International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

ICTM Dialogues 2021: Towards Decolonization of Music and Dance Studies

Call for Presentations

The term ‘decolonization’ evokes different meanings in different countries and contexts. In academia, too, there are diverse meanings, including (1) critically rethinking theories and methods that have been imposed by hegemonic powers and too often accepted as “universal”; and (2) recognizing and empowering Indigenous and other local epistemologies and ontologies. Decolonizing approaches aim to decentre power hierarchies such as those between researcher/researched, academic/non-academic, university/community, theory/practice, centre/periphery, and Global North/South. Decolonizing approaches also urge researchers to engage with relations of power and socio-political issues such as race and ethnicity, class, and gender and sexuality. What are the  methods and ethics of music and dance studies in different places around the world, and how can we establish productive dialogue between them? How can we foster greater responsibility towards social justice, equity, inclusivity, and human rights among Indigenous and other underrepresented communities we study? How can we decolonize teaching methodologies? How can we foreground voices that have been silenced by colonialism? Can we develop new collaborative forms of knowledge production and artistic creation that will engage culture bearers in research and in teaching and learning about music and dance? 

This series of ICTM Dialogues will begin in early 2021, and focus on decolonizing music and dance studies from multiple viewpoints. They will be delivered online.  Sessions will also be held in conjunction with the ICTM General Assembly in July 2021. A detailed schedule of events with information about formats will be sent to presenters and posted on ICTM’s website, once submissions have been reviewed.

We welcome proposals for sessions (rather than individual presentations) for these Dialogues from ICTM members around the world. We encourage ICTM members to collaborate in their presentations with scholars from different parts of the world as well as with community-engaged researchers, artists and culture bearers, and cultural activists. The Dialogues may include a variety of formats such as film, video, PowerPoint, performance, panel discussion, or other experimental modes.

Proposals will be evaluated and selected by the members of the Committee for ICTM Dialogues: Tan Sooi Beng (Malaysia, Chair), Silvia Citro (Argentina), Irene Karongo Hundleby (Solomon Islands/New Zealand), Jean Kidula (Kenya/USA), Urmimala Sarkar Munsi (India), Christian Onyeji (Nigeria), Marcia Ostashewski (Canada), Susana Sardo (Portugal), Kati Szego (Canada), Shzr Ee Tan (Singapore/UK), and J. Lawrence Witzleben (USA).


  • Deadline for submissions: 30 November  2020

  • Notification of acceptance: 1 January 2021

  • Announcement of preliminary programme: 15 January 2021

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


The programme for the ICTM Dialogues 2021 can be found here


The abstracts for the ICTM Dialogues 2021 can be found here

Information for presenters and participants

Important imformation for presenters and participants (including how to access the Zoom sessions) can be accessed and downloaded from this link.

The ICTM Dialogues are part of a multi-faceted programme of events and public outreach activities aimed at decolonizing sound, music and dance studies; in partnership with the Canadian Society for Traditional Music (CSTM) and The Centre for Sound Communities (CSC). This programme is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).