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CFP: 50th International Ballad Conference

Monday, November 11, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alexandra Sanchez

The Albanian Academy of Science invites paper submissions for the 50th International Ballad Conference of the Kommission für Volksdichtung (KfV).

The conference will start in Tiranë (Tirana), Albania before moving to Gjirokastër (Gjirokastra), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The older part of Gjirokastër is a well-preserved Ottoman style town with a fortress overlooking the entire city and old wooden houses built against the slopes. A National Folk Festival will be hosted there following the conference. The conference will run from May 24–9, 2020.

The conference will focus on the complex relationships between the singer-creator-performer and the audience. Papers may explore this relationship directly or look at the history of the genre, relationships between orality and print, and medieval origins to today’s reality.

The conference will explore how this relationship is developed in several dimensions:

  • What is the role of audience?
  • What kind of transformations derive from the audience itself?
  • How are the roles of singer/creator and audience delineated or shaped?
  • How does the relationship change in modern times and in the context of developing technologies?

The conference hopes to explore how ballads and other folk songs, as part of the larger world of folklore, are treated in former socialist countries, particularly in the second half of the twentieth century. How has their transformation influenced audiences? How have expectations of the genre—creation, transmission, process—changed over time? How is this heritage seen in our culture today? To what extent can we consider latter-day creativity and its products to be part of folklore and tradition? What has happened to the older traditions in this context?

Contributions may explore these issues from many perspectives, such as: meaning, performance, communication, function, authority, and many more.

Submissions on other aspects of ballads and other folk songs are also welcome, and the conference welcomes alternative formats, presentations, or roundtable discussions. Papers are welcome in the three official languages of the KfV: English, French, and German.

Deadline to submit a proposal is December 6. Submit abstracts of 200–300 words as Word/RTF attachment to Olimbi Velaj at Applicants will be notified by December 13.

The KfV is offering a small bursary of €300 to an early career researcher to support their attendance at the conference. For the purposes of this award, an early career researcher is someone relatively new to the field, of any age or affiliation. If you wish to apply, please include a CV, a letter of reference from an academic figure, and a cover letter outlining your relevant work and interests when you submit your paper proposal. The award will be decided by the KfV Executive.

For more information, see 2020 Conference




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