CfP European Seminar in Ethnomusicology

Interesting ESEM meeting this year in Durham here’s the CfP

XXXV European Seminar in Ethnomusicology

3-7 September 2019 – Durham University, UK

“Performing bodies”

The XXXV European Seminar in Ethnomusicology will take place from 3 to 7 September 2019 in Durham, United Kingdom, and will be hosted by the University’s Music Department, in the unique location of Durham’s UNESCO World Heritage site. The theme of this year’s seminar, “Performing bodies”, encourages contributions addressing the role of the human body and movement in the performance of music and dance. Although the embodied nature of musical performance has often been relegated to a marginal status in ethnomusicology, in fact the topic has a long and distinguished history. Notable landmarks include Hornbostel’s famous 1928 paper highlighting the importance of drummers’ preparatory gestures, through much of Blacking’s work (starting with a 1955 commentary on Hornbostel), to Baily’s analyses of performers’ movement patterns. In recent years ethnomusicologists have responded to the provocations of theories of embodied cognition, and adapted insights of gesture studies to the study of musical performance. Ethnomusicologists have also explored the intersection of embodiment, affect and sound, looking at the relations between the materiality of sound and various bodies (including the body of the music/dance performer as well as musical instruments). At the same time, however, scholars of music and dance have often maintained an unproductive distance from each other. We invite contributors to reflect on these disciplinary histories as they have played out in different contexts, to present work exemplifying the state of the art, and to look forward to new opportunities to better understand the way our bodies and their capacities for movement enable and constrain diverse music and dance performance styles.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

• Critical study and reevaluation of historical approaches to embodiment in music, sound and
• Reflections on the relationship between music and dance scholarship in research on
embodied performance
• Theoretical reflections on the body in music performance
• The application of embodied cognition theories to music performance
• Music and gesture studies
• Past, present and future methodological approaches to the performing body
• Phenomenological and ethnographic approaches to the performing body
• Embodiment in the contact between instructor and trainee
• Embodiment and audience
• The performing body as a site for research into historical and social change

In addition to contributions focussing on the main seminar theme, the programme committee will also consider including a limited number of free papers in order to allow the presentation of innovative recent research. We welcome proposals for individual papers (20 minutes + 10-minute discussion), as well as panel session (length to be negotiated). We also encourage the submission of proposals for poster presentation as well as video/film.

Please send your proposals as word-document files including a 300-word abstract, full name and contact details of the presenter to no later than 10 February 2019.   

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