Call for Papers 2018


Annual Meeting February 8-10, 2018 Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC

The Society for Christian Scholarship in Music seeks proposals for its upcoming annual meeting, which will take place February 8-10, 2018 at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Wake Forest, NC.

Individual papers, panels, and lecture recitals on any topic related to music and the study of Christianity are welcome. Individual papers are 25 minutes long; panels (with three people) are one and a half hours; and lecture-recitals, one hour. We invite submissions representing a variety of approaches and perspectives, including history, ethnomusicology, theory and analysis, philosophy and theology, liturgy, and critical theory.

SCSM encourages submissions from current graduate students. A $250 prize will be awarded for the best paper presented by a graduate student at the 2018 meeting. Application instructions for the graduate student prize will be provided upon acceptance of the paper for the program and will be posted on the society’s website.

The Society for Christian Scholarship in Music is an association of scholars interested in exploring the intersections of Christian faith and musical scholarship. We are an ecumenical association, reflecting the world-wide diversity of Christian traditions, and seeking to learn from scholars outside those traditions. Conference registration is open to all interested persons: undergraduate and graduate students, as well as independent and affiliated scholars; presenters are required to become members of the society for the year of the conference. For more information about SCSM and about previous conferences, see

Individual Proposals should clearly describe the argument, evidence, and research findings, situate the work in relation to previous scholarship, and articulate how the research contributes to Christian scholarship in music. The identity of the author should not be divulged in the body of the proposal. Maximum length: 350 words. Only one individual proposal may be submitted.

Lecture-Recital Proposals should identify the music to be performed, including performing forces, and clearly describe the substance of the lecture component as outlined for Individual Proposals. Please note clearly at the top that this is a Lecture-Recital proposal. Maximum length: 350 words.

Panel Proposals should include a summary of the importance of the panel topic by the panel organizer (maximum length 350 words). The organizer should also include a proposal for each paper prepared by individual panelists following the guidelines for Individual Proposals, along with each panelist’s contact information. Panel Proposals will be considered only as a whole, the session’s coherence being an essential part of the evaluation process.

Program Committee Procedures: Only the Program Chair is privy to the identity of each proposer until the final stage of the selection process. Proposals are first independently assessed on a scale from zero to five by all four committee members, after which the scores are collated, averaged, and ranked accordingly. Following discussion of the results by all committee members, all but two or three of the available presentation slots are filled based on the final rankings. In a final stage, the authors of the proposals are revealed and the final slots are filled, with the committee looking for opportunities to achieve as fair and broad a representation among varying approaches and presenters as possible.

Please send submissions or questions to program chair Mark Peters at In the body of your submission e-mail, please identify your affiliation, preferred e-mail for communication, and whether you are a student. Proposals (only doc or docx files please) must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. on October 1, 2017. Proposals will not be accepted after this date. Applicants will be notified of the program committee’s decision by early November.

Newsletter, Spring 2017

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Highlights from SCSM President, Jennifer Bloxam:
“I’m delighted to share with you the Spring 2017 SCSM Newsletter, wherein you will find, among other things, reflections on the 2017 meeting at Scripps College and the Graduate Student Panel (by Emilie Coakley and Adam Perez) as well as two thought-provoking essays on the subject of the Christian Imagination (by Chelle Stearns and Johann Buis).

Peters headshot fall 2016 3 smallA Special Note: A resounding “Thank You!” to Mark Peters, who with this issue completes a four-year stint as the first editor of this vital contribution to our Society’s outreach to members and friends. Find out about the next phase of the Newsletters stewardship in Mark’s note to you in this Newsletter!”

Presidents’ Addresses, Annual Meeting 2017

screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-3-42-04-pmAndrew Shenton’s presidential address was given at the annual business meeting of the Society during the conference at Scripps College on 10 February, 2017. Dr. Shenton greeted the members and guests and thanked a number of people for their contributions to the Society, including the ongoing diligent work of the Secretary and Treasurer (Tim Steele and Zig Reichenwald, respectively), Mark Peters (newsletter editor), and especially the outgoing members of the SCSM Executive Committee: Johann Buis, Tala Jarjour, and Bennett Zon.

Dr. Shenton warmly thanked Anne Harley, Local Arrangements Chair for the Scripps Conference, for her meticulous and extensive work on the event, and for all her many colleagues in California who helped her put on an enjoyable and successful conference. He also thanked the program committee: Effie Papanikolou (chair), Robert Sholl, and Deborah Justice; and the student prize committee: Robin Wallace (chair), Felicia Sandler and Cathy Ann Elias, for their contributions to the event; and finally, to those present for their contributions to the conference as presenters or chairs.

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Student Paper Prize, 2017 – Emilie Coakley

screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-12-20-08-pmThe student paper prize committee, consisting of Robin Wallace, Felicia Sandler, and Cathy Elias, awarded this year’s prize for best student presentation at the SCSM annual meeting to
Emilie Coakley’s paper,

“Time for Prayer or Time for Work?:  Nostalgia, Memory, and the Changing Reception of Church Bells in a City Soundscape.”

Coakley’s paper is refreshing and innovative in the way it shows how musical phenomena tied to church, but situated in the world, can affect the everyday lives of people who experience them in myriad individual ways. An appreciation of how musical experiences can be tied to one’s understanding of the divine outside of worship is a promising avenue for future research, as is the idea of a “McDonaldized” culture in which such understanding is perhaps more commodified than communal. We hope that Coakley and others will be inspired to travel further in this direction.

Many thanks for a great conference at Scripps College!

We’ll miss you, Southern California, but…
…see you next year at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC!