Call for Proposals

The Society for Ethnomusicology – 2013 Annual Meeting Call for Proposals


The Society for Ethnomusicology will hold its 58th Annual Meeting on November 14-17, 2013, at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, hosted by Indiana University Bloomington. Indiana University will present a Pre-Conference Symposium, titled “Music and Global Health: Toward Collaborative Paradigms,” on November 13 in Indianapolis. For information on all meeting arrangements and for updates, please visit the SEM website ( and select “Conferences.”

There will be no theme or specified topics for the SEM 2013 Annual Meeting. Potential presenters are encouraged to submit their best work on any topic related to ethnomusicology and to be creative with presentation formats. In addition, SEM sections, special interest groups, committees, and other constituent units are encouraged to sponsor organized sessions, though the Program Committee will not give any preference to sponsored sessions. The online deadline for submission of all proposals is 5:00 pm EST, Friday, February 15, 2013.

Please note that all presenters must hold a current SEM membership and must pre-register for the conference. Presenters who do not meet these two requirements will be dropped from the program and will not be permitted to present at the SEM 2013 Annual Meeting.

Proposals for the Annual Meeting are invited in 9 categories, as outlined below. All proposals must include a proposal form and an abstract. When submitting a proposal, first select the appropriate form:

A. Individual Presenters Form for single papers, performances or lecture-demonstrations, film/video programs, poster (media) sessions, and workshops (participatory).

B. Organized Session Form for organized panels, roundtables, films/video programs, and workshops (participatory).



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 information on an 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. The Program Committee reserves the right to suggest the addition of a panelist when 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 roundtable.) Proposals for organized panels should be submitted by the panel organizer. Include the panel abstract (describing the rationale for the panel as a whole) and abstracts for the individual papers. The panel abstract is particularly critical to the Program Committee’s evaluation.
7. Roundtables: Roundtable 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 four to 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 roundtables 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 information on an 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 of the session. List between two and five session leaders and their affiliations in the space provided in the organized session form, not in the abstract.



Submission: All proposals must be submitted online. To access the submission system, visit and select “Conferences” / “Current” / “Abstract Submission.”

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. Carefully observe these and other instructions given on the proposal submission web pages.

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 be automatically disqualified.
  • Abstracts must be submitted online by 5:00 pm EST, February 15, 2013. In order to avoid website technical problems, it is strongly suggested that proposals be submitted at least 24 hours before the deadline.


Limit on 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
  • Participate in one roundtable, workshop, performance, or lecture-demonstration
  • Present one film/video program
  • Participate in one poster session


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

SEM membership and pre-registration 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 July 1. This requirement also applies 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. Any presenter who has not purchased an SEM membership and pre-registered for the meeting by July 1 will be deleted from the program.

Notification of acceptance: SEM members whose proposals have been accepted will be sent pre-registration information around June 1. If by June 14 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. 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 August 5 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 ( “Prizes.” Note that papers must be submitted by November 13, 2013 (before the start of the Annual Meeting).


Contact Information

For online submissions of proposals: Go to and select “Conferences.” Submission deadline: 5:00 pm EST, February 15, 2013.

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

For questions to the SEM Program Committee Chair (not for submission of proposals) and for cancellations: David Harnish (University of San Diego),



February 15      Online submission of all 2013 proposals (5:00 pm EST).

June 1               Notifications of acceptances sent with pre-registration information.

July 1                Deadline for receipt of pre-registration and SEM membership fees from individuals
whose proposals were accepted or waitlisted.

August 5           Deadline for presenter cancellation and refund of pre-registration fees from SEM
                        members whose proposals were accepted (minus a $35 handling fee).

October 15        Deadline for registration cancellation refund for non-presenters (minus a $35
                        handling fee).


SEM 2013 Program Committee

David Harnish, Chair (University of San Diego)
Joanna Bosse (Michigan State University)
Melvin Butler (University of Chicago)
J. Martin Daughtry (New York University)
Hilary V. Finchum-Sung (Seoul National University)
Francesca Rivera (University of San Francisco)
Amanda Villepastour (Cardiff University)


SEM 2013 Local Arrangements Committee

Mellonee Burnim, Chair (Indiana University Bloomington)
Alan Burdette (Indiana University Bloomington)
Judah Cohen (Indiana University Bloomington)
Nina Fales (Indiana University Bloomington)
Clara Henderson (Indiana University Bloomington)
James Makubuya (Wabash College)
Portia Maultsby (Indiana University Bloomington)
David McDonald (Indiana University Bloomington)
Fernando Orejuelo (Indiana University Bloomington)
Daniel Reed (Indiana University Bloomington)
Jennifer Ryan, Indiana State University
Ruth Stone (Indiana University Bloomington)
Charles Sykes (Indiana University Bloomington)
Sue Tuohy (Indiana University Bloomington)