2004 Annual Conference of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology

London, England – The Elphinstone Institute and the Music Research Group at the University of Aberdeen will host the 2004 Annual Conference of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, taking place from Thursday 15 April (afternoon start) to Sunday 18 April (finishing early afternoon).

Call for Papers

Theme 1: Ethnomusicology at Home
As in social anthropology and other ethnographically-based disciplines, the researcher in ethnomusicology is increasingly turning towards the home context as a relevant base for fieldwork. This approach merits close examination and discussion.
Papers should address such issues as:
… What are the methodological implications?
… Are there implicit ideological or political considerations?… What are the advantages and disadvantages of the approach?
… How does it affect fieldwork style?
… How does status as insider or outsider affect the role of the
… Is a reflexive stance more or less relevant when at home?
… In the case of a native fieldworker is s/he blinkered or more capable of significant insights?
… Where is home?

Theme 2: Transformed States
In many different cultures and contexts the music people make is dependent for its inspiration on a transformed state of mind. This may be induced by administering substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, or narcotics.

Alternatively the transformed state may come from within, through emotions or feelings, such as joy, love, grief, fear, or from religious devotion or spiritual experience. Similarly body movements, especially dance or rhythmic percussion, may be the source.

Submissions should address such issues as:
… What is the nature of the relationship between the transformed state, its stimulus, and the music?
… How does the transformed state affect musical creativity and/or meaning?
… How does music contribute to the process of altering states of mind?
… What part does social and cultural context play in shaping the transformed state / music making?

Research in Progress
There will be the opportunity for students to submit proposals for short papers of 10 minutes based on their ongoing study (whether or not pertinent to the main themes).

Pre-formed panels of 90 or 120 minutes may also be proposed.

Submission of Proposals
Abstracts of up to 300 words (extended pro rata for panels) should be submitted, preferably by e-mail to Ian Russell by 30 November 2003. In the case of postal submissions, authors should include two copies but with their identity and institutional affiliation included on one copy only, plus a copy of the text on disk to facilitate eventual reproduction in the book of abstracts.  Please also indicate (a) what audio-visual equipment the presentation will require, and (b) whether you expect to be in attendance for the full duration of the conference.  Abstracts will be evaluated anonymously by an expert panel and authors may expect to be advised of their acceptance or otherwise in the New Year.  Those in need of an earlier decision should contact Ian Russell. Papers on the conference themes should last for no more than 20 minutes and there will be up to 10 minutes allowed for questions and discussion.

With its sparkling granite buildings, Aberdeen is Scotland’s third largest city – a combination of historic charm, thriving economy, and cosmopolitan community. A seaport and centre for Europe’s North Sea oil and gas industries, it is home to 212,000 people. From the mile-long beach and the historic 15th century university campus in Old Aberdeen, it is less than half-an-hour to the tranquility of the nearby hills and countryside in one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland. Aberdeen caters for all tastes in arts, culture, leisure, and entertainment with His Majesty’s Theatre, Music Hall, and
Lemon Tree regularly attracting national and international artists. The Aberdeen Art Gallery, Maritime Museum, and Marischal Museum are all highly recommended. There are also many good restaurants and bars.

Accommodation in single or twin en-suite rooms is in King’s Hall less than 5 minutes walk from the Regent Lecture Theatre, New Kings, and the Linklater Rooms, where the formal conference activities will take place.  (Parking is available at New Kings and on the campus.) We can also offer a list of
reasonably priced local accommodation.

Evening events will include a performance of traditional Scottish ballads and music, a participatory workshop, and the traditional BFE party.  There will also be time to explore the local area with an excursion to nearby castles and glens.

Dr Ian Russell, Director
The Elphinstone Institute
University of Aberdeen
24 High Street
AB24 3EB
Tel: +44 (0)1224 272386
Fax: +44 (0)1224 272728