New Orleans 2019 - Call for Submissions
Share |

Submissions are closed.


Deadline for submissions: 1 June 2018

 The Society for American Music invites proposals for (a) individual papers, (b) organized panels of 2-4 papers, (c) lecture-recitals, (d) written papers related to one of the seminar topics, (e) scholarly posters, and (f) interest groups for its 45th Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, to be held 20-24 March 2019. All proposals must be submitted via the SAM website by 11:59 pm PDT on 1 June 2018.

We welcome proposals involving all facets of musical life throughout the Americas and about American music and aspects of its cultures anywhere in the world.

In an effort to celebrate the musical heritage of the conference site, we solicit proposals that emphasize any aspect of music and musical cultures in New Orleans and the surrounding region during any part of its history. Members are especially encouraged to submit proposals relating to the musical career of SAM's 2019 honorary member, Art Neville (of the Meters and the Neville Brothers), or on any topic exploring the broader contexts of New Orleans funk, R&B, and Mardi Gras music in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries.


A. Individual Papers

Paper sessions (assembled by the Program Committee after the selection of abstracts) may contain from two to four presentations. Each presentation lasts twenty minutes, followed by ten minutes of discussion. NB: the website submission process enables you to select whether you wish to have your submission considered as a paper, as a research poster (see E below), or as a presentation in either format.


B. Panels of 2-4 Papers and Facilitated Public Musicology Panels

Groups of two to four presenters may propose a panel. Panels will be accepted or rejected in toto; the Program Committee will not break up panels in order to accept individual papers. Please note that group panels may include performance elements. Group panels that include a performance element must include in the body of the individual performance/panel proposal a link to an online audio or video file that is representative of the proposed content, as well as a list of any special requirements (e.g., piano, music stand).

Groups may also propose panels that engage in topics or issues currently in the news that have connections to the work of the society. Such panel proposals need to specify the length of time requested (sixty minutes, ninety minutes, or one hundred twenty minutes) and provide a rationale for this request. Such panel proposals may put forward up to four panel participants.

The chair of the group panel is responsible for submitting:

  1. a proposal for the panel as a whole;
  2. individual proposals for each presenter/performer on the panel. Chairs are advised to gather all necessary contact information from individual presenters before website submission (see "General Guidelines" below).
C. Lecture-Recitals

Proposals for lecture-recitals of music from anywhere in the Americas are welcome. These recitals may range in length from thirty to forty-five minutes and should offer an appropriate balance of lecture and performance elements. Various constraints limit the number of lecture-recitals that may be programmed each year. Applicants should specify the length in their abstracts. Applicants must also include in the body of their proposal a link to an online audio or video file that is representative of the proposed recital content, as well as a list of any special requirements (e.g., piano, music stand, space for dance demonstration, choral risers).


D. Seminar-format session

The seminar-format session is devoted to a moderated discussion of a set of written papers submitted in advance and posted on the SAM website two weeks prior to the conference. At the session itself, each presenter will summarize his/her paper for five minutes only. Attendees are expected to have read the papers in advance. The topics selected for the 2019 meeting are:

Those wishing to participate in one of the seminars should submit a 250-word proposal based on their paper, clearly designating the seminar topic for which the proposal should be considered.

Although papers for the seminar will not be "read" at the meeting in the traditional sense, the act of participating in the seminar as a presenter and defending the ideas of one's paper constitutes the same level of participation in an academic conference as a traditional paper. For this reason, those submitting abstracts toward one of the seminars cannot also submit toward a regular session.

E. Research Poster Sessions

The poster format provides an opportunity for SAM members to meet informally with scholars and discuss their research. Each scholar attends her/his respective ninety-minute session, distributes abstracts, and answers questions. Electric power will not be available; therefore, sound or video examples will require a personal computer utilizing battery. Poster sessions are not moderated. NB: the website submission process enables you to select whether you wish to have your submission considered as a paper (see A above), as a research poster, or as a presentation in either format.
Learn more about the poster format.

F. Interest Groups (IGs)

Interest Groups meet at the SAM conference on a predetermined rotation schedule overseen by the Board of Directors. IGs must submit proposals through the SAM website by the June 1st deadline. Groups with a guaranteed slot for 2019 will be included in the program as long as they submit a brief description of their plans by the deadline. IG sessions are not intended to mirror conventional panels featuring a set of twenty-minute papers; instead, IG proposals should pursue alternate formats including, but not limited to, roundtable discussions, sessions combining performance and scholarship, sessions discussing a significant publication, and sessions centered on a key debate. Alternatively, IGs may submit proposals for a panel (see the instructions in B above), but acceptance or rejection will be at the discretion of the Program Committee and IGs will not have priority above other "panel" submissions.


General Guidelines

In order to have a proposal considered for any of these formats, the proposer must be a member of the Society for American Music. The committee particularly encourages proposals from those who did not present at the prior year's meeting. An individual may submit only one proposal. All proposals must be submitted through the online electronic submission process on the SAM website.

The submission form on the SAM website will ask for the following information:

  1. Proposer's name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation or city of residence, affirmation of SAM membership, and current institutional status (student, faculty member, librarian, independent scholar, etc.). Only the chair of the Program Committee will see this information and it will in no way affect the selection process. (Proposers are asked for their "status" only for statistical purposes. This information will not be used by the Program Committee as a criterion for acceptance. Students accepted for presentations, however, may be notified of their eligibility for Student Travel Grants and the Mark Tucker Award.)
  2. A 250-word proposal. This document is the only one viewed by the Program Committee prior to the selection process. Applicants should not include in the abstract body any information that identifies themselves (such as, "I have just published a book on this subject"). An exception is made with regard to lecture-recital proposals which must include links to audio or visual files that might reveal the proposer's identity. Successful proposals typically articulate the author's major arguments and research findings, positioning them with respect to earlier work and describing their importance to scholarship in American music.
  3. A 100-word abstract of the proposal suitable for publication in the conference program if the proposal is accepted (.doc, .docx, .txt, or .rtf format). Include in this document the proposer's name and email, as well as the title of the presentation. Program Committee members will not see this document prior to the selection process.
  4. A list of keywords for individual paper proposals to aid the Program Committee in forming paper sessions.
  5. Audio and visual needs: please specify your exact A/V requirements, such as CD player, DVD player, and digital projector. Please indicate also if you will require a piano. Due to logistics and the high cost of renting this equipment, we cannot accommodate AV changes after a proposal is accepted. NB: Presenters should not count on Wi-Fi availability in the conference meeting rooms.

All materials must be submitted via the SAM website by 11:59 pm PDT on 1 June 2018. Questions about the submission process may be addressed to the Program Chair.


Proposers will be informed of the decisions of the Program Committee in mid-July. Persons accepted will be asked to confirm within one week their commitment to appear at the New Orleans meeting. All presenters are required to register for the entire conference. In the event of a last-minute emergency, registered presenters are expected to arrange for another attendee to read their papers. Presenter cancellation after 1 August 2018 without arrangement for alternative presentation will disqualify the applicant from being considered for the meeting.