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Call for Proposals: Festival Activism
Edited by David McDonald and Jeremy Reed

For decades festivals have provided important sites of inquiry for folklorists and ethnomusicologists alike. While theoretically and methodologically diverse, this literature has traditionally focused on the communitas of festival experience and the flow of everyday social life beyond the festival’s liminal boundaries. Attending to the activist turn in ethnographic research, we wish to explore the idea of festivals as strategic forms of social action. Specifically, how can a critical ethnographic study of festivals reveal the ways in which performers, participants, and organizers encounter and challenge the myriad forms of violence that frame the contemporary world? How do festivals constitute sites of activism and forms of social and political intervention?

Co-Editors David A. McDonald and Jeremy Reed of Indiana University are seeking chapter proposals that explore existing and emerging debates on the dynamics of festivals and activism. This volume understands festivals as an interspace between disciplines such as folklore, ethnomusicology, performance studies, cultural studies, media studies, and others. At the same time, an attentive and critically ethnographic approach to festivals can offer utility to professional fields beyond the social sciences, such as arts administration and public affairs. We welcome original research that explores the significance of festivals as tools of social and political intervention. And further, we encourage chapter proposals that integrate festival research into contemporary conversations on applied, activist, and public facing work in the humanities.

We envision this volume published as part of IU Press’ “Activist Encounters in Folklore and Ethnomusicology” book series. If interested in participating, please send a 250 word abstract to David McDonald davmcdon -at- indiana.edu and Jeremy Reed reedjer -at- indiana.edu by November 20, 2021. Finished chapter drafts will be expected by May 1, 2022 with final revisions expected in Fall 2022. 
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