Music and dance are means
by which we share culture and identity, and exchange knowledge. The theme of
Trans-Atlantic Transactions is designed to frame wide-ranging explorations of
fiddling and related dance traditions as expressive forms that are shared,
exchanged, and disseminated, and which provide endless opportunities for
The idea of "transaction”
can be understood broadly to embrace the exchange of repertoires and styles
within and between traditions, regions, generations, and populations.
Transaction may also be used to reflect upon the impact of economic forces on
fiddling and dancing, from the demands of recording and touring, to the
expectations placed on it by the entertainment industry and tourism.
We invite papers and
panels which examine the themes of giving, taking, exchanging, and transacting
as they apply to fiddling and dancing across the North Atlantic region.
Some topic areas may include, but are not limited to:
- Adoption and
Appropriation: Where and when would
these terms be appropriate for the circulation of fiddle and dance styles and
- Exchanging of Repertoire: How are tunes exchanged among different or separate
fiddling traditions, and what transformations or modifications are made when
- Transactions Among
Instruments: The fiddle repertoire
has been adopted by flautists, banjoists, accordionists, pianists, guitarists,
and many others. In some cases, like the bagpipes, the fiddle and pipes
mutually share repertoire. How do instruments like these reshape fiddle tunes,
and what do they give back to fiddling traditions?
- Vocal Music: What transactions and exchanges occur between
repertoires of fiddling, dancing and vocal music? How much has one affected
another in particular traditions?
- "Blàs” ("Flavour,”
"accent”): What exchanges happen
between the spoken language of a culture and the rhythm, cadence, or "accent”
of fiddle or dance style?
- Interactions: What are the interactions among performers, between
soloists and accompanists, between dancers and fiddlers?
- Migration: How have exchanges of population, both recent and
past, affected the circulations of styles and repertoires?
- Mediation: What negotiations are made when fiddling and dancing
become mass mediated, and respond to commercial priorities?
- Vocation vs. Avocation: What are the issues around the rewards of fiddling
and dancing, and in which contexts? What are the range of economies involved in
fiddling and dancing, from communal sharing to barter to professionalism and
the pursuit of various sources of revenue?
Though we encourage
presentations that engage with our theme, the program committee will gladly
receive proposals for presentations on any aspect of fiddling and its
Given the setting of the
conference, on Cape Breton Island, and its partnership with the Celtic
Colours International Festival (Friday October 9 to Saturday October
17, 2015), we anticipate that this theme will be fruitful as we reflect on
fiddling in the Old World and the New, and across many different populations
and histories. Delegates will have opportunities to see many Celtic Colours
International Festival performances, workshops, and events, and experience
the Island’s many sights and sounds over the course of the conference.
The first half of the
conference will be held in Sydney (October 13-14), and the latter half in
Baddeck, Nova Scotia (October 16-17), offering a full experience of the Cape
Breton’s exciting urban and beautiful rural locales. October 15 will be
organized as a day of touring.
As we will be applying
for funding support, submissions for academic papers will need to include:
- presenter’s full name,
institutional affiliation, department, student status (if applicable), and
- presentation title;
- two abstracts: one 250
words, and one 100-150 words MAXIMUM;
- a list of degrees earned,
- a list of recent
positions and any positions relevant to NAFCo;
- a list of recent
publications and any publications relevant to NAFCo; and
- a 100 word biography.
The submission deadline
is November 15, 2014. Submissions should be sent to the email address
below, and will be submitted to blind peer review.
Mail: North Atlantic
c/o The Centre for Cape
PO Box 5300
1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P