International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

ICTMD Dialogues 2024: Towards Decolonizing Music and Dance Studies

Call for Panels

In light of enormous enthusiasm and overwhelming support for the ICTM Dialogues: Towards Decolonizing Music and Dance Studies 2021, and the resulting digital publication (2022), the ICTMD Dialogues Committee is launching a new series for 2024! We will host 4 virtual sessions prior to the next World Conference, which will take place in 2025 in Aotearoa (New Zealand). The ICTMD Dialogues 2024 will be scheduled in February, April, May and October of 2024.

We invite panel proposals for sessions (rather than individual presentations) for the ICTMD Dialogues 2024 from all ICTMD members. We encourage ICTMD members to collaborate in their presentations with scholars as well as with community-engaged researchers, artists and culture bearers, and cultural activists from various parts of the globe. The ICTMD Dialogues 2024 may use multiple languages and include a variety of formats such as film, video, slideshow, performance, panel discussion, or new and experimental modes.

SESSION THEMES. The first session will be organized by the ICTMD Dialogues Committee - and we invite proposals for sessions that align with any of the following three themes.

SESSION ONE: Publish or Perish? Navigating the Academic Landscape: Alternative Approaches to Research and Publication in Higher Education Institutions

(This panel will be organized by the ICTMD Dialogues Committee)

In our contemporary academic landscape, the imperative to "Publish or Perish" is ever more pronounced, driven by demands to disseminate knowledge and meet institutional ranking requirements. This pressure is augmented by the evaluation of scholarly output through quantitative measures such as index scores, journal rankings, and citation metrics. While these metrics have proven valuable in certain fields, many scholars question their compatibility with disciplines rooted in the performing arts and humanities.

This first session of the ICTMD Dialogues 2024 provides a platform to deliberate challenges that researchers face with dissemination through a discussion of alternative approaches to research and publication. Presenting an array of strategies that can be tailored to diverse contexts, the speakers delve into evolving paradigms in higher education institutions, focusing on their impact in disciplines commonly situated within the realm of the performing arts. They invite participants to consider challenges that researchers face in the performing arts and humanities, when it comes to meeting institutional ranking requirements and navigating pressures to publish. For example - how might seasoned academics and early career researchers collaborate to develop approaches and recommendations for thriving in a publication-centric academic environment? Can anglophone discourses and western metrics be reconsidered through decolonization strategies? What steps can educators take to meet the demands of a publication-centric academic environment as well as foster an environment where diverse researchers can flourish creatively and intellectually? What are compelling examples of successful innovative trajectories (e.g. “living” publications, podcasts, performance, collaborative and dialogic ethnography, poems, multilingual presentations)?


SESSION TWO: Music and Dance as Reflexive Action in Times of Environmental, Socio-Political, and Economic Crisis

Current debates on decoloniality intercept and are intercepted by a wide range of concurring issues, some of which are allegedly beyond a reasonable stage of human

comprehension. Current examples of such complex challenges to knowledge are understanding the determinants of the COVID-related sanitary crisis or the catastrophic effects of global warming - as well as the different and sometimes conflicting positions assumed by diverse agents and agencies interfering in such debates. At the same time, collaborations between universities and other social organizations emphasize eco-systemic approaches to the role of the performing arts in mediating forms of more equitable and balanced coexistence.  These relationships are principled upon convivial terms very different from those most often emphasized in societies which are generally principled upon unlimited resource exploitation and wealth concentration. Such a critical move stems mostly from study of - with, by, and for - contemporary Indigenous societies around the globe, many of which are either national or regional minorities. Minorities are understood in a demographic sense, and perhaps even more frequently in a sense as politically underrepresented social entities.

This session invites consideration of the potential for diverse forms of knowledge (as may arise in dialogue between academics and their interlocutors) to break away from monolithic epistemic value judgements and related modes of conduct. Are there politically, ethically, and aesthetically reliable ways of assessing positive results of such collaborations? For instance, what is the impact of music and dance as reflexive praxis on and as social relations? What steps can we take to address these issues in our curricula, specifically, and institutions, at large?

SESSION THREE: Music and Dance as Focuses of Participatory/Praxis-Oriented Research

Since the mid-20th century, a growing number of research experiences have confronted the political hierarchies involved in relationships between the subject (who knows) and the object (to be known), as part of an episteme imposed in the complex processes of colonialism and imperialism of Western Modernities. These experiences have been characterized by different adjectives, such as participatory, collaborative, dialogic, community research. In many cases, these experiences articulate academic research with practical interventions and/or artistic creations, aimed at solving specific problems or needs; thus, other related sets of double concepts emerged, such as action research, praxis-oriented research, applied research, collaborative research-creation, academic activism. These hybrid experiences call into question extractive power relations between an academic researcher (with certain ethnic-racial, sexual, social class, professional and geopolitical positions) and the ‘other’ sociocultural subjects (with other positions), the purposes and interests that mobilize investigations, as well as the methods involved and their social and political uses.

This session calls for proposals to discuss such research experiences of music and/or dance traditions, with a focus on their aesthetic, epistemological and political challenges. Some possible questions are: How can these experiences become a tool to develop critical knowledge and even intersubjective and social transformations? What are the main challenges and obstacles for alternative actions within political frames that a priori may constraint or exclude concrete perspectives for social transformation? How can we address these challenges and obstacles through methodological approaches that promote the active participation of communities as research agents? How can distinctions between ‘academic’ and ‘applied’ be relativized and reflexive work undertaken by differently positioned subjects, such as scholars, artists, community stakeholders, and policy makers? How may they intertwine in pursuit of better world scenarios of conviviality, cooperation, and environmental balance?

SESSION FOUR: We're (not) Getting Younger: Intergenerational Intersectionalities in Sound and Movement Studies

Race, gender, class and dis/ability are aspects of experience typically reflected upon when considering community and political membership, and they often function as flex points in the making of decolonial dialogue. Intergenerationality, a temporally-determined factor, is increasingly arising as a key concern for intersectional understandings in sound and movement studies (Anderson & Willingham 2019, David, Yeung & Vu 2018). This has become ever more important as newer challenges and opportunities - such as climate crises, precarity, mental health management, AI, and radically shifting global geopolitics with uneven impact - have come into play as we approach the mid-21st century. Bearing in mind multiple intersection points in the assemblage (and disassemblage) of deeply personal scholarly, practice-based and community experiences, we invite speakers to share and mull over tensions, affordances and new paths created through intergenerational music and dance experiences.

At the risk of periodising understandings of different generational experiences, this theme invites consideration of a number of questions, such as:

  • How do shifting value systems (pertaining to unevenly decolonised scenes) impact on the notions of old and new minoritizations?
  • How do 'Gen Z' music and dance practitioners (who may take ‘equality' as a matter of standard practice) parse 'hard fought but still-not-won' battles such as feminist movements and anti-racist campaigns that have been undertaken by millennials or Gen Y, X and 'boomers'? How do they understand or live on the reclaimed political ground covered by pursuants of these debates and postcolonial, decolonial and post-decolonial debates?
  • Conversely, how do people from different generations individually make sense and act on uneven experiences of climate change, unstable labour opportunities, 'postwoke' dialogues, new technologies - and performative resonances?
  • Are the nomenclatures of Gen Alpha, Zoomer, Millennial, Gen C, Boomer helpful? Why, or why not? Is there other nomenclature that might be considered?
  • Where and how do people of different ages - sustaining their physical bodies at different rates and different ways -  encounter sound and movement-based recalibrations of decolonial experiences?
  • Where do affective memories, and re-understandings of differently interpreted histories, nostalgias, 'lessons learnt' alongside aspirations/hopes converge and come apart in decolonial performances of sound and movement?
  • What are the roles and responsibilities of intergenerational/inherited/rejected trauma and guilt/reparations in the making of music and dance pasts, presents and futures?
  • What are the paths of succession, transmission and stewardship in the makings and disruptions of intergenerationally accumulated hierarchies of power and scholarly/performer ‘legacies’, particularly in the securing of precarious employment and culture making?

Information needed for abstracts:

  • 350- 500 words
  • Names of the chair and panelists
  • Research problem, objectives and brief description of each presentation
  • Format for the presentations

Abstracts should be sent to

Proposals will be evaluated and selected by the members of the Committee for the ICTMD Dialogues 2024: Tan Sooi Beng (Chair), Samuel Araujo, Silvia Citro, Christian Onyeji, Marcia Ostashewski, Mayco Santaella, Susana Sardo, Shzr Ee Tan, and Sarah Weiss. A detailed schedule of events with information about formats will be sent to presenters and posted on ICTMD’s website once submissions have been reviewed.


  • Deadline for submissions: 30 November 2023
  • Notification of acceptance: 1 January 2024
  • Announcement of preliminary programme: 15 January 2024

The submissions deadline has now passed, and proposals are no longer being accepted

Programme and Abstracts

The programme and abstracts for the ICTMD Dialogues 2024 can be found here