Call for Papers: Performing Health, Identity, and Social Justice

Special Edition of Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, scheduled for November, 2017

Submission Details
Arts-based research has recently been defined by Viega and Forinash (2016, p. 491) as “an umbrella term that includes the use of arts as a research method—where the art forms are primary in the research process—and as an overall methodology—where a creative worldview forms the philosophical foundation for an inquiry.”

Aesthetics and the arts have played a variety of roles in qualitative research such the early 1980s and can be found in such methodologies as ethnography (autoethnography, perfomative ethnography), heuristic and first-person inquiries, action-based research, phenomenology, to name a few.

More recently, researchers have begun to view arts-based research as its own paradigm, not bound by qualitative and quantitative epistemological constraints and focusing on axiological issues of aesthetics and ethics.

Researchers who take more radical approaches to arts-based research see its role as dismantling traditional praxis-oriented research approaches, blurring the traditional boundaries between artist and researcher, art and data, performance and knowledge.

In this special edition of Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapists, we would like to highlight all forms of art and performance in research. We invite researchers (artists-as-researchers) to submit material such as art, music, photography, and/or video performance that has played a central role in disseminating the results of their work but has not been able to be published in traditional scholarly formats.

In addition, a written statement must accompany the artwork to elaborate on the context and nature of the performance.

Artists-as-researchers might want to consider the written portion as an “artist statement” or may want to present a more traditional article. Either way, the written portion should elaborate on the original research context and highlight the performative nature of the research.

The focus of the performance and/or artwork should be related to health-oriented practices that have an interest in social concerns in the 21st century, activism, and/or social justice.

Submissions will go through a peer-review process before publication. Barone and Eisner’s (2012, as seen in Viega & Forinash, 2016, p.500) general criteria for evaluating arts-based research through aesthetic engagement will be used in the review process.

  1. Incisiveness refers to the researcher’s ability to get to the “heart of a social issue” without getting “swamped with details that have no inherent significance and do little to increase the cogency of the research itself” (Barone & Eisner, 2012, p. 148).
  2. Concision refers to the minimal number of words needed to expand upon the artistic results, providing the research audience with a heuristic understanding primarily through their engagement with the arts. 
  3. Coherence reflects the ability of the researcher to take the various aesthetic elements and bring them together to make a unified artistic statement. 
  4. Generativity pertains to the ability of the research to engage the audience and encourage reflection and dialogue. 
  5. Social significance refers to how the results impact societal and cultural issues that are explored in the study. Audiences should not find the results trivial, but instead its significance should be made clear and be felt.
  6. Evocation and illumination refer to the feelings evoked by the research audience when engaging with the results and how these feelings shed light on the topic and phenomena studied in the research.

Submission Schedule

February 15th, 2017    Extended abstract (maximum 1200 words) which clearly states the contribution of the article to the special issue

May 15th, 2017  Performance and paper submission

May 15th-November 1st, 2017  Reviewing, revising and editing of performances and papers under consideration

November 30th, 2017   Publication of the Special Issue

Further information concerning the call for papers is available from Michael Viega (guest editor), State University of New York (SUNY, New Paltz).

Please submit your extended abstracts to him at

Details regarding submitting digital material for publication will be discussed after the abstracts are reviewed.

Austin, D. (2016). Revisiting Grace Street: A retrospective account on the creation of an arts-based research study of Alcoholics Anonymous. Music Therapy Perspectives, 34(1), 14-25. doi:10.1093/mtp/miv046

Barone, T., & Eisner, E. W. (2012). Arts based research. Los Angeles, CA: Sage

Finley, S. (2011). Critical arts-based inquiry: The pedagogy and performance of a radical ethical aesthetic. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (4th ed.; pp. 435–450). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Finley, S., & Knowles, G. (1995). Researcher as artist/artist as researcher. Qualitative
Inquiry, 1, 110–142. doi:10.1177/107780049500100107

Viega, M. & Forinash, M. (2016). Arts-based research. In B. Wheeler & K. Murphy (Eds.), Music therapy research (3rd Edition). (pp. 491-504) Barcelona.

Viega, M. (2016). Science of art: Axiology as the central component in methodology and evaluation of arts-based research (ABR). Music Therapy Perspectives, 34(1), 4-13. doi:10.1093/mtp/miv035

Viega, M. (2016). Performing “Rising from the Ashes:” Arts-based research results from the Study “Loving me and my butterfly wings: An analysis of hip-hop songs written by adolescents in music therapy.” Music Therapy Perspectives, 34(1), 46-47. doi: 10.1093/mtp/miv044

Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy (ISSN 1504-1611)