CFP: IU/OSU Student Conference: Publics and Networks: Discourse, Circulation, and Power

March 1 – 2, 2013; Indiana University, Bloomington
The 6th annual collaborative conference between The Ohio State University Folklore Student Association and the Folklore & Ethnomusicology Student Associations at Indiana University aims to create a space for graduate and undergraduate students to share their research in folklore, ethnomusicology, cultural studies, material culture, performance studies, and related disciplines connected to the study of academic and vernacular interpretations of everyday life.
In “Publics and Counterpublics” (2002), literary critic and social theorist Michael Warner describes a public as “a space of discourse organized by nothing other than discourse itself” (50). Publics therefore are “only realized through active uptake” (60) as individuals, communities, and institutions generate, sustain, and transform discourse through various expressive forms (material, textual, kinesthetic, etc.). Folklorists and ethnomusicologists have long been interested in communities of circulation and this year’s theme will reflect back upon and build from these histories of inquiry.
Abstracts must be submitted by Friday, January 11, 2013.

This year’s conference therefore seeks to explore the following questions and themes:

  • What is the “public domain” and how does it impact individuals and communities’ distribution and ownership of expressive forms and practices?
  • How do public and private discourses create, validate, or transform hegemonic structures and power relations amongst communities’, individuals’, and institutions?
  • What problems do public and applied folklorists and ethnomusicologists face within their work and how might these be mitigated, overcome, or theorized?
  • How might theories of public/applied engagement impact practice?
  • What issues might public workers face as they act as mediators between various publics and counterpublics?
  • How do individuals and collectives take up, reproduce, modulate, and (re)distribute various expressive forms (material, textual, kinesthetic, etc.) as they are reiterated through various social networks?
  • How can our previous understandings of the public and private sectors be enhanced by exploring the idea of the counterpublic?

Themes for consideration might include:

  • Public discourse and counterpublicsApplied folkloristics and ethnomusicology and the question of activism
  • Public art, spectacle, and festival
  • “Participatory cultures” (Jenkins 1992 and 2006)
  • Folklore, technology, and the media
  • Theories of circulation, intertextuality, or “intermateriality” (Michael 2000:30)

We also welcome submissions on other topics.
The conference will have four opportunities for participation: 20-minute paper presentations, a poster session, 10-minute experimental panels for works-in-progress, and a discussion forum for all attendees. We will be accepting 250-word abstracts for all presentation formats, apart from the forum.
Abstracts must be submitted by Friday, January 11, 2013.
Please email submissions to You can register for this event for free at For more information on the conference visit

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