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SIBE - Sociedad de Etnomusicología

CFP: XXXVI European Seminar in Ethnomusicology. Universidad de Valladolid, 14-19 de septiembre de 2020

Deadline: 24 February 2020
Cultural heritage can be understood as a combination of culturally defined knowledge, life experience, social behavior, mentality, memory, material culture and space inherited from previous generations that has been historically constructed, re-elaborated, and transmitted in various ways. Both public and private initiatives have contributed to its preservation, from the systematization and objectification of this legacy to the promotion of cultural policies and different kinds of activisms, which acquire global dimensions due to new technologies, internet and social media. Moreover, dynamics such as large-scale commercialization and cultural and historical tourism are changing the meanings of many cultural inheritances due to, for instance, the spectacularization of traditions associated in the past with private or public ritual contexts.
As a result of these processes, de-territorialized products and practices transcend the symbolic values attributed to them by their original owners and become cultural artifacts that can be appropriated and consumed. Debates around cultural property in the 21st century and how institutions (such as museums) should deal with cultural products appropriated in the frame of colonial domination have been very present not only in academic circles, but also in the media. In the case of recorded and stored intangible cultural property (such as traditional knowledge, skills, recipes, medicines, performing arts, oral literature, magic, ritual and religious practices…), music archives and other institutions have to face the same challenges. This is particularly evident in a context in which new technologies facilitate global access to the materials, and the representation of other cultures may actively affect cultural sensibilities and local life conditions.
Moreover, in popular music, the concept of cultural appropriation is being widely discussed both in traditional and social media (this is the case, for instance, of Spanish singer Rosalía and her re-elaboration of flamenco and gypsy aesthetics and language, or the use of Afro-American performativity by white singers such as Miley Cyrus in the USA). This concern raises questions around ideals of multiculturalism and interculturality, as well as on the perpetuation of forms of exploitation of the cultural legacies of historically dominated communities.
Further, processes of heritagization correlate with attributions of cultural belonging and pave the way for the construction and solidification of social, ethnic and regional borders. These borders contradict inter-ethnic and supra-regional cultural ownership and call for discussions on intellectual property rights. Other pressing debates concern the representation of minorities within intangible cultural heritage policies and ways of dealing with gender restrictions and sexual normativity within intangible cultural heritage practices.
For this conference, we welcome proposals that reflect on how the use of new technologies, internet, and social media has changed the systematization, preservation, and dissemination of music as intangible cultural heritage. The connections between the global production and consumption of music and local cultural heritage re-appropriation and reelaboration may also be explored. We also want to encourage discussion of the tensions that arise, in a postcolonial world, between the ethnocentric concept of universal cultural heritage and the needs, goals, epistemologies and ontologies of other cultures whose cultural property is being used and consumed. Decolonial approaches to the preservation and dissemination of culturally sensitive musical materials in archives and museums will be valued. Additionally, presentations that deal with folklorism, revival and spectacularisation of culture and how these processes dialogue with ethical concerns will be appreciated. Finally, we invite scholars specializing in popular music to share their reflections on the suitability and the impact of the use of the concept of cultural appropriation in the context of the globalized music industry.
We welcome proposals for individual papers (20 minutes + 10-minute discussion), as well as panel session (length to be negotiated). We also encourage the submission of proposals for poster presentations as well as video/film.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
• Cultural policy and heritage
• Heritage, folklorism, revival, and the spectacularisation of musical practices
• Cultural heritage, cultural diversity and globalization
• Music, migration and cultural exchange
• Intangible heritage and music advocacy
• Musical appropriation, entertainment and cultural industries
• Memory, archives, archivization and the institutionalization of knowledge
In addition to contributions focusing on the main seminar theme, the programme committee will also consider including a limited number of free papers in order to allow the presentation of innovative recent research.
Please, visit the conference website ( and register in the “Abstract submission” section of the menu in order to send your proposal (300-word abstract, full name and contact details). You can also use the “Contact” button at the bottomright corner of the “Home” section in order to contact conference organizers. Deadline for submission of proposals is 24 February 2020.