Call for Papers
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The Music Research Nexus

The University of Georgia, Hugh Hodgson School of Music

Call for Papers
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education
Special issue of Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education on applications of Arts Based Educational Research and Creative Analytical Practices in the study of music teaching, learning, pedagogy, and curriculum. Guest editor: Peter Gouzouasis (The University of British Columbia)
Type of Submissions Sought:
Harmonious with MayDay Group Action Ideals 5 and 6—in seeking knowledge from disciplines other than music, as well as to refine and broaden scholarship— this call for papers is for a special issue in music and music education written through the lenses of Arts-Based Educational Research (ABER), Arts-Based Research (ABR), and Creative Analytical Practices (CAP).
Submission Information:
Scholars across the social sciences have long recognized the importance and need for alternative forms of representation of research designs, data, and results. As early as 1973, Clifford Geertz acknowledged that research was loaded with interpretation, a search for meaning and meaning making “through piled up structures of inference and implication” (73). Two years later, William Pinar introduced the autobiographical method of currere, an acknowledgment of the self and one’s existential experiences as a source of “data.” Van Maanen (1988) brought the notion of story writing to a new level of understanding, changing ideas about forms of data representation through ethnography. Laurel Richardson (1994) called for academic researchers to radically change the ways we read social science texts, as those forms of writing are typically dense, filled with jargon, insider-oriented, and uninviting. Over 20 years ago, Barone and Eisner (1997) detailed seven features of arts-based inquiry in the Handbook for Complimentary Research Methods that were soon implemented across many forms of arts research. Soon thereafter, a call for artistic approaches to research in music education was made (Upitis 1999), but largely ignored.

Richardson (1990) also recognized the need for writing research to reach a broader audience, research that is not only more accessible but deeper in meaning making for the academics, practitioners, administrators, parents, and caregivers who need to read and implement research. Denzin (2007) supported the importance of how artistic knowing may be represented, claims to validity established, and methodological ‘rigor’ ensured when integrating creative approaches in evaluation designs (292; also see Gouzouasis 2008, 220-223; Denzin, 2017; Smith, 2010). With the advent of a/r/tography (Irwin and deCosson 2004), a hybrid form of action research, arts-based researchers made certain that the research informed the art form and the art form informed the research.

Even with those considerations, however, music education—an area of learning, teaching, and performance that is highly qualitative in nature—has been mired in mechanistic, reductionist, positivist, and post-positivist approaches of study. Even though the qualitative research landscape has expanded and flourished, the music profession has largely ignored contemporary practices that have emerged the past 30 years. This special issue of ACT will be guest-edited by Peter Gouzouasis, who has explored and applied poetic inquiry, ethnodrama, creative non-fiction, autoethnography and autobiography, confessional tales, performative inquiry, narrative inquiry, and a/r/tography in numerous refereed papers, book chapters, and books over the past 17 years.

We welcome evocative, artfully composed manuscripts that are rich in music and visual digital media. Writers are encouraged to consider forms of research found in contemporary qualitative research journals and avoid the need to recapitulate the development of ABER, ABR, and CAP through dense theorization that has already occurred and been accepted across the social sciences (e.g., including but not limited to Qualitative Inquiry, Creative Approaches to Research, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Journal of Artistic and Creative Education, Journal of Poetry Therapy, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Qualitative Research Reports, Qualitative Sociology, Qualitative Studies in Education, Symbolic Interaction, Text and Performance Quarterly; special issues of Journal of Media Practice, Qualitative Research in Psychology, and Teacher Education Quarterly). We seek highly reflective, reflexive inquiries that are focused on existential issues of teaching, learning, musicking, pedagogy, and curriculum.

In consideration of contemporary practices in major journals across the social sciences, papers may be presented either as stand-alone works that involve a particular arts-based form (e.g., a poem or set of poems) or include a particular art-based form with accompanying textual commentary (e.g., three short poems around a research topic with related explication; see Furman, 2005a; 2005b; 2006). Forms of representation may include poetic forms (using poetry to present results, interpretations, summaries and reflexive statements), performative works (using play scripts such as ethnodrama, readers’ theatre, ethnotheatre), fictional forms (autoethnography, including creative non-fiction, short stories); visual forms (including photo essays); music forms (including music compositions); artwork (music) as research; and hybrid forms of arts infused, action research. Creative papers with abstracts, very short papers with explanatory endnotes, and music-essays or photo-essays with few words or poetry, are welcomed.

ACT mission and breadth: ACT publishes refereed and invited critical, analytical, theoretical, and policy development articles of international interest that illuminate, extend or challenge the Action Ideals of the MayDay Group. Research based in and across a variety of disciplinary perspectives is thus encouraged and welcomed: e.g., education, music, philosophy, sociology, history, psychology, curriculum. Frequency of issues is determined by submissions, approvals and technical preparation.

Languages: With the intent to favor discussion on decolonization through pluriversal knowledge, we welcome articles that were previously published in a language other than English, or in a venue not generally accessible. Considering that most ACT readers are fluent in English, accepted manuscripts will be accompanied by an English translation.

Peer review process: All submissions to ACT are subject to a rigorous process of double blind peer review. Final publication decisions rest with the editor (in light of reviewer recommendations).

Formatting: Please format submissions using the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style’s “author-date system” with the following three adaptations: 1) omit quotations marks around titles in reference lists, 2) follow APA conventions for capitalization in reference lists, and 3) use closed ellipses (necessary for html formatting). Endnotes are permitted. Audio and video materials are encouraged. Consult a recent issue of ACT or contact the editor for more information if required.

Abstract and keywords: Submissions must be accompanied by a brief abstract (maximum 350 words) and a short list of keywords.

About the author: Include a 100–150 word biography for each author. Please email manuscripts as attachments to copied to The deadline for submissions to this special issue of ACT is May 1st, 2018.


Barone, T., & Eisner, E. (1997). Arts-based educational research. In R. M. Jaeger (Ed.), Contemporary Methods for Research in Education. Washington, DC: American Education Research Association.

Denzin, N. (2007). Integrating arts-based inquiry into evaluation methodology. Qualitative Inquiry, 13(2), 292-311.

Denzin, N. (2017). Critical qualitative inquiry. Qualitative Inquiry, 23(1), 8–16.

Furman, R. (2005a). Using poetry and written exercises to teach empathy. Journal of Poetry Therapy, 18(2), 103-110.

Furman, R. (2005b). Autoethnographic poems and narrative reflections: A qualitative study on the death of a companion animal. Journal of Family Social Work, 9(4), 23-38.

Furman, R. (2006). Poetry as research: Advancing scholarship and the development of poetry therapy as a profession, Journal of Poetry Therapy, 19(3), 133-145.

Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books. Gouzouasis, P. (2008). Toccata on assessment, validity, and interpretation. In S. Springgay, R. L. Irwin, P. Gouzouasis, & C. Leggo (Eds.), Being with a/r/t/ography (pp. 219-230). Rotterdam: SensePublishers.

Irwin, R. L. & de Cosson, A. (Eds.). (2004). A/r/tography: Rendering self through arts-based living inquiry. Vancouver, BC: Pacific Educational Press.

Pinar, W. F. (1975). The method of “currere.” (Report number SO 008 251). Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Research Association (Washington, DC April 1975). Retrieved from ERIC database, ED 104766.

Pinar, W.F. (2004). What is curriculum theory? Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Richardson, L. (1990). Writing strategies: Researching diverse audiences. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Richardson, L. (1994). Writing: A method of inquiry. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 516–529). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Smith, B. (2010). Narrative inquiry: Ongoing conversations and questions for sport and exercise psychology research. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 3(1), 87-107.

Upitis, R. (1999). Artistic approaches to research. Music Education Research, 1(1), 219-226.

Van Maanen, J. (1988). Tales of the field: On writing ethnography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Deadline for Submissions:
May 1, 2018
Related URL
Inquiries Should Be Directed To:
Peter Gouzouasis, Professor
A Note from Brian Wesolowski:

The mission of the Music Research Nexus is to connect those involved in music education/music therapy research at higher education institutions. 

1. Music education/music therapy position vacancies
2. Calls for international, national, and state music education conferences
3. Calls for nominations for service-related activities
4. Calls for papers

5. Research funding/award opportunities

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