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An Interdisciplinary Symposium 2014 : Singing Storytellers: The Lives, Musics and Verbal Artistry of Bards in our World


When Oct 9, 2014 - Oct 12, 2014
Where Sydney, NS, Canada
Submission Deadline Mar 15, 2014
Categories    poetry   interdisciplinary   cultural studies

Call For Papers

Singing Storytellers: The Lives, Musics and Verbal Artistry of Bards in our World
An International Interdisciplinary Symposium, in partnership with Celtic Colours International Festival

October 9th – 12th, 2014

For nine days in October, Cape Breton Island is home to a unique celebration of music and culture as the Celtic Colours International Festival presents dozens of concerts all over the island and an extensive line-up of community and educational events. Artists are invited from countries including Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England, Denmark, Spain, Brittany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Germany as well as from across the United States and Canada to join the finest of Cape Breton's musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers and tradition-bearers.

Singing storytellers – bards, troubadours, and other performance poets from countless traditions around the world have played a variety of complex roles in their communities and cultures. The long-time focus of study for ethnomusicologists and other scholars of culture, history and memory, they are multifaceted social agents - genealogists, historians, healers, spokespersons and activists. Wordsmiths and performers, their verbal and musical art have been the subject of studies across disciplines. But recent studies of these bards and their practices in our contemporary world are relatively few.

Who are the important singing storytellers of today – and what stories are they telling? To what ends? What roles do they play in relation to culture and the arts, history and memory, belief, health and wellbeing, politics, economics and other realms? Where and in what contexts do they create and perform, and for whom? How does their creative work shape – and how is it shaped by – the worlds around them? These are just some of the questions we invite you to consider.

Call for Participation
As part of this interdisciplinary conference, the Department of Languages and Letters at Cape Breton University (CBU) invites contributions from scholars/practitioners/artists alike - to encourage investigations of and engagement with performers and their practices in our world today, through a variety of ways of knowing, and creating and sharing knowledge.

We invite proposals for various forms of presentation, including papers (either individual 20- minute papers with additional 10 minutes for discussion, or panels), keynotes, workshops, performances, roundtables, films and exhibitions (including of photographs and other visual materials, and interactive and multimedia installations).
• Workshops will run either 60 or 90 minutes
• Roundtables will run concurrently throughout the conference
• Theatre and studio space is available in addition to standard conference facilities
***Symposium works will be considered for publication in a peer-reviewed, edited collection.***

Submissions for papers or creative presentations MUST include:
• Title(s) – for panel (if applicable) and each individual presentation
• Presentation format/type
• Technical requirements
• 300 word abstract (of each individual presentation)
• 100-150 word abstract (of each individual presentation)
• Panel proposals also require a panel description of 100-200 words
• Each presenter(s) one-page C.V.
• Each presenter(s) institutional affiliation (or indication if you are an independent scholar/artist), including department or division
• Each presenter(s) complete contact information, including postal and email address, and telephone number

ALL SUBMISSIONS MUST INCLUDE ALL OF THIS DETAILED INFORMATION FOR EACH PRESENTER, or your abstract will NOT be eligible for consideration. The detailed information and materials requested are necessary in order for the conference organizers to apply for travel/event funding.

PLEASE SEND YOUR SUBMISSIONS including title (panel and individual presentation titles), session/presentation format, technical needs to by March 15, 2014. The subject line of the email is Singing Storytellers proposal – [name].

Please write to us at if you have any questions! For information and updates, check the conference WEBSITE (

We look forward to receiving your proposal – and to welcoming you to Cape Breton!

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