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AMS/SMT Virtual 2020: Call for Proposals

Abstracts are due 18 February 2020 by 11:59 pm EST 

The eighty-sixth annual meeting of the American Musicological Society (AMS) will be held jointly with the Society for Music Theory (SMT) virtually on 7–8 and 14–15 November 2020.

The annual meeting promotes the study and teaching of music. It builds community and supports scholars through a range of approaches and presentational modes, including historical musicology, creative practice, ethnography, analysis, performance, musical demonstrations, policy, civic engagement, sound artifact curation, and digital humanities. The 2020 call for proposals and the program committee procedures are designed to reflect changes in the society’s scholarly and demographic profile and aim to encourage new modes of sharing ideas.

Guided by the Society’s Statement on Fair Practice and Representation, the program committee seeks to create a positive working, learning, and social environment in which a diverse Society may develop and flourish. Issues of fairness and representation will be an integral part of the process of creating the program. 

At the Annual Meeting, the society invites members to share work and ideas in the eight formats listed below. (In a change from prior years, the AMS will not offer “Evening Panels,” instead freeing the schedule for other evening activities.) A successful proposal articulates the main points of the presentation clearly, positions its contributions in the context of previous work, and suggests its significance for the society’s membership. Session organizers are advised to convene a diverse panel. 

Individual Proposals. Members may propose individual papers. Papers will be 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for discussion. The program committee will compile topically-based three-paper sessions after the initial abstract selection process. Maximum proposal length: 350 words.

Session Proposals. The program committee encourages members to collaborate on proposals for 90-minute sessions of three papers. Each paper is 20 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes for discussion. Session organizers are responsible for submitting a 350-word summary abstract followed by the individual paper abstracts. The summary abstract may suggest respondents or session chair if appropriate, but should not include the names of the session participants. Sessions will be accepted or rejected as a group. Maximum length for summary and each individual proposal: 350 words.

Workshops. The program committee encourages workshops whose formats include but are not limited to sessions combining performance and scholarship; collections of short position papers; and discussions of publications or creative works. Educators, artists, and curators, for example, may lead interactive workshops to emphasize challenges and possibilities of music scholarship, performance, and activism. Proposals should list participants and outline the session format. Maximum proposal length: 500 words.

Roundtables. This format provides a space for participants to engage in dialogue with each other and the audience. Proposals should identify participants and outline the session format. Roundtables might include forums with scholars, community activists, artists, public officials; conversations among performing artists, curators, and educators about aesthetic and expressive innovations or the challenges of developing public cultures in diverse communities. Maximum proposal length: 500 words.

Poster Presentations. Proposals for poster presentations should follow the guidelines for the submission of individual proposals but also include an explanation of the content and goals of the graphic presentation. Guidelines for posters will be distributed with acceptance information. Maximum proposal length: 500 words.

Films. This category offers space for presenters to display a recently completed or in-progress film or video. A session of up to 90 minutes should include time for an introduction and discussion. Submit title, subject, and information on the introduction/discussion. Indicate the length of both the film/video and the introduction/discussion. Maximum proposal length: 350 words.

Seminars. A two-stage submission process for Seminar Sessions will be followed for 2020. The submission deadline for seminar topics is 1 October 2019. (See the Call for Seminar Topic Proposals for full details.) The chosen topics will be announced on 2 November 2019. The submission deadline for seminar paper proposals is 18 February 2020. As with other proposals, seminar proposals are first reviewed anonymously. The Program Committee, in consultation with the conveners, chooses three to six abstracts for each seminar topic. If there are not enough abstracts of sufficient quality to fill a seminar, the seminar will not be offered. Maximum proposal length: 350 words.

Joint AMS/SMT Sessions. The Program Committees invite proposals for joint sessions that bring together participants from both societies. Joint session proposals may be for either 90 minutes or 180 minutes. Joint session proposals will be considered as a unit by the program committees of the AMS and the SMT, and will be programmed as a joint session only if accepted by both committees. (However, a proposal for a joint session may be programmed as a solo AMS or SMT session if one of the program committees so chooses.) Joint session proposals may be for multi-paper sessions, workshops, or roundtables as defined above. Proposals must identify the number of participants from each society. Multi-paper session proposals should include a summary and individual abstracts. These proposals will be evaluated anonymously and should contain no direct or indirect signal of authorship. Workshop and roundtable proposals should identify participants and outline the session format. Maximum length for multi-paper session summaries and each individual proposal: 350 words; maximum length for workshop and roundtable proposals: 500 words.

Program Committee Procedures

In a change from past practices and with the goal of expanding participation in the creation of the Society’s annual meetings, all proposals will first be read by a subset of members of the AMS Council from the last five years. Council members who have submitted abstracts are not eligible to review proposals. The Program Committee will deliberate on the recommendations of the Council readers and create the final program of the annual meeting.

Application Restrictions

Only one proposal per person per society (AMS and SMT) is allowed. No one may appear on the program more than twice. An individual may participate in any of the presentation formats listed above and appear one other time on the program as a chair of a session or as a respondent. If a person submits a proposal as part of a multi-paper session, whether AMS-only or a joint session, they may not submit another proposal.

Proposals of the same or similar content cannot be submitted by the same person to both the AMS and the SMT. An individual may submit different proposals to the AMS and SMT but must indicate this double submission on the online submission page and select (in the case of double acceptance) which proposal would take priority. Authors who present on an SMT session may not also present on an AMS session or a joint AMS/SMT session. In the case of multiple acceptances, the Program Committee will give preference to any paper that is part of a proposed session.

The Alternate Years Rule

Those who participated in any of the seven presentation formats at the 2019 AMS meeting may not submit proposals for the 2020 meeting.

Submission Procedure

Proposals (including proposals for joint AMS-SMT sessions) must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST, 18 February 2020. (Note the change from previous years: the deadline is a month later.)

Proposals are to be submitted electronically. Please visit the 2020 meeting website for the submission form.

Please note that proposal submission ceases precisely at the deadline. To avoid technical problems with submission please submit at least twenty-four hours before the deadline. Proposals received after the deadline cannot be considered. A FAQ on the proposal submission process is available at the website. Those unable to submit a proposal electronically should contact the AMS office before 10 February 2020 regarding accommodation procedures. Receipts will be sent to all who submit proposals by the beginning of March 2020.

Notifications of the Program Committee’s decisions are sent after their spring meeting, by or before 15 May. Sessions organized by such groups as AMS committees, Study Groups, and affiliated societies are not reviewed by the Program Committee. They should contact the AMS office to schedule their meetings. Study Group organizers should review the Study Group info page. Other questions? See the Proposal Submission FAQ.