Call for Papers

The third annual Darkwater Womxn in Music Festival is pleased to announce a call for papers. 

The festival will be held on September 24-25 and is based at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Deadline : June 1, 2021

Darkwater is a festival that celebrates womxn in music through papers, panels, and performances. The word "darkwater" is the literal Carolina Algonquian meaning of Lumbee, the American Indian tribe that built Pembroke and UNCP. By calling ourselves the Darkwater Festival, we tie ourselves to our place in North Carolina and to the Lumbee, a matriarchal culture with many strong women in its history.

The Program Committee invites proposals for individual papers (20 minutes + 10-minute discussion); organized sessions of 3-4 papers on a single topic; or roundtable discussions in the fields of musicology, music theory, ethnomusicology, gender, queer, and women’s studies, history, sociology, and/or related fields. Proposals should fall under the general topic “womxn in music”, and interdisciplinary approaches are welcomed.

Abstracts should be no more than 250 words and submissions should include a title and AV needs. Sessions and round tables should include an abstract for each panelist as well as one for the session as a whole. Please email proposals for papers and panels to Sarah Busman at with the subject “Paper Proposal.”

There is no submission fee for this proposal. At this time, we are unable to confirm whether our 2021 festival will have an opportunity for in-person engagement due to COVID-19. Regardless of our ability to host in-person gatherings, Darkwater will have opportunities for online engagement. We hope to decide our full offerings by July 2021. Should presenters attend in-person offerings, presenters agree to incur all travel costs. Scholars selected agree to attend the festival at their own expense, including the registration fee which will be paid by August 1.

For more information, contact Sarah Busman at