Call for Papers 

22nd - 24th May 2024  Dublin, Ireland


Announcing the 9th International Conference 

Narrative Inquiry in Music Education (NIME 9) 


Sitting in Dissonance: Hearing, Knowing, and Living with Multiple Narratives

“Why narrative? Why now?

Because now, and always, in times when humans engage in acts of public

and private, personal and political violence against one another—violence of both

word and deed—I am compelled to tell another story.

Now, when over-simplification is used to persuade and even to instil fear, I

seek to disrupt with complexity.

Now, when lives of teachers and students are threaded through punishing

master narratives, including disturbing core narratives in our own music education

community, I seek to forward counter-narratives.” (Stauffer, 2016) 


​​More often than not, humans exist in spaces and places with multiple narratives. The stories we tell shape personal, community, and social histories, inform aspects of identity, and offer implications for the future. Narratives often hold complexities and frictions that challenge dominant structures. From a narrative point of view, we hope to emphasize just how uncomfortable it can be to engage in the deconstruction of such power structures and to sit together in acknowledgement of conflicting and even opposing narratives. 

Theories of multiculturalism and intercultural relations often address notions of living next to versus living with the Other, in the study of models and constructs of social segregation, integration, and social cohesion (e.g., Sacks 2002, 2007). Recent theorists apply frameworks of care to such situations, asking questions about caring “with” versus caring “about” (Hendricks, 2023).  Decolonizing methodologies insist on focusing on explicit and implicit power structures of such relationships and social constructs (e.g., Kallio, 2020). Whereas Bresler (2006) has described the potential for narrative to evoke empathic understanding of the Other, Hess (2021) highlights the difficulties inherent in telling stories related to trauma, questioning the very possibility of representing an Other’s difficult knowledge. Powell (2020) describes the rhizovocal nature of narrative, reminding us that our telling and retelling of stories are individual yet connected, time- and space-bound, and always changing. Citing Jackson (2003), he emphasizes that “[r]hizovocality, in its multiplicity and contingency, is difference within and between and among” (p. 707). Whitehead (2019) suggests recognition of human experience as a form of “living contradiction”, noting the importance of an individual’s ability to generate a sense of meaning in understanding internal and external existential conflicts as the basis of knowledge and existence. 

Rather than risking the reduction of otherness to sameness through narrative (Powell, 2020), or jumping to shallow acts of peacebuilding that stem from one’s own worldview, we ask music education scholars to sit in dissonance with different and multiple narratives. 

From a musical and music education perspective, we hope to embrace the capacity to cope with polyvocality and rhizovocality, and in particular, call upon the musical appreciation of dissonance as a crucial factor in creating any type of musical movement. We therefore ask these questions: 


Submission Guidelines 

Using APA 7th Ed format, authors should submit abstracts of 800 words maximum (excluding references) and indicate a preference for one of the following three modes of presentation: 

To submit proposals, CLICK HERE. This will bring you to the EasyChair submission portal.

A 300-word professional bio should be submitted for each author. Papers should be submitted via the conference website. Submissions will be reviewed by the conference submission review committee comprised of renowned international scholars in narrative inquiry and in music, the arts, and education. Criteria for acceptance include use of narrative in the conduct and reporting of inquiry, a clear theoretical framework, and relevance to the fields of music, the arts, and/or education. 

Key dates

Conference dates: 22nd - 24th May 2024 

Venue: DCU Institute of Education, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland 

Co-hosts: Associate Prof Regina Murphy and Assistant Prof Francis Ward, 

School of Arts Education & Movement, DCU Institute of Education, Dublin, Ireland

Queries:    Web:

Scholars new to narrative inquiry may find inspiration from the following peer-reviewed anthologies emerging from previous Narrative Inquiry in Music Education Conferences: 

Griffin, S. M., & Niknafs, N. (Eds.). (2023). Traumas resisted and (re)engaged: Inquiring into lost and found narratives in music education. Springer. 

Smith, T. D., & Hendricks, K. S. (Eds.). (2020). Narratives and reflections in music education: Listening to voices seldom heard. Springer. 

Barrett, M. S., & Stauffer, S. L. (Eds.). (2012). Narrative soundings: An anthology of narrative inquiry in music education. Springer.

Barrett, M. S., & Stauffer, S. L. (Eds.). (2009). Narrative inquiry in music education: Troubling certainty. Springer. 



Bresler, L. (2006). Embodied narrative inquiry: A methodology of connection. Research Studies in Music Education, 27(1), 21–43.

Kallio, A. A. (2020). Decolonizing music education research and the (im)possibility of methodological responsibility. Research Studies in Music Education, 42(2), 177–191.

Hendricks, K. S. (Ed.). (2023). The Oxford handbook of care in music education. Oxford University Press.

Hess, J. (2021). When narrative is impossible: Difficult knowledge, storytelling, and ethical practice in narrative research and pedagogy in music education. Action, Criticism & Theory for Music Education, 20(4), 79–113.

Jackson, A. Y. (2008). Rhizovocality. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 16, 693–710.

Nichols, J., & Brewer, W. (2017). Why narrative now? Marking a decade of narrative inquiry in music education. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education Fall 2016/Winter 2017 Nos. 210–211.

Powell, S. R. (2020). Whose story? (Re)presentation, rhizovocality, and friendship. In T. D. Smith & K. S. Hendricks (Eds.), Narratives and reflections in music education: Listening to voices seldom heard (pp. 135–146). Springer. 

Sacks, J. (2002). The dignity of difference: How to avoid the clash of civilizations. Continuum.

Sacks, J. (2007). The home we build together: Recreating society. Continuum.

Whitehead, J. (2019). Creating a living-educational-theory from questions of the kind, ‘how do I improve my practice?’ 30 years on with Living Theory research. Educational Journal of Living Theories, 12(2), 1-19.