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CFP: Anthropology of Sound Forum @ SEM 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephen Stuempfle
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The Society for Ethnomusicology and the Music and Sound Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association have joined together to organize a special Anthropology of Sound Forum on Friday, November 11, 2016, at the SEM 2016 Annual Meeting to be held in the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The forum is intended to advance dialogue in the anthropology of sound, promote transdisciplinary perspectives in sound studies, and build stronger institutional relationships between SEM and AAA. Bringing together researchers from diverse disciplinary locations, the forum will encourage participants to critically examine the conditions that inform research around sound and music, and consider how different disciplines approach method, analysis, knowledge, and representation. At the same time, this forum reflects anthropology’s renewed engagement with ethnomusicology, pointing to a rich shared history of ethnographic attention to practices of embodied performance, recording, and listening.


In addition to two keynote speakers, the Forum will feature two roundtables with the aim of catalyzing a broadly conceived and engaged conversation among a diverse group of scholars. The first roundtable, “Acoustic Methodologies,” will focus on sound recording as object and as method, featuring presentations by emerging scholars who are ABD graduate students in ethnomusicology or anthropology, followed by responses by senior scholars and open discussion. The second roundtable, “Histories, Transformations, and Techniques of Sound,” will be made up of junior and senior scholars working at the intersections of anthropology, sound studies, and ethnomusicology who can provide fresh perspectives on topics such as: genealogies of sonic and musical research; archaeological acoustics; ethnography of sound; the anthropology of voice; dis/ability studies and sound; sound media and technology; sonic ontologies and histories of listening. 


Anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, sound studies scholars, and others with an interest in anthropological studies of sound and music are strongly encouraged to send a 250 word abstract to be considered for one of the forum roundtables. Graduate students who wish to be considered for the Acoustic Methodologies roundtable must have completed all requirements for the PhD except the dissertation by September 2016, and must specify the date of ABD status with their abstract.  


NB: Acceptance to the Anthropology of Sound Forum is separate from acceptance to the general SEM Annual Meeting and does not necessarily preclude participation in the latter. However, the Forum Committee and SEM Program Committee seek to minimize overlap of presenters, given the limited number of presentation slots available for each event. Proposals for the Forum must be unique (not similar to proposals submitted for the SEM Annual Meeting).



Submit abstracts by the deadline of April 1, 2016 11:59pm EST to

soundforum2016@gmail.com (note, this email address is for abstract submission only). The abstract should be in the form of a MS Word document attachment, titled with first and last name of the submitter. The Word document should include (in the following order):





For graduate student submissions, date of ABD status

Title of abstract

250 word abstract


NB: Abstracts should appear as a single paragraph. Abstracts over 250 words will not be considered.


Applicants will be notified regarding the status of their proposals in early June 2016. Please note that all presenters for the forum must hold a current SEM or AAA membership and must preregister for the SEM conference by July 1, 2016.  (August 5, 2016 is the SEM deadline for presenter cancellation for refund of registration fees [minus a 35$ handling fee]).


SEM/MSIG 2016 Anthropology of Sound Forum Contacts  

Lila Ellen Gray, MSIG Convener (2013-2015) and Forum Program Committee Co-Chair, lilaellengray@gmail.com


David Novak, SEM Liaison to the AAA, MSIG Founder, and Forum Program Committee Co-Chair, dnovak@music.ucsb.edu


Daniel Fisher, MSIG Convener (2013-2016) and Forum Program Committee Member, dtfisher@berkeley.edu


Amanda Minks, MSIG Convener (2012-2014) and Forum Program Committee Member, amandaminks@ou.edu


Olabode Omojola, SEM 2016 Program Committee Member and Liaison to Forum Program Committee, bomojola@mtholyoke.edu


Stephen Stuempfle, SEM Executive Director, semexec@indiana.edu





Music and Sound Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association



Society for Ethnomusicology



American Anthropological Association


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