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Library Conference call for papers

Folk dance: grappling with tradition

The 2023 Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Conference, Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 November

Papers can be given in-person at Cecil Sharp House, London, or remotely.

Conference delegates will all be attending in person. 

We seek proposals on any form of folk dance relating to the theme of revival, reproduction, reimagination, re-creation, reformation, refashioning and/or reconstruction.

Papers may interrogate (amongst other things):

  • How researchers might go about reconstructing historical forms
  • Reconstruction vs reimagination in performance
  • How people have sought to revive folk dance(s) in the past and what it takes today
  • Traditional forms of dance in contemporary society
  • The presentation of folk dance in the theatre
  • Why revive? What constitutes success?
  • Do invention and innovation destroy tradition or ensure its survival?

Papers can be either historically focused or consider the contemporary context.

Proposals should be no more than 300 words long, and if selected, resulting papers will last c.20 minutes followed by c.10 minutes of questions.

Please email proposals to Tiffany Hore, Library and Archives Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by 5pm BST on Friday 28 July.