Music and Ritual in China and East Asia

Music and Ritual in China and East Asia (Call for Papers)

13th International CHIME Conference
Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, USA
October 16-19, 2008

This conference aims to explore the complex and diverse intersections between music and ritual in Chinese and other East Asian contexts. It seeks to bring together international scholars working on East Asian musics from various disciplinary perspectives to discuss and explore the big picture of the relationship of music and ritual in this region, historically as well as in the present age. Ritual as understood here is any performed act separated from the flow of common, everyday experience and imbued with a special significance in that it is intended to and has the power to transform the states of being of its participants. Given the great upheavals and radical social and political transformations in China and other East Asian countries such as Korea, Japan and Vietnam during the 20th century, how have traditional and folk musics in these countries managed to retain their ritualistic nature? In what ways have they changed or adapted to changing times and historical circumstances? What ritual purpose or function do they serve now in this day and age marked by intense market capitalism and increasing globalization? How are state agents dealing with or coming to terms with the persistence of religious practices amidst such changes? How are meaningful forms of beliefs and rituals (re)produced in response to modern and postmodern life? This conference will revisit and reexamine the powerful roles of religious traditions and ritual practices and their convergences with music in East Asia.

Papers and (especially) panels addressing the theme of the conference (while referring to sufficiently specific research) are explicitly encouraged. The conference will deal with the following major sub-themes (in arbitrary order):
1) Ritual operas and theatre
2) Musical rites and cosmology
3) Music in rituals for the dead
4) The commodification and secularization of ritual music and dance
5) The transformative power of music
6) Music, gender, and ritual
7) Music, ritual and healing
8) Performance rites and practices

Abstracts of around 300 words are now invited for twenty-minute presentations on the conference theme. Proposers may also submit panel sessions of a maximum of 120 minutes (including discussion) in this case, an abstract of around 300 words should detail the focus of the panel as a whole, with abstracts of 100-200 words for each contribution. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 April 2008. There are possibilities for early acceptance of papers for those who need to rely on this for grant applications (please indicate need for urgent reply when you submit your abstract).

Abstracts should be sent to Prof. Mercedes DuJunco of Bard College.
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Posted in Scholarship.

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