CFP: Rethinking Carnival from the Pre-modern to the Present – Funded Conference (Due: March 31, 2023)

Research on celebration of the Carnival tradition in different times and places has provided a rich lens into fields ranging from political and social history to the history of everyday life and questions about intangible cultural heritage. The tradition has garnered interest not only amongst historians, but also from scholars working in literary studies, cultural studies, anthropology, and sociology, among others. Throughout the research landscape on Carnival, however, division of period and place have remained persistent barriers which have inhibited examination of the tradition’s evolution and re-inventions across time and space. These divisions have not only been re-enforced by language barriers and the expertise of researchers in particular time periods, but also by the local, regional, and national provenance of an elaborate array of Carnival traditions.

Bridging across these divisions to develop new ideas about the tradition’s historical development necessitates a collaborative approach. Through a generous grant by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, we propose to bring together scholars working on the Carnival traditions in different times and places to present their work at an international conference held in Frankfurt, Germany. We welcome contributions focussed on any geographic area or time period, and particularly encourage submissions which shed light on questions about the perceived meaning of the Carnival tradition and Carnival forms in different times and places. Our aim is to animate both reflections about the kind of sources available to this purpose and a comparative discussion about Carnival representations.

The conference will be held in Frankfurt from October 5th – October 8th, 2023 and will be held in English. Accommodations will be covered, and travel will be reimbursed for participants without sufficient internal funding to cover these expenses. For consideration, please submit an abstract (300-600 words) and a short bio by March 30th 2023 to both and The conference is open to the public, but we would ask non-presenting participants to email in advance to ensure adequate space.

Keywords: Carnevale, Charnage, Caresme-Prenant, Carnaval, Fastnacht, Fasching, Karneval, Carnival, Mardi Gras

Dr. Jeremy DeWaal, University of Exeter

Dr. Roberta Colbertaldo, University of Frankfurt


Société française d'ethnomusicologie