International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

48th ICTMD World Conference, 9–15 January 2025, Wellington, New Zealand

You are cordially invited to attend the 48th ICTMD World Conference that will be held between 9 and 15 January 2025 at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. The ICTMD World Conference provides the leading international venue for the presentation of new research on traditions of music and dance. Many new initiatives emerge at World Conferences and, perhaps even more crucially, discussion at these meetings helps us shape our ongoing work. A successful World Conference is a truly stimulating place to be, and a wonderful place to meet and share ideas, music, and dance, with colleagues from all over the world.

Programme Committee


  • Marcia Ostashewski (Canada)
  • Kirsty Gillespie (Australia)

Committee members

  • Naila Ceribašić (Croatia)
  • Silvia Citro (Argentina) 
  • Georgia Curran (Australia)
  • Meri Haami (Aotearoa New Zealand)
  • Irene Karongo Hundleby (New Zealand/Solomon Islands)
  • Ako Mashino (Japan)
  • Made Mantle Hood (Malaysia/Taiwan)
  • Wetaba Nganyi (Kenya)
  • Lillis O’Laoire (Ireland)
  • Urmimala Sarkar (India)
  • Mehmet Öcal Özbilgin (Turkey)
  • Shzr Ee Tan (UK/Singapore) 
  • Sooi Beng Tan (Malaysia)
  • Larry Witzleben (USA) 
  • Brian Diettrich (New Zealand, ex-officio), LAC Chair
  • Lee Tong Soon (Singapore, ex-officio), ICTMD Secretary General

Local Arrangements Committee

  • Brian Diettrich (Chair)

Conference Themes

1) Indigenous Peoples’ Music and Dance

As the first World Conference to be held in Aotearoa New Zealand, we acknowledge Māori as the Indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and we seek to follow tikanga Māori (accepted customs and practices according to Māori); we also acknowledge their ancestors, experiences, and histories. This theme represents an opportunity to engage deeply with Indigenous musics and dance, Indigenous ways of knowing and being, Traditional Knowledges, Knowledge Holders, Indigeneities, Indigenous issues, and Indigenous methods, perspectives, and pedagogies, including intergenerational and intersectional research, resilience, regeneration, reclamation (of lands, and cultural practices), as well as trauma-informed research to find pathways to heal the ongoing impacts of colonialism, neocolonialisms, and new imperialisms. For many, indigeneity is a “positioning” that changes in different contexts. While “Indigenous” is a politically powerful term used by Māori people, in other parts of the world terms such as “First Peoples” and “First Nations” are preferred, and this theme invites us to consider the intricacies of these differences as we explore Indigenous Musics and Dance from around the globe. In this theme we also consider the ways in which holistic worldviews and lifeways are interconnected and interdisciplinary, as well as the interface between the cultures and performing arts of Indigenous Peoples and the wider world.

2) Environment, Place, Displacement, and Relocation

This theme invites proposals arising from music and dance studies relating to issues of environment and place, including displacement, and re-claiming places and spaces, the physicality of place, and securing a place for everyone. As we prepare to gather in a region of islands where rising sea levels are impacting whole nations, we are experiencing heightened concerns about factors in the relationships between people and place, climate change, politics, war, food (in)security, and new precarities that may lead to displacement of individuals or groups of people, and music and dance traditions, as well as ways in which people, traditions, and practices (re)connect from place to place. Presentations are invited that address these issues both in Oceania and around the world.

3) Translation, Inclusivity, Reception

As we engage with the place where our World Conference is being held, Aotearoa, we note that it has three official languages: te reo Māori, English (de facto), and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). This leads to questions about music and dance as part of communicating and translating, as well as engaging with multilingualism, and finding ways of working with multiple languages as part of efforts to decolonize music and dance studies. It inspires thinking about language and linguistic studies, and how they inform/are informed by music and dance studies and other humanities. Because languages are extensive and complex systems of knowledge, this theme also inspires thinking about the promotion and protection of languages, (re)vitalisation and sustainability, as well as language-related rights. Specifically acknowledging NZSL, this theme also connects with the burgeoning research of those working across hearing and deaf experiences; and it raises issues associated with accessibility, abilities, and inclusivity, as well as audience reception and perception.

4) Dance, Movement, Gesture, Embodiment

At the World Conference 2023 in Ghana, Council members voted overwhelmingly to include the word “dance” in our name; this decision was ratified and adopted on 26 August 2023, and the International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance was born. The change of our organisation’s name attends to the prominence and importance of dance, movement, and gesture in our field. This conference theme foregrounds the ways in which bodies and embodied knowledges may factor into creative practice and research, and ways in which these bodies, knowledges, and experiences may be gendered or shaped by aspects of intersectional experience. Proposals within this theme may also wish to consider the ways in which sound and movement intertwine.

5) Technologies of Sound, Music, Movement, and Dance 

Within this theme, we invite proposals attending to the technologies and ways of “doing” and “making” of music and dance; the material culture and tangible technologies, as well as the social technologies, software, and social media platforms involved in sound, music, movement, and dance performances and productions. In all arts, new technologies continue to influence the creation, recording, and circulation of music and dance. This theme invites exploration of impacts of technology on music and dance practices of diverse communities, with special consideration for LGBTQI+, racialised and marginalised experiences, as well as considering more traditional roles in music and dance making. Artistic labour has always been precarious, perhaps more so in a world of rapidly changing economies and governments, institutions, and material realities of life post-Covid, amidst strike actions, and the growing presence of artificial intelligence. In the context of these and other dramatic changes: how do/can we keep doing what we are doing?

6) Alternative Approaches and Methods to Research, Education, and Knowledge Dissemination

Researchers in our fields are innovating research, teaching, and dissemination practices—in part to foster greater inclusivity, as well as find avenues to create and share knowledge in ways that honour the modes and media of music and dance studies. This theme creates a space for us to explore new approaches and technologies. It includes everything from (and well beyond) practice-based research, artistic research, and research-creation; oral, aural, inter-sensory, multi-sensory, and multi-modal practices; applied, activist, advocacy, allyship, and anti-racist methodologies; participatory, collaborative, community-engaged, and community-led strategies. As well, we invite proposals that address the transformative possibilities for and implications of working with diverse knowledge holders, kinds of knowledge, and ways of knowing.

7) New Research

In addition to the themes above, we welcome papers on new areas of research not addressed within the conference themes.


  • First notice: October 2023
  • First call for proposals: January 2024
  • Second call for proposals: February 2024
  • Deadline for submission of proposals: 31 March 2024
  • Notification of acceptances: 30 June 2024