International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Call for Papers and Panels: The 12th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group Mediterranean Music Studies

Music and Sound at the Mediterranean Crossroads 

The ICTM Study Group on Mediterranean Music is pleased to announce its 12th Symposium on the theme “Music and Sound at the Mediterranean Crossroads.” The symposium  will be hosted by the Association Essaouira-Mogador, and will be held at Dar Souiri Essaouira, Morocco, June 18-23, 2018.

In this symposium, the Mediterranean Music Study Group aims to provide a forum to encourage debates and foster collaborations among scholars across the region, focusing on the theme “Music and Sound at the Mediterranean Crossroads.” We invite papers that address the different ways in which music and sound have shaped and continue to shape particular notions about the Mediterranean, focusing on this sea according to the Braudelian paradigms—which understand it as a unified and coherent space—but also according to more recent and emerging paradigms which posit the Mediterranean as a fragmented, volatile and contested space—a place where, quoting Tullia Magrini, “countless diversities converge.” In this context, we invite participants to re-think the role of music and sound in the contemporary and historic Mediterranean, and to explore relationships, entanglements, experiences and interactions between Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Atlantic Ocean through the circulation of music and sound in an “acquacentric” cultural space such as the Mediterranean.

How can music and sound help us to understand the nuances of these interactions in a place where “countless diversities converge?” What can these “sound waves” reveal about the contemporary and historical re-workings of the Mediterranean at its crossroads? And what can we learn about the intricate dynamics of culture by paying attention to how music and sound circulate inacross, and around the Mediterranean? Participants are encouraged to address music and sound at the Mediterranean crossroads in relation to a broad range of topics including, but not limited to movement and circulation, ritual and performance, religious beliefs and practices, technology, gender and sexuality, colonialism, regionalism, race, language, modernity and tradition, youth movements, and cultural politics.

This will be the very first meeting of the Study Group to be hosted in North Africa, and we are tremendously excited about this new development to which we have been aspiring to for a long time. We are particularly excited about holding the symposium in Morocco and in the city of Essaouira; a city characterized by its diverse cultures, languages and religious traditions; a city which has a long tradition of hosting some of the most important festivals of music and the arts; and a city at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East, the Atlantic, and the Mediterranean. Because the symposium will intersect with some of the dates of the Gnawa World Music Festival, we are also excited to draw from, and interact with some of the events taking place during this festival.

A schedule of performances and special events are being planned as a significant aspect of the Essaouira symposium. Details about these events and other conference updates including information about accommodation--will be posted in due course on the Study Group website:


Call for paper and panel proposals:

While English will be the general medium for the symposium, submissions and presentations in Arabic and French are also welcome.

Proposals for individual papers must include the following:

Title and an abstract not exceeding 250 words; full contact information including address, phone and e-mail. Please submit abstracts in English, French or Arabic to or

Fully formed panel proposals must include the following:

  1. The Panel: Title and a short abstract not exceeding 250 words; contact information including address, phone, fax, and e-mail for the panel chair.
  2. Individual Papers: Each panel must submit, for each participant, title and an abstract not exceeding 250 words and contact information including address, phone, and e-mail.

Participants may present only one paper, but may also serve as a chair on their own and/or another panel.

Important Dates:

Deadline submission for all individual papers and organized (i.e., fully formed) panels is November 17, 2017

Notifications of acceptance will be circulated on January 2, 2018.

Program Committee:

  • Alessandra Ciucci (Chair)  
  • André Azoulay
  • Ruth Davis
  • Ioannis Tsioulakis

Local Arrangements Committee: 

  • Tarik Ottmani
  • Kaoutar Chakir
  • Tony Langlois
  • Lhoussain Simour