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Call for Papers JMT & MTP Social Justice Issues

October 9, 2020 12:40 PM
The Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives announce two calls for papers. Each journal is hosting Guest Co-Editors for a special focus examining topics in social justice and equity with music therapy research, practice and education. It is anticipated that accepted peer reviewed manuscripts will be published in each journal in 2021. Details on the call for papers from each journal are noted below.


Call for Proposals - Journal of Music Therapy - Special Issue on Justice & Equity in Music Therapy

Guest Co-editors:

  • Marisol S. Norris, PhD, MT-BC
  • Natasha Thomas, PhD, MT-BC

This is a call for submissions to the Journal of Music Therapy to advance the emerging dialogue of justice and equity within the field of music therapy. The special issue calls for justice-orientated research and theoretical, empirical, and methodological papers that participate in the enactment of social change. By exploring power, privilege, and oppression within music therapy practice, contributing submissions will articulate the music therapy profession’s potential to produce or reduce harm, or otherwise impact health inequities. Those who aim to expand research and scholarship in this area are encouraged to explore topics that are critically relevant to social justice discourse within music therapy and engage in anti-oppressive writing and research practices that amplify research from, by, and with marginalized communities to promote equity and inclusion. We invite submissions from a range of research paradigms, including but not limited to quantitative, qualitative, historical, philosophical, theoretical, and arts-based research for this special issue to be published in March 2022.

Equity and justice begin with access, where the distribution of services and resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable, increasing the ability of all members of a society to feel physically and psychologically safe, secure, recognized, and treated with respect and human dignity. These elements are the foundations of justice, which amplifies the self-determination and agency of marginalized individuals and communities, not only in therapeutic spaces but also in the broader world in which they live. Additionally, justice acknowledges the interconnectedness of socio-political struggles in dismantling systems of oppression that seek to limit the inalienable rights of humanity (Talwar, 2019). Socioeconomic systems, public policies, and deeply embedded cultural practices, beliefs, and norms often obstruct the actualization of this reality within music therapy spaces. We are called to examine their influences on the daily lives of music therapy recipients and music therapy practices, approaches, theories, methods, and policies and procedures within healthcare systems and institutions that perpetuate unequal and inequitable conditions. This work highlights the unequivocal link between advocacy and action to counteract racism, sexism, ableism, classism, and heterosexism and their intersections and centers culturally insistent and sustaining music therapy practice as an ethical imperative.

Submissions selected for this special issue will reflect a broad scope of theories, practices, and research related to social justice in music therapy practice. Contributors are asked to explore central themes of social justice, anti-oppressive theory, practice, education, research, professional issues, and praxis. The following is a non-exhaustive list of timely, important topics for scholars interested in submitting an abstract:

  • Marginalization/ Identity-based Oppression, including but not limited to:
    • Ageism
    • Cis-Genderism
    • Misogyny and/or Sexism
    • Heterosexism
    • Classism
    • Racism
    • Eurocentrism
    • Ableism
    • Religious Oppression
  • Intersectionality (Intersectional Oppression)
  • Broader Systems of Oppression & Oppressive Practices, including but not limited to:
    • White Supremacy
    • Eurocentrism
    • Power and Privilege
    • Cultural Appropriation: Theory, Practice, and Praxis
    • Fragility and/or Epistemologies of Ignorance
    • Tokenism
    • Bystanding
    • Silencing/Invisibility
  • Cultural Identity Development 
  • Internalized Oppression
  • Theory, Practice and Praxis for Addressing Oppression, including but not limited to:
    • Diversity and Inclusion
    • Exploring Equitable and Just Governing Policies
    • Access and Sustainable Practices
    • Cultural Humility and Responsiveness
    • Culturally-Sustaining Practices
  • Critical Justice Lens in Music Therapy Approaches
    • Licensure and Certification 
    • Social Justice Advocacy
    • “Power With” vs. “Power Over” in Practice and Advocacy
    • Culturally-Appropriate Assessments
    • Decentering Eurocentrism of Musical Repertoire
    • Relationship between Decentering Eurocentric Curriculum and State of the Practice

Authors may request to work with a research/writing mentor during the submission process. This is the first time JMT is offering this mentorship initiative in order to encourage and assist emerging scholars in social justice in the profession to contribute to a peer-review journal. Details regarding mentorship opportunities will be forthcoming. The co-editors wish to acknowledge the initiative of our marginalized predecessors in establishing the frameworks to make journal mentorship possible.

Submission Instructions:

See Guidelines for Journal of Music Therapy submissions. Authors should submit proposals to

When uploading the proposals, authors should choose the special issue option from the relevant menu. Papers submitted will be sent to the Guest Editors for the special issue for peer review and feedback.

  • Title and Abstract of proposed paper: January 1, 2021
  • Invitation to submit: February 15, 2021
  • Submission of Paper for review: June 15, 2021
  • Final articles accepted for inclusion in special issue: February 15, 2022
  • Publication Release Date: June 2022 (May online access)

Inquiries about this special issue on social justice in music therapy can be directed to Marisol Norris and Natasha Thomas at



Talwar, S. (2017). Art therapy for social justice: Radical intersections. Routledge.


Call for Proposals - Music Therapy Perspectives - Special Focus

Guest Editors:

  • Adenike Webb, PhD, MT-BC
  • Sangeeta Swamy, PhD, MT-BC

Music Therapy Perspectives (MTP) is seeking proposals for a Special Focus on Social Justice in music therapy, to be published in 2022 and guest edited by Adenike Webb and Sangeeta Swamy. The impetus for this focus arises from the recognition that historically, the views, contexts, scholarship, and experiences of people who belong to minoritized groups in the profession have been neglected in music therapy literature and discourse. Hegemonic notions of what constitutes "good" scholarship, mistaking dominant worldviews for neutrality, as well as unconscious power and privilege dynamics embedded in editorial and review processes have resulted in the dismissal and disregard of these voices. This issue seeks to encourage dialogue on matters of social justice through critical examinations of music therapy practice, education, theory, training, research, pedagogy, supervision, aesthetics, professional relations, and related areas.

While there has been progress towards diversity in the field, the aim of this issue for MTP is a departure from the ways that music therapy has framed sociocultural discussions in the past, an endeavor beyond “how-to” guides and populations to treat. To begin to rectify this, the editors feel strongly that a social justice approach is necessary. We view social justice as ensuring that all people, regardless of background, have equitable access to the political, social, economic, physical, educational, and health resources that they need, so that they can maximize potential and optimally engage in society. As it relates to music therapy, this issue will be focused on expanding access to previously unheard or marginalized voices and knowledge generators within the field, centering the lived experiences of those who are minoritized based on race, gender and gender identity, ethnicity, ability/disability, socio-economic status, religion, caste, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, and other marginalized identities. In addition, the intent is to not just focus on diversity, but also on inclusion and equity, key components of social justice. These concepts go beyond ensuring that a broad range of voices are simply represented towards equally valuing, acknowledging, incorporating, and centering these perspectives. In particular, the guest editors are seeking contributions that emphasize a critical lens or approach, a questioning or interrogation of the sociocultural structures, discourses, ideologies, epistemologies, power and privilege dynamics that form the foundation of existing music therapy processes.

Submissions for this issue could take many forms such as scholarly articles, historical reflections, critical literature reviews, personal and reflective essays, case studies, artistic or arts-based responses, or critical music therapy research. Submissions may address a broad range of topics around critical approaches, including but not limited to any of the following areas:

  • Critical perspectives on how music therapists engage with issues of social justice, diversity, inclusion and equity
  • Critical perspectives on clinical work, supervision, education or pedagogy
  • Critical perspectives on the social and cultural intersections of music therapy
  • Anti-oppressive theories and practices within music therapy
  • Non-dominant worldviews
  • Intersectional identities
  • Interdisciplinary perspectives
Submission Process

Proposals should be submitted to both of the following two email addresses:

Submission Format & Timeline
  • January 15, 2021: Deadline for proposal abstracts of no more than 300 words Please use APA 7 guidelines as well as the guidelines for authors submitting to Music Therapy Perspectives:
  • February 1, 2021: Submissions will receive notification of acceptance or declination.
  • May 15, 2021: For accepted proposals, manuscripts must be uploaded to MTP’s online submission site,
  • April 2022: The special focus will be published in MTP’s first issue of 2022, to be released April 2022.


Q: Given the focus on social justice, equity, and access, will the articles in these special issues be open access (OA)?

A: This question is important. We do not know yet if one or more articles will be Gold (fully open) OA. AMTA journal articles may be published as Green (hybrid) OA which allows posting after an embargo period at no cost. In all cases, we plan to unlock upcoming special issue articles for a promotional period. We understand the dilemma and complexity the question of Gold OA presents from multiple perspectives and we are making every effort to make the content easily viewable for all while seeking viable and sustainable solutions. 

Barbara Else, Business Manager, AMTA Journals