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41st International Ballad Conference of the Kommission für Volksdichtung
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6/20/2011 to 6/24/2011
When: 6/20/2011
Where: Faro, University of the Algarve 
Contact: J. J. Dias Marques
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Call for Papers
41st International Ballad Conference of the Kommission für Volksdichtung
20–24 June 2011
Faro, Portugal

The University of the Algarve invites submissions for papers for the 41st International Ballad Conference of the Kommission für Volksdichtung. The conference will be held at the University of the Algarve, in Faro, the main city of the Algarve, a region renowned for its warm climate, numerous beaches and good food.

Conference theme

The conference theme, inspired by the important role Portuguese navigators played in establishing contacts between Europe, Africa, Asia and South America in the 15th and 16th centuries, will be Folk Song and the Relationships between Nations.

Some examples of possible subthemes:

1. The comparative study of song/ballad versions from more than one nation/culture. Such papers might choose a song or ballad and examine its life in different nations/cultures, to determine how the song’s meanings, functions, form and content change and evolve.

2. The image of one nation/culture in the songs/ballads of another nation/culture.

3. The role of songs/ballads in political and cultural relationships between nations/cultures.

4. The relationships and/or the influence of a song/ballad collector or scholar of one nation/culture to and upon a song/ballad collector or scholar of another nation/culture.

5. Navigation and exploration in songs and ballads.

Papers will be accepted in one of the official languages of the Kommission für Volksdichtung: English, French and German.


Submission is invited by 15 January 2011. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed.

− Papers should follow the theme of the conference.
− Abstracts (up to 300 words) should give the reviewers a clear idea of the intended paper.
− The author’s name, title, address, affiliation and contact details should also be provided, along with a brief account of the author’s career and research interests.
− It is intended that a selection of the papers will be published.
− Please submit abstracts within an email, or as a Word attachment, to: J. J. Dias Marques. (If you do not receive e-mail acknowledgement of your submission, please resend.)

The decision about the acceptance of papers will be made by 15 February 2011.


Faro has an international airport, situated 7 km from the city. Should Lisbon’s airport be more convenient for you, please remember that Faro is 300 km south of Lisbon. There are frequent trains and coaches, which take 3–4 hours, between the two cities. There are also planes between them. Participants coming from Spain would perhaps like to consider taking the coach connecting Seville (Spain) to Faro (one a day; 3hrs 30m).


Accommodation will be at participants’ expense. In our next newsletter (together with the notification of the acceptance of the papers) we will provide a list of hotels and their prices. To give you an idea, at Hotel Santa Maria (a 3 Star hotel in the city centre) the special conference rate will be: single room – 64 Euros; double/twin room – 69.50 Euros. In both cases, rooms are en suite and breakfast is included. Besides hotels, there is also the possibility of booking some rooms in a teachers’ residence, at the expected price of 35–40 Euros per night. More information about this will be given in our next newsletter.


Lunches (with unpretentious food, at the University refectory, close to the conference venue) will be included in the conference fee. There are also several restaurants close to the University campus. Dinners will be at the participants’ own expense.


Preliminary plans include two concerts by two folk groups, in addition to our usual delegate-led singing and music-making.


An optional excursion will be organised on 23 June, taking us by coach from Faro to Lagos, in Western Algarve. On our way, we will visit the cathedral and castle of Silves. During the excursion, we are planning to include a boat trip to see the spectacular cliffs and rocks of Ponta da Piedade, near Lagos. (Price to be finalized.)

Conference dinner

In the last evening, there will be an optional conference dinner. (Price to be finalized.)

Registration fee

The conference fee will be 50 Euros (until 15 April) or 70 Euros (after that date). There will be a pro rata fee for day registrations. The fee includes the conference pack with programme, lunches, coffees/teas during the event, the two concerts, and a University coach which every morning will take the participants from a meeting-point in central Faro, near the main hotels, to the University campus (some 30 minutes walk from the city centre), where the conference will be held. At the end of the last paper session of each day, the coach will take participants back to the city centre.

Financial support

We would like to invite individuals to support international scholars’ participation in the conference. Donations of 50 Euros or more are welcome and will be directly applied towards participants’ fees and expenses. For further information, please contact J. J. Dias Marques (see below).

For any queries, please contact:
J. J. Dias Marques
Universidade do Algarve
80005-139 Faro

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