from Dublin city Centre (near the gates of Trinity College), and 15 euros each way from the airport, and can be purchased on the day or online. See

Limerick Train station and bus centre (Colbert Station) is well serviced by regular trains and bus links from across the
island, including from the main cities of Dublin, Cork, and Galway, and Belfast. See for a full listing of train services to and from Limerick and see for a full listing of bus services to and from Limerick. A taxi from the station to UL costs around 7-8 euros depending on time of day and traffic.


Limerick City and suburbs offer lots of good and reasonably priced accommodation options.  For a full list, check out or download the LIMERICK LIVE APP.

Hotels in Castletroy (by the university) Just outside the gates of the University is the four-star Castletroy Park Hotel.

A little further away from the University but still within walking distance of the university is the Kilmurray Lodge Hotel.
Hotels in Limerick City Centre include The Raddison Blu, the Limerick City Hotel, The George Boutique Hotel, the Absolute Hotel,
and a number of other hotels within a five minute drive.

To find out more about Limerick – places to stay and things to do – see