Call for Submissions – SEM Student News, 18.1 (“Fieldwork and Identity”)

Dear Colleagues,

This is the first call for submissions for the Fall 2022 issue of SEM Student News. The theme for this new issue, Vol. 18, No.1, is “Fieldwork and Identity.” After over two years of disruptions and reconsiderations of the fieldwork process brought on by the pandemic, many graduate students, who might have experienced delays, are once again preparing to enter the field. Despite the impending sense of a “return to normalcy,” many of us are finding that the pre-pandemic “field” we may have been prepared for has changed in fundamental ways. This issue of SEM Student News is an opportunity for graduate students to participate in a process of dialogue and exchange about their aspirations, experiences, and adjustments they have made in relation to fieldwork. At the core of this discussion, we hope to center the issue of identity: How have the intersections of our own identity, that of our research collaborators, and that of the field itself changed the ways we are thinking about the past, present, and future of our work? Beyond articles that reflect on experiences or offer novel theoretical considerations of the topic, we particularly welcome pieces reflecting collaborative approaches that promote the forum- and community-based goals of this issue.

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

  • Navigating virtual field sites during the COVID-19 pandemic and ethical concerns around the health and safety of interlocutors as researchers return to in-person ethnography
  • How ethnographers handle concerns of difference and sameness amongst themselves and their collaborators, especially as they relate to race, gender, sexuality, class, language, religion, and age
  • New perspectives on insider ethnography, ethnography at home, and mixed-methods research projects
  • Approaches to researchers’ mental health and safety management – how do we care for ourselves while in the field?
  • The role of our musical performance/abilities in navigating the field
  • Digital mediation in/of in-person work

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, or creative writing 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: What sort of strategies have you drawn upon to foster values of self-care in the field? How have your approaches to teaching and training graduate students in fieldwork techniques changed over the past several years? Is there a distinct set of values (perhaps defined in the wake of the pandemic) that you think are critical for young ethnographers to uphold?

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 October 1, 2022. Be sure to include your contact information and university affiliation in your email. Please feel free to share this call widely.