Bluegrass Scholarship and Teaching at IBMA, 2020 - Submission Period Ended!
The Bluegrass Symposium held in 2005 at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green was a watershed event in bringing scholarly attention to bluegrass music. Stringband-focused events at Harvard (2010) and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2016), and at the IBMA meetings in Raleigh (2017-19) have continued to direct scholarly attention to bluegrass as a style, practice, and business. We are requesting proposals for presentations at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass Conference in October of 2020 in Raleigh, NC to further foster the community of scholars who research, write about, and teach bluegrass-related string band music. The scholarly presentations will take place on Thursday, October 2nd and the teaching presentations will take place on Friday, October 3rd, 2020.

A selection committee will select proposals of two kinds:

1) Scholarly presentations of 20 minutes in length, to be followed by 10 minutes for questions and discussion.

These presentations should highlight your research into the history, practice, personalities, and contexts of bluegrass-related string band music. Your presentation should introduce attendees in the process and product of your research, providing new insights into our understandings of how the music has worked and is working today. Content presented should be relevant, current, created in concert with other reputable scholarly work—and it should also be accessible for the wide range of attendees at the IBMA WOB event.

2) Teaching presentations of 20 minutes in length, followed by 10 minutes for questions and discussion.

These presentations should immerse participants in the sorts of teaching environments that you create in your typical teaching. Content could include music history, music theory, business, sound technology, instrument maintenance, etc. Applied instruction (individual or group) is also a possibility in the format of a master class or some other format that would engage the wider audience at the session.

We invite proposals from scholars and teachers of (ethno)musicology, music education, music theory, dance, art history, political science, anthropology, sociology, area studies, media studies, folklore, performance studies, and other relevant disciplines. Proposals from graduate and undergraduate students are particularly encouraged. The committee will select papers anonymously.

Each proposal should include a 250-word abstract, indicating a central argument or theme, situation of the topic in scholarly literature and/or pedagogical practice, and conclusions/outcomes. Proposals are due by May 25, 2020, submitted via this Google form:

The committee will respond to all submissions by June 15, 2020. Actual acceptance into the WOB program is subject to approval by the IBMA.

For more info contact the Chair of the program committee, Lee Bidgood ( )

Please forward this information to colleagues who might be interested!
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