The South African Society for Cultural History, in collaboration with
the University Museum, Stellenbosch University, invites submissions for
the 43rd International Ballad Conference of the Kommission für Volksdichtung in Stellenbosch, South Africa, 13–19 October 2013.
As this will be the first KfV conference in the Southern Hemisphere, we
look forward to exploring some fascinating issues in song scholarship:
- Bridging traditions: Exploring the relationship between the song culture of all South Africans and academic scholarship;
- Exchange, acculturation and borrowing: Indigenous cultures’
relationship with European musical, literary and religious influences.
(This theme could also be productively applied to other regional and
Main Conference Theme: Social Issues in Ballads and other Songs
In light of the conference in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Southern
Hemisphere, the letter S is key to this theme: Status, Social customs,
Singing and society, Singing and social class, Servants/Service,
Slavery, Subservience, Spirituality, Scorn, Sanctity,
Sacrifice, and Sexuality. We also welcome papers on other social issues, the music and
performance of ballads and songs, and other topics on folk song in
The theme can be applied in various ways. Where a social issue
emerges from the content of a ballad (for instance the subservience of
women in a patriarchal society), it could be discussed in the context of
a specific society’s social structure. It might
also be possible to explore examples of ballads and other songs being
used intentionally to address social issues. Or, one might analyze the
popularity of ballads that tell stories of societies and customs past
even though their cultural context no longer
Papers will be accepted in any of the official languages of the Kommission für Volksdichtung, German, French and English.
Please submit abstracts with the following requirements before 25 March 2013:
- up to 300 words, referring to the paper’s content, academic perspective and argument
- supply author’s name, title, address, affiliation and contact details,
along with a brief account of the author’s career and research
interests (up to 200 words)
- attachment to email in Word format
Abstracts will be peer-reviewed.
Send abstracts as attachments to: Matilda Burden: firstname.lastname@example.org