New Orleans 2019 - Call for Seminar Topics
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***Submissions are closed.***


The Society for American Music invites proposals for seminar topics for its 45th Annual Conference to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, 20–24 March 2019. Seminar-format sessions are devoted principally to a moderated discussion of a set of papers submitted in advance. These papers will relate to two chosen seminar topics that reflect current issues in the field, recent hot-button issues, important but neglected areas of study, or new fields of research. Papers related to the selected topics are posted prior to the conference on the SAM website and are read by attendees before the meeting. At the seminars themselves, authors present only 5-minute summaries of their papers; the rest of the 90-minute session is devoted to discussion.

Seminars are developed in two stages: (1) selection of the topics (and their coordinators) and (2) selection of the actual papers related to those topics. The call now is for stage 1. Those wishing to act as seminar coordinators are asked to submit proposed topics by the initial deadline of 19 February 2018. The program committee will vet these proposals and select up to two of them, which will be announced at the annual conference in Kansas City in February-March 2018. Then, in conjunction with the general call for presentations (papers, panels, posters, lecture-recitals, etc.), the program committee will invite submission of abstracts for the seminar papers themselves. The submission deadline for the paper abstracts will be 1 June 2018. (Accepted papers will need to be sent to the SAM office electronically by 1 March 2019 so that they can be made available on the website well in advance of the meeting. The suggested length for the actual papers is 4,000–6,000 words.)


Submission Guidelines

The Society for American Music is dedicated to the study, teaching, creation, and dissemination of all musics in the Americas. Potential seminar coordinators should propose a broad topical theme relating to some area of American music. Topics should ideally be issue-oriented and widely relevant, even those focusing on specific genres or regions. Proposals should consist of a 500-word abstract describing the topic, a bibliography of pertinent scholarship (not included in the 500-word count), and a CV from the coordinator. The proposal should convey the breadth of the topic, with reference to relevant bibliographical sources. Each session will be 90 minutes long with no stated limit on the number of papers.

Seminar topic proposals must be submitted on or before 19 February 2018. Click here to submit your proposal.


How the Seminar Process Works

Submissions from individuals wishing to participate in the seminar are sent to the program committee, which selects the papers with the input of the seminar chair. The selected papers are shared in a dropbox, along with any ancillary audio/visual materials. (Videos, recordings, and slides are not presented during the seminar discussion.)

Everyone in the seminar should read at least 4–5 other seminar papers in their group and write a 250–500 word response. (If the seminar has fewer than 7–8 people in it, everyone should read and respond to everyone else’s paper.) Everyone should read all the papers in their seminar, but they write responses only to those in their group. The responses are posted to the dropbox and are subject to a deadline.

The chair may or may not choose to submit a paper. The chair’s paper is subject to the same rules as the rest, and the chair should write responses just as the other participants do.

The chair moderates the discussion during the seminar session at the meeting. At the seminar, each person has five minutes to introduce their individual topic, and then it moves directly to discussion. Everyone should have their responses, and responses to responses, at hand, so that these can be used as starting points. Two hours are allowed for discussion, with the last 15 minutes or so opened up to audience questions.


Program Committee

Gregory Reish, chair
Charles Carson
Naomi Graber
Carl Leafstedt
Jane Mathieu
Marian Wilson Kimber


Local Arrangements Committee

Brett Boutwell, chair
Rachel Lyons
Laura Moore Pruett
Eric Seiferth
(Alfred Lemmon, consultant)