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Call for conference papers: ‘Collectomania!’

Collectomania!: Folk Song and Music Collectors and their Worlds

For over two hundred years, and for a variety of reasons, ‘folk’ song and music enthusiasts have ventured into the field and become collectors – gatherers of material which has greatly enhanced our understanding of the vernacular culture of the past.

Their activities have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, and to mark the centenary of the deaths of two key figures – Cecil Sharp and Sabine Baring Gould – and the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ella Mary Leather, we are organising a wide-ranging assessment of the collectors’ lives and works, with a major two-day conference.

We will investigate collectors as individuals and networks, their achievements and failures, motives, methods, strengths and weaknesses, social and political context, the contemporary collector, and the underlying ethics of collecting itself.

The focus will be on collecting in Britain and Ireland, but we would also be pleased to hear from researchers in countries with strong historical folk cultural ties to these islands.

The conference will be in-person, but papers from delegates who cannot attend can be pre-recorded and played on the day.

Proposals for papers (20 minutes) and other presentations are invited. Please contact Tiffany Hore (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Steve Roud (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Closing date for submissions: Friday 5 April 2024.


VENUE: Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent’s Park Road, London NW1 7AY

DATES: Saturday 20 July and Sunday 21 July 2024

Organised jointly by the English Folk Dance and Song Society and the Traditional Song Forum (TSF); with the support of the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA), the Welsh Folk Song Society, and the Elphinstone Institute (Aberdeen).