CfP: Understanding Scotland Musically: Do we? Can we? (Newcastle University)

AHRC sponsored one day conference:
“Understanding Scotland Musically: Do we? Can we?”
21st October 2014 – Research Beehive, Newcastle University
Keynote: Dr Gary West
Deadline: 2nd May 2014

Scottish traditional music has been through a successful revival and has now entered a professionalized and public space. Devolution in the UK, and the rapid expansion of the New Europe have led to a rise of importance of regional and national identities within the context of globalization of musical communities. What was once considered kitsch tartanry has been re-mythologized and now hybrid sounds from Scottish musicians portray a newer, emergent sense of national identity. Increasingly, musicians are performing deterritorialized and commodified music which is shifting attention away from musical provenance and authentic ideology towards more transient sonic identities and blurring established musical genres. This conference seeks to explore how contemporary traditional music performs Scottishness at this crucial moment in the public life of an increasingly (dis)United Kingdom. We are interested in papers that deal with the relationship(s) between Scottish traditional music (or Scottish folk music) and: the musical politics of identity; public policy for the arts, tourism and their policy makers; education; the Scottish and UK media; alternative public conceptions of Scottishness; the wider Scottish traditional arts; the independence referendum; other creative practices and their audiences. We hope to take forward a selection of papers from this conference for publication as a book edited by Dr Simon McKerrell (Newcastle University) and Dr Gary West. (Edinburgh University).

Conference host: Dr Simon McKerrell

Papers will be 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion. In addition to individual papers, suggestions for panel topics are welcome. Panels exploring a particular issue around the theme are encouraged, and these would receive one hour including paper presentations and discussion.

The deadline for submissions is Friday the 2nd May 2014.

Please submit your abstract(s) for consideration (max 300 words) to Simon McKerrell (simon.mckerrell at For panel submissions, please submit both an abstract for the whole panel and abstracts for each individual paper. The conference is supported by the AHRC and is free for presenters. To register as a non-presenting delegate (£20), please email simon.mckerrell at

For more information please see:

This conference is sponsored by The Arts and Humanities Research Council and Newcastle University.

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