North American British Music Studies Association

2018 Biennial Conference

July 30–1 August 2018

Logan, Utah

The North American British Music Studies Association will hold its Eighth Biennial Conference from Monday, 30 July to Wednesday, 1 August 2018, in Logan, Utah, hosted by Utah State University. Overlooking the magnificent Cache Valley with the Wellsville Mountains looming to the west, USU is consistently recognized as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the US. It is also home to the Caine College of the Arts and boasts fantastic performance facilities including the Caine Performance Hall, and the newly renovated Daines Concert Hall. The campus sits at the mouth of Logan Canyon which offers a myriad of outdoor activities which are just minutes away.

Proposals on topics related to all aspects of British music and musical life throughout Britain, the Empire/Commonwealth, and beyond are welcome. However, the program committee particularly encourages submissions that draw upon interdisciplinary or broader cultural contexts that engage with ideas of borders and boundaries in relation to music and British history.

Boundaries and borders are particularly apropos to Britain, contemporary events, and the timing of this conference. Today, as we commemorate the First World War, we reflect on the numerous geographical, national, and social boundaries crossed and redrawn during the war and in its aftermath. One hundred years later, those living in Britain and North America are again witnessing the flux of boundaries and borders as ideological and physical walls in the US and Britain are hotly debated and erected in this era of Brexit and Trump, along with the “special relationship” that the two countries have shared. The ongoing discussion of Scottish independence further calls in to question Britain’s borders and boundaries. Numerous anniversaries in 2017, ranging from the Reformation in 1517 to the partial repeal of the Sexual Offences Act in 1967, recall seminal redrawings of borders and boundaries in Britain’s legal and social history.

Suggested topics within this overarching theme of geographical, social, and ideological borders and boundaries include, but are not limited to:

  • Britain’s relation with Europe; Britain’s relation to colonial and post-colonial America; and Britain’s relation to other colonies and ex-colonies; the fall of the Empire
  • Scotland, Wales, and the island of Ireland’s relations to Britain and England
  • British slave trade
  • the Church of the England and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation
  • the First World War: war and home fronts; redrawing of nations, alliances, and social groups; transnational and transclass interactions and endeavors;
  • black Britain
  • immigration and British identities
  • 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Britain in 1967
  • the 65th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation
  • 50th anniversary of the release of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967
  • British psychedelia and swinging London
  • the urban and rural
  • the interaction of visual, literary, and musical culture
  • the inter-relation of artistic culture and economics

Presentations may take a variety of formats, including individual papers of twenty minutes in length, workshops involving group participation, roundtable discussions, lecture-recitals, and themed panel sessions. The Nicholas Temperley Prize will be awarded for the best scholarly presentation given by a graduate student.

The 2018 conference will include a colloquium of senior scholars invited to participate by the NABMSA executive board, who will address a topic that addresses the theme of borders and boundaries in British studies and will cut across chronological, methodological, and geographical divisions. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to attend a concert of Vaughan Williams oratorios performed by the American Festival Chorus and orchestra of the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, as well as participate in optional trips on 2 August to Grand Teton National Park or Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

Proposal format and content:

  • For individual papers, abstracts of up to 350 words should clearly present the title, the subject, the methodology, the argument, and the significance of the findings.
  • For presentations in other formats, proposals should be of similar length, and should clearly state and justify the intended format, including amount of time requested, and should indicate the originality and significance of the material to be delivered.
  • For those proposing a session of papers, individual papers should follow the guidelines above, and should be accompanied by a rationale of up to 350 words that addresses the topic of the session and the relationships between the papers to be presented.
  • Anyone proposing a lecture-recital should attach a short biography and must also include recordings of the proposed performer(s) playing examples of the proposed repertory if not of the exact proposed work(s).
  • All proposals should also indicate audio-visual needs (in a separate line at the end of the abstract).
  • Students should identify themselves as such, so that their papers can be considered for the Temperley Prize.

Proposal transmission procedures

  • Proposals should be sent via e-mail attachment to the Program Committee Chair Michelle Meinhart ( with the subject-line NABMSA 2018 Proposal.
  • The proposal should be attached to the e-mail and in Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx, or .rtf), only. Other formats such as .pdf will not be accepted.
  • In addition to paper title and abstract, the Word document should contain:
    • Your name
    • Your address
    • Your telephone and preferred e-mail address
    • Your preferred affiliation or city
    • Your audio-visual requirements
  • Audio or video recordings supporting proposals for lecture-recitals are required (demo disc, .mp3 files, etc.) and should be received (electronically) by the same deadline as the abstract (see below). Please contact the Program Chair via email for instructions on how to transmit these materials electronically. Do not send them as email attachments.
  • The deadline for all submissions is midnight, Eastern Standard Time, on Friday 19 January 2018.

Submissions will be acknowledged within four days of receipt. Participants will be notified of the acceptance by mid-March 2018.