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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- and Jeremy Reed reedjer -at- 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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