2024 Black Music Symposium Announces Call for Proposals

2024 Black Music Symposium Announces Call for Proposals
Austin Brown

The Arkansas Center for Black Music in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Music at the University of Arkansas announces a call for proposals for the 2024 Black Music Symposium — featuring Afro-Caribbean music, reflecting the rich and vibrant tapestry of the musical tradition while acknowledging the significant contributions of major and emerging artists and scholars.

The 2024 symposium, to be hosted Jan. 31 through Feb. 4, and open to the public, is the first year in which peer-reviewed or refereed presentations and performances will be accepted, marking a significant milestone in the history of the Black Music Symposium.

"Celebrating Afro-Caribbean Music" explores the rich culture of the Caribbean nations and their contributions to music genres ranging from Reggae and Salsa to Merengue, Calypso and more. Throughout the week, lectures will explore the ways in which Afro-Caribbean music relates to the experiences of Black musicians as well as social movements. Masterclasses and clinics will demonstrate the intricate rhythms and specialized instrumentation within Afro-Caribbean styles. Evening concerts will include major artists, faculty and students, while the daily concerts and lectures will feature presenters chosen from the call for proposals.

Example proposals may include:

  1. Afro-Caribbean music performance and pedagogical practices.
  2. Analyzations of Afro-Caribbean musical practices as connections between diverse cultures and communities.
  3. Contemporary artists, trends, and innovations within the Afro-Caribbean music landscape.
  4. Investigations of Afro-Caribbean music's impact on global music traditions.
  5. Fostering an understanding the evolution and dissemination of Afro-Caribbean music.

Interested applicants should submit a proposal of no more than 300 words, a bio and CV for all presenters, and a link to a sample recording for performances, clinics and masterclasses. Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. CST on Nov. 15.   

Guidelines for presentation formats: 

  • Performance: Performers will be allotted up to 20 minutes for a live performance as part of the symposium's concerts. In addition to the submission requirements above, performances must: (1) feature performed work(s) composed by a Black composer (2) specify the exact duration of the performance and instrumentation, and (3) include a link to a recording of the actual work(s) proposed for the performance.
  • Paper: Research papers will be given 20 minutes for presentation plus 10 minutes for Q & A 
  • Panel/Roundtable: groups of two or more presenters may propose a panel of individual papers or a topic for roundtable discussion; these sessions will receive one hour to be split among the participants; panels/roundtables will be accepted or rejected in total.
  • Clinic/Masterclass: One or more presenters highlight aspects of performance practice, instrumental/vocal technique, or pedagogy related to the symposium theme; include a link to a sample recording.

Please note that we are unable to fund travel expenses for presenters or performers.

Proposals should be submitted here: https://fulbright.uark.edu/black-music/symposium.php

As a leading national center dedicated to preserving, promoting and advancing the diverse facets of Black Music including the first graduate degree in Black Sacred Music, the Arkansas Center for Black Music invites music enthusiasts, scholars, artists and experts from across the nation to participate in this pivotal gathering.

Supported by generous funding from the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and the Alice L. Walton Foundation, this event has proven to be a major boon for the arts at the University of Arkansas and to Northwest Arkansas.


Jeffrey Murdock, founding director
Arkansas Center for Black Music
479-575-5760, jeffreym@uark.edu


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