International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Call for Papers: 3rd Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance of the Slavic World

Conference dates: 16‒19 October 2020 / postponed to 20-23 October 2021

Conference venue: Institute of Musicology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland)

Important dates:

  • Abstract submission deadline: 15 March 2020
  • Notification of acceptance (with or without revision) or  non-acceptance: 30 April 2020
  • Revised abstract submission deadline: 8 May 2020
  • Notification of final acceptance or non-acceptance of revised abstracts: 15 May 2020

Presentation formats: individual papers (20+10minutes), panels (three or four papers, including that of the coordinator, 90 or 120 minutes), film presentations.

The official language of the symposium is English. Proposals must be submitted in English.


1.  Concepts of old and new in traditional settings and in ethnomusicology and ethnochoreology

Since the age of the Enlightenment, when intellectuals developed a heightened interest in music from oral tradition, issues of genres and performance styles considered to be old or new were at the core of folklore discourses: on the one hand, scholarly concepts for a historical reconstruction of expressive practices of the “common people” and for using folklore as a key to social and mental history have been established; on the other hand—romanticist imaginations (and many in between). During the “intervention of the intellectuals” (Mark Slobin) and due to the cultural dynamics of the post-Enlightenment period, issues of old and new became more vibrant even in traditional settings. And they remain topical in local discourses, deeply interwoven with the music industry and social media.

Applicants for Topic 1 are invited to discuss:

  • How the historical dynamics of traditional music and dance have been—and continue to be—negotiated in academic as well as in public discourses in the Slavic-speaking countries and which role criteria of old and new have played—and continue to play—in the design of fieldwork
  • How old and new expressive practices can be hypothetically identified, and how historical hypotheses can be discussed and verified
  • How old and new genres and performance styles have been and are evaluated by local singers and musicians and which role academic and public discourses have played in this evaluation, including social media.

2.  Music and dance under authoritarian regimes

For most parts of the Slavic world, one or more authoritarian regime has been a crucial experience of the recent past. This includes the two most significant totalitarian systems of the 20th century as the most radical expressions of authoritarian politics. Since freedom of expressive culture as well as of speech and scholarship are a fundamental condition for ethnomusicology, it seems worthwhile to approach authoritarianism from a broader perspective.

Authoritarian and totalitarian states strive (to different degrees) to promote some forms of expressive culture and of thinking about it, and to restrict others. However, authoritarianism can manifest itself not only in state politics, but also in different religious doctrines, in social (patriarchal) values, in educational concepts, in colonial politics, in any kind of political movement, and also in academic and public discourses on traditional music and dance, in policies of archiving, in the media, and also in revival and revitalization movements—both as affirmative or as countercultural agendas.

Applicants for Topic 2 are invited to consider one or several manifestations of authoritarian ideologies and practices in the context of the traditional music and dance of the Slavic countries in the past as well as in the present.

3.  Defining music and dance in the world of the media and digital technologies

One hundred years ago, on 19 March 1919, the first radio transmission of the spoken word from east to west across the Atlantic was made by Marconi Company. This event can be considered as a symbol of the beginning of the global flow of information that has forever changed the face of the world. The impact of the development of the media and digital technologies on the functioning of modern societies is undeniable. First radio and television and then the Internet became platforms which incorporated a significant part of social life. What's more, the Internet today is a place of the creation and functioning of virtual communities whose character defies traditional, cultural and geographical divisions.

Issues that could be raised in this area in relation to the traditional musical culture of Slavic-speaking countries are:

  • How do the media and digital technologies influence the functioning of traditional music and dance, including more advanced methods of their registration, processing and dissemination?
  • In what form does traditional music and dance of the Slavic-speaking countries (including music and dance of non-Slavic minorities) exist in the digital world?
  • How do state institutions, local governments and NGOs influence traditional music and dance through digital technologies and social networks?
  • How can we define the concept of traditional music and dance in the face of the development of the media and digital technologies?

4.  New research

Applicants for Topic 4 are invited to submit proposals addressing issues of general interest. The Program Committee expects new insights with regard to theory and methods or unique findings with innovative potential for the study of the traditional music and dance of the Slavic world.

Format of the proposal

  • Name
  • Institutional affiliation or other professional reference
  • Email address
  • Topic according to the call
  • Type of presentation 
  • Abstract: (max. 250 words are required for panel abstracts of all participants )

Abstracts should be sent to the Study Group Chair, Ulrich Morgenstern, at the following e-mail address:

Membership: The Program Committee will only consider proposals by current members of the ICTM in good standing for 2020. Membership application forms are available on the ICTM website. For membership questions, contact the ICTM Secretariat at

Symposium fee:

€ 50.00  – normal fee
€ 40.00 – early-bird fee (until 30 June)
€ 30.00 – PhD students’ fee
€ 25.00 – PhD students’ early-bird fee (until 30 June)

Program Committee:

Ulrich Morgenstern (Chair)
Jana Ambrózová
Olha Kolomyyets
Bożena Muszkalska
Olga Pashina
Rimantas Sliužinskas
Łukasz Smoluch

Local Arrangements Committee:

Łukasz Smoluch (Symposium Chair)
Bożena Muszkalska (Symposium Supervisor)
Piotr Podlipniak (Head of the Institute of Musicology)
Jakub Kasperski
Alicja Zabrocka 

For any other questions regarding accommodation, travel or similar matters, please contact Łukasz Smoluch at the following e-mail address: