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43rd International Ballad Conference of the Kommission für Volksdichtung
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10/13/2013 to 10/19/2013
When: 10/13/2013
Where: Stellenbosch University
South Africa
Contact: Matilda Burden

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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 national situations.)

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 general.

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 exists.

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:

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