The Society for Ethnomusicology 2010 Annual Meeting Call for Proposals

The Society for Ethnomusicology will hold its 55th Annual Meeting on 11-14 November 2010 at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles, hosted by the University of California at Los Angeles. For information on all meeting arrangements and for updates, please visit and select “Conferences.”

The theme for the 2010 Annual Meeting will be “Sound Ecologies.” Following a keen interest in environments and soundscapes, topics will include the following:

1) Music Displacement and Disaster
2) Music, Copyrights, and Human Rights
3) Music and Social Activism
4) Film Music

Proposals on these topics will be given priority by the Program Committee. SEM sections, special interest groups, committees, and other constituent units are encouraged to sponsor organized sessions on or relevant to these topics, though the Program Committee will not give extra weight to sponsorship. Proposals on any other topics relevant to the field of ethnomusicology, including dance, are also welcome. We encourage informal heuristic sessions on The Development of Public Spaces for the Profession, Musical Analysis, and Ethnomusicology in the Academy, or on other topics. (An informal heuristic session is a space where conferees gather without formal presentation pieces to brainstorm a specific topic for 1.5 or 2 hours. See Open Forums below.) The online and postmark deadline for submission of all proposals is 15 March 2010.

In conjunction with the Annual Meeting, UCLA will present on 10 November 2010 a Pre-Conference Symposium: “Music Research and Performance in South Asia: The Life and Work of Nazir Jairazbhoy.”

Proposals for the Annual Meeting are invited in ten categories. Please see below for details. All proposals must include a proposal form and an abstract. When submitting a proposal, first select the appropriate form. Note that two types of forms are used for submissions:

1. Individual Presenters Form for single papers, performances or lecture-demonstrations, film/video programs, poster (media) sessions, and workshops (participatory).
2. Organized Sessions Form for organized panels, round tables, workshops (participatory), films/videos, and open forums.  


1. Single Papers: Individual paper presentations are 20 minutes long and are followed by 10 minutes of discussion.
2. Performances or Lecture-Demonstrations: Up to one hour long.
3. Film/Video Programs: One recently completed or in-progress film or video program up to two hours long. Sessions may include an introduction and discussion time. Submit title, subject, and introduction/discussion.
4. Poster (Media) Sessions: Display stations will be set up in a room where presenters can exhibit work in a variety of media and remain on hand during scheduled two-hour periods for discussion. Displays might include posters, audio-visual presentations of research, instrument building, as well as written work made available in a form suitable for informal presentation in a table-top display. Special display requirements (e.g., computer and audio/visual equipment) will be the responsibility of the presenter. Displays should be designed with consideration for the other presenters in the room. The abstract for Poster (Media) Sessions should describe the subject, purpose, and physical/audible characteristics of the display, as well as the audio/visual equipment or table space required.
5. Workshops (participatory): Informal, interactive hands-on session on one topic (e.g., music performance, dance, recording technology) for a maximum of two hours.


6. Organized Panels. Organized panel sessions are 90 minutes or two hours long. A 90-minute panel consists of three papers. A two-hour panel consists of either four papers or three papers plus a discussant. Each presentation (a paper or a discussant’s formal response) will be 20 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes of questions and general discussion. Panel abstracts will be evaluated individually as well as collectively. The Program Committee reserves the right to suggest the addition of a panelist where an independently submitted abstract appears to fit a panel. (Those interested in a more flexible format with more participants may want to consider proposing a round table.) Proposals for organized panels should be submitted by the panel organizer. Include an abstract describing the rationale for the panel as a whole. This overall panel abstract is the linchpin of the panel, although individual abstracts for each presenter are also necessary.
7. Round Tables: Round table sessions provide opportunities for participants to discuss a subject with each other and with members of the audience. Sessions of up to two hours long should include at least four, but no more than five, presenters. We encourage formats that stimulate discussion and audience participation. The organizer will solicit position papers of up to 10 minutes from each presenter and will facilitate questions and discussion for the remaining time. Proposals for round tables should be submitted by the session organizer and must include an abstract outlining the purpose/agenda and organization of the session, as well as the anticipated contributions of each participant (unnamed in the abstract). The organized session form provides a separate space where participants and their institutional affiliations should be listed.
8. Films/Videos: Multiple presenters of recently completed or in-progress films, video programs, or excerpts, together extending up to two hours. Sessions may include introductions and discussion time.  Submit titles, subjects, and introduction/discussion. Also indicate the exact duration of each proposed film, video program, and/or excerpt. The organizer must describe the overall subject of the session. List the participants and their affiliations in the space provided in the organized session form (not in the abstract).
9. Workshops (participatory): Informal, interactive hands-on session on one topic (e.g., music performance, dance, recording technology) for a maximum of two hours. The organizer must submit an abstract describing the subject. List more than one, but no more than five, session leaders, with their affiliations in the space provided in the organized session form (not in the abstract).
10. Open Forums. Informal heuristic session where conferees gather without formal presentation pieces to brainstorm a topic for 1.5 to 2 hours. The organizer must submit an abstract stating the problem to be addressed or the focus of the discussion and its importance. In the organized session form (not in the abstract), list the name(s) of the discussion leader(s) as “discussant(s),” along with the name(s) of the sponsoring section, special interest group, committee, or other constituent unit(s) where applicable.


About Abstracts:
Abstracts should demonstrate a clear focus or statement of the problem, a coherent argument, knowledge of previous research, and a statement of the implications for ethnomusicology. If submitting an abstract proposal online, carefully observe these and other instructions given at the website. If submitting a hard-copy abstract proposal by post, please use single-spaced type and, separate from the body of the abstract, include the presenter’s name and institutional affiliation (for organized session abstracts, the session organizer’s name) and the paper title (for session abstracts, the name of the session).

All abstracts must comply with the following requirements:

  • Abstracts should appear as a single paragraph.
  • Abstracts over 250 words will be automatically disqualified.
  • Abstracts identifying presenters, fellow researchers, or other participants will not be accepted.
  • Abstracts must be submitted online or postmarked by 15 March 2010.

Limit on the number of presentations: SEM policy specifies that, during the regular sessions of the Annual Meeting, an individual may participate in ONLY ONE of the following ways:

  • Give one paper (individually or as part of an organized panel)
  • Act as a discussant for a panel or a discussion leader for an open forum
  • Participate in one round table, workshop, performance, or lecture-demonstration
  • Participate in one poster session
  • Present one film/video program

In addition, an individual may chair ONE panel, round table, or workshop. Therefore, an individual may submit ONLY ONE abstract proposal. (Organizers of panels may submit an individual presenter abstract as well as the panel abstract.)

Pre-registration and SEM membership fees: Following SEM policy, all participants whose proposals have been accepted for the program must be SEM members and must pre-register for the meeting by 2 August. This requirement applies also to those who have agreed to be waitlisted. Guest speakers at sessions sponsored by SEM constituent units must be SEM members and must pre-register for the meeting. If necessary, sections should arrange to use their dues to cover membership and registration fees for their guest speakers.

Notification of acceptance: SEM members whose proposals have been accepted will be sent pre-registration information around June 7. If by 2 July you have not received a message from the Program Committee indicating whether or not your abstract was accepted, please contact Drew Norris, SEM Conference Coordinator, at Indiana University Conferences at

Cancellations and no-shows: No-shows inconvenience the chair, discussant, fellow panelists, and audience members attending the session. Participants who discover that they are unable to attend the meeting should notify the Program Committee Chair and immediately. SEM policy does not permit anyone other than the author to read a paper.  Pre-registration cancellations made after 7 September will not qualify for a refund.

Special requests:  Please indicate potential scheduling conflicts to the Program Committee Chair. If notified in advance, the Program Committee will attempt to accommodate requests, but cannot guarantee a particular time slot.

Charles Seeger Prize: Students interested in having a paper considered for the Charles Seeger Prize should consult the guidelines on the SEM website ( under “Prizes.”

Submission and Contact Information

For online submissions of abstracts: Go to and select “Conferences.” Submission deadline: 15 March 2010.

For postal submissions of abstracts: Telephone the SEM Business Office at (812) 855-6672 to request a form for postal submissions. Postmark deadline: 15 March 2010. Submit form and abstract to:
Indiana University Conferences
801 North Jordan Street
Bloomington, IN  47405, USA

For general conference questions: or (800) 933-9330 (within U.S.) or (812) 855-4661 (outside U.S.).

For questions of the Program Committee Chair (NOT for proposals or abstracts) and for cancellations:


15 March

Online submission and postmark deadline for all SEM 2010 proposals

07 June 

Notifications of acceptances mailed with pre-registration information.

02 August

Deadline for receipt of pre-registration and SEM membership fees from individuals whose proposals were accepted or waitlisted.

07 September

Deadline for presenter cancellation and refund of pre-registration fees from SEM members whose proposals were accepted (minus a $35 handling fee).

15 October

Registration cancellation refund deadline for non-presenters (minus a $35 handling fee).

SEM 2010 Program Committee

Barbara L. Hampton, Chair (CUNY Graduate Center and Hunter College)
Christi-Anne Castro (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Leslie Gay (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
Ruth Hellier-Tinoco (University of Winchester, UK and University of California, Santa Barbara)
Timothy Rommen (University of Pennsylvania)

SEM 2010 Local Arrangements Committee

Tara Browner, Chair (University of California at Los Angeles)
Ric Alviso (California State University, Northridge)
Katherine Hagedorn (Pomona College)
Judy Mitoma (University of California at Los Angeles)
Helen Rees (University of California at Los Angeles)
Jonathan Ritter (University of California at Riverside)
Anthony Seeger (University of California at Los Angeles)