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International Ballad Conference
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8/31/2018 to 9/5/2018
When: Friday, August 31, 2018
Where: Prague
Czech Republic

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The International Ballad Conference of the Kommission für Volksdichtung will be held in Prague by the National Museum, Charles University Faculty of Arts, Department of Ethnology, and the Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The conference will take place August 31–September 5, 2018 on the theme “Ballads and Memory.”

Songs are often thought of as capturing the memories of a people or community. They reflect cultural experience and, as David Buchan put it, they give expression to the "cultural preoccupations of—and sometimes the sense of identity of—a given group." They are a record of human experience. But how is that record constructed? Whose memories are being recorded? How is that record maintained? And how is that record used? Do scholars alter it, or try to preserve it unchanged? Do scholars accept its version of the collective past, or do they reshape and reuse it for their own purposes?

This conference will explore the idea of memory in relation to ballads and folk songs by looking at songs as carriers of cultural and community memory, by looking at the mechanisms whereby songs old and new have been perpetuated, and how they are being remembered and reshaped in the digital age. It will delve into the reasons for maintaining memories through song.

For more information, including the conference CFP (due April 30, 2018), visit the post about the conference in the AFS Review.

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