Call Extended – SEM Student News, 18.1 (“Music and Pleasure”)

Dear Colleagues,

This is the second call for submissions for the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of SEM Student News. The theme for this new issue, Vol. 18, No.1, is “Music and Pleasure.” The frequent stratification between professional musicianship and making music “for pleasure” often frames the latter category as something less serious or valuable. But for many of us, participating in and experiencing music in informal or communal spaces fills us with powerful sensations of joy. Music is often a part of other activities associated with pleasure such as sex, the alteration of one’s consciousness through drugs or meditation, and physical expressions like dancing. Music is also frequently integral to the pleasure gained from forming connection with a group (e.g., singing songs at sporting events) or passing through different stages of our lives (e.g., music in play settings among children). In this issue, we want to take seriously the interrogation of pleasure as it relates to these and other activities in and around music.

We invite articles that may approach, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Music, affect, and emotions
  • The relationship between music, sex/sexuality, erotics, and the body
  • Music and/in the altering of one’s consciousness
  • Pleasure in amateur or informal music making
  • Music at parties, nightclubs, and other social spaces  
  • Music and play
  • Music and pain/The relationship between pain and pleasure in music

We will review submissions from both students and working scholars. Generally there will be multiple rounds of editing and feedback prior to publication.

Authors are encouraged to submit pieces incorporating a variety of media. Submissions may be written, photographic, or multimedia (written with visual, audio, and/or video components). We particularly solicit audio/visual contributions to correspond with the theme for this issue. We are currently accepting submissions for the following categories:

Original photography or artwork related to the issue’s theme [with attendant permissions and appropriately publishable captions, which must be submitted with the images]

Student submissions:

  • Student articles (c. 500–1500 words) [related to the theme of the issue.]
  • Student response column (c. 500–1500 words) [responding to a previous issue of SEM Student News, or speaking toward student interests, concerns, experiences, or something else in the world of ethnomusicology today]

Professional submissions:

  • For our “Dear SEM” column (c. 500-750 words) related to the issue’s theme and responding to the following prompt: “How have you worked to encourage the experience or investigation of pleasure in both your classroom and research? How does pleasure figure into the way you think about music making in your personal life? Does pleasure have a critical or conceptual value that warrants further investigation both in the academy and beyond?

If you would like to submit a piece for this issue, please forward submissions to the editor at We also welcome any other ideas, comments, and questions. Submissions must follow Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (author-date)—attention to style is crucial for acceptance. Please find our updated submission guidelines at our website. Files should be submitted in .docx (text), .jpg (photography and images), .mp3 or .flac (audio), and .mp4 (video) formats no later than June 30, 2022. Be sure to include your contact information and university affiliation in your email. Please feel free to share this call widely.