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CFP: 2018 SEM Annual Meeting

Thursday, December 14, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rosalind V. Rini Larson
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The Society for Ethnomusicology will hold its 63rd Annual Meeting on November 15–18, 2018, at the Hotel Albuquerque in the Old Town district of Albuquerque, New Mexico. On November 14, the University of New Mexico and the SEM Latin American and Caribbean Music Section will present at the hotel a pre-conference symposium titled “Decolonizing Strategies in Ethnomusicology, Teaching, and Performance.” For information on all meeting arrangements, including a copy of this call for proposals, please visit the SEM website ( and select “Conferences.”

The SEM 2018 Program Committee asks participants to submit their best work on any topic related to ethnomusicology and to be creative with presentation formats. In addition, the Committee suggests that SEM sections, special interest groups, and other constituent units consider sponsoring organized sessions. Though sponsored sessions will not be given any preference during abstract review, pre-submission consultation among group members typically improves the quality of abstracts and increases the likelihood of their acceptance.

Based on previous Annual Meeting attendee surveys, the Program Committee also encourages organized panels that comprise a mix of junior and senior scholars from multiple institutions, and include a separate panel chair (i.e., a chair who does not present a paper on the panel). In addition, panels with presenters from more than one country are encouraged.

The online deadline for submission of all proposals is 5:00pm EST, Wednesday, February 16, 2018.

Please note that all presenters must hold a current SEM membership and must pre-register for the conference. Presenters who do not meet these two requirements by July 2, 2018, will be dropped from the program and will not be permitted to present at the SEM 2018 Annual Meeting. Proposals for the Annual Meeting are invited in 8 categories, as outlined below. All proposals must include a proposal form and an abstract.

When submitting a proposal, first select the appropriate form:

  • Individual Presenter Form for single paper, performance or lecture-demonstration, film/video program, and workshop (participatory).
  • Organized Session Form for organized panel, roundtable, multiple film/video program, and group-led workshop (participatory).

Proposals to be Submitted on the Individual Presenter Form:

  • Single Paper: An individual paper presentation is 20 minutes long and is followed by 10 minutes of discussion.
  • Performance or Lecture-Demonstration: Up to 1 hour long.
  • Film/Video: One recently completed or in-progress film or video. A session (up to 2 hours long) should include time for an introduction and discussion. Submit title, subject, and information on the introduction/discussion. Indicate the length of both the film/video and the introduction/discussion.
  • Workshop (participatory): Informal, interactive hands-on session on one topic (e.g., music performance, dance, recording technology) for a maximum of 2 hours (indicate length).

 Proposals to be Submitted on the Organized Session Form:

  • Organized Panel: An organized panel session is 1.5 or 2 hours long. A 1.5-hour panel consists of three papers. A 2-hour panel consists of either four papers or three papers plus a discussant. Each presentation (a paper or a discussant’s formal response) is 20 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes of questions and general discussion. The Program Committee reserves the right to suggest the addition of a panelist when an independently submitted abstract appears to fit a panel. (Those interested in a more flexible format with more participants may want to consider proposing a roundtable.) A proposal for an organized panel should be submitted by the panel organizer. Include the panel abstract (describing the rationale for the panel as a whole) and abstracts for the individual papers. The panel abstract is particularly critical to the Program Committee’s evaluation.
  • Roundtable: A roundtable provides an opportunity for participants to discuss a subject with each other and with members of the audience. A roundtable may be 1.5 or 2 hours long (please specify) and may include up to six presenters. We encourage formats that stimulate discussion and audience participation (at least 50% of the roundtable time must be devoted to discussion). The organizer will solicit position statements of up to 10 minutes long from each presenter and will facilitate questions and discussion for the remaining time. The organizer should submit an abstract that outlines the purpose/agenda and organization of the roundtable, as well as the contributions of each participant (unnamed in the abstract). The organized session form provides a space where participants and their affiliations should be listed.
  • Multiple Film/Video Program: Multiple presenters of recently completed or in-progress films, videos, or excerpts. A session (up to 2 hours long) should include introductions and discussion time. The session organizer should submit an abstract that outlines the overall subject of the session and includes information on the film/video titles and subjects and on the introduction/discussion. Also indicate the exact length of each proposed film/video (or excerpt) and of the introduction/discussion. The organized session form provides a space where participants and their affiliations should be listed.
  • Group-Led Workshop (participatory): Informal, interactive hands-on session on one topic (e.g., music performance, dance, recording technology) for a maximum of 2 hours (indicate length). The organizer should submit an abstract that describes the subject of the session and the contributions of between two and five session leaders (unnamed in the abstract). The organized session form provides a space where participants and their affiliations should be listed.


Submissions, Requirements, and Deadlines

Submission: All proposals must be submitted online. To access the submission system, visit and select “Conferences” / “Current” / “Abstract Submission.”

About Abstracts: Abstracts should demonstrate a clear focus or statement of the problem, a coherent argument, knowledge of previous research, and a statement of the implications for ethnomusicology. Carefully observe these and other instructions given on the proposal submission web pages.

All abstracts must comply with the following requirements:

  • Abstracts should appear as a single paragraph.
  • Abstracts over 250 words will be automatically disqualified. The submission software does not limit words to 250, so be sure to count.
  • Abstracts identifying presenters, fellow researchers, or other participants will be automatically disqualified.
  • Abstracts must be submitted online by 5:00pm EST, February 16, 2018. In order to avoid website technical problems, it is strongly suggested that proposals be submitted at least 24 hours before the deadline.

Limit on Number of Presentations: SEM policy specifies that, during the regular sessions of the Annual Meeting, an individual may participate in only one of the following ways:

  • Give one paper (individually or as part of an organized panel)
  • Act as a discussant for a panel
  • Participate in one roundtable, workshop, performance, or lecture-demonstration
  • Present one film/video program

In addition, an individual may chair one panel, roundtable, film/video program, or workshop. Therefore, an individual may submit only one abstract proposal to SEM. (Organizers of panels may submit an individual presenter abstract as well as the panel abstract.) Individuals who submit more than one presenter abstract will be automatically disqualified.

SEM membership and pre-registration fees: Following SEM policy, all participants whose proposals have been accepted for the program must be SEM members and must pre-register for the meeting by July 2. Individuals who have agreed to be waitlisted must join SEM and pre-register immediately upon notification of an acceptance. In addition, guest speakers at sessions sponsored by SEM constituent units must be SEM members and must pre-register for the meeting. If necessary, sections should arrange to use their dues to cover membership and registration fees for their guest speakers. Any presenter who has not purchased an SEM membership and pre-registered for the meeting by July 2 will be deleted from the program.

Notification of acceptance: Individuals whose proposals have been accepted will be sent pre-registration information around June 1. If by June 15 you have not received a message from the Program Committee indicating whether or not your abstract was accepted, please contact Drew Norris, SEM Conference Coordinator, at Indiana University Conferences at

Cancellations and no-shows: No-shows inconvenience the chair, discussant, fellow panelists, and audience members. Participants who discover that they are unable to attend the meeting should notify the Program Committee Chair and immediately. SEM policy does not permit anyone other than the author to read a paper and does not permit Skyped readings. Registration cancellations made after August 6 will not qualify for a refund. (Note: SEM may again issue a special call with a waiver of the onsite presentation requirement for individuals from countries facing U.S. visa restrictions.)

Special requests: Please indicate potential scheduling conflicts to the Program Committee Chair. If notified in advance, the Program Committee will attempt to accommodate requests, but cannot guarantee a particular time slot.

Charles Seeger Prize: Students interested in having a paper considered for the Charles Seeger Prize should consult the guidelines on the SEM website ( under “Prizes.” Note that papers must be submitted by November 19, 2018 (the day after the Annual Meeting).



  • February 16: Online submission of all 2018 proposals (5:00pm EST).
  • Early June: Notifications of acceptances sent with pre-registration information.
  • July 2: Deadline for receipt of pre-registration and SEM membership fees from individuals whose proposals were accepted.
  • August 6: Deadline for presenter cancellation and refund of registration fees from SEM members whose proposals were accepted (minus a $35 handling fee).
  • October 12: Deadline for registration cancellation refund for non-presenters (minus a $35 handling fee).


For general conference questions: or (800)933-9330 (within U.S.) or (812)855-4661 (outside U.S.).

For questions to the SEM Program Committee Chair (not for submission of proposals) and for cancellations: 

Gillian Rodger
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee


SEM 2018 Program Committee

Gillian Rodger, Chair (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
Jayson Beaster-Jones (University of California, Merced)
James Revell Carr (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Elizabeth Clendinning (Wake Forest University)
Chad Hamill (Northern Arizona University)
Inna Naroditskaya (Northwestern University)
Suzel Reily (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil)


SEM 2018 Local Arrangements Committee

Ana R. Alonso Minutti, Co-Chair (University of New Mexico)
Kristina Jacobsen, Co-Chair (University of New Mexico)
León F. Garcia Corona (Northern Arizona University)
Regan Homeyer (University of New Mexico)
Raquel Z. Rivera (University of New Mexico)
Renata Yazzie (University of New Mexico)

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