ACT publishes refereed and invited critical, analytical, theoretical, and policy development articles of international interest that illuminate, extend or challenge the Action Ideals of the MayDay Group. Research based in and across a variety of disciplinary perspectives is thus encouraged and welcomed: e.g., education, music, philosophy, sociology, history, psychology, curriculum. Frequency of issues is determined by submissions, approvals and technical preparation.



Special Issue of Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education on Institutional Injustice or “Malpraxis”

 Background: In 2014, the College Music Society published a report from its Task Force on the Undergraduate Music Major (the report some have called a “manifesto”) which called for sweeping changes in university-level music curricula (including music education) intended to create more diversity among students and faculty, and within curricula. The report, however, did not investigate the issues underlying the perceived need for change. In April 2016, at a meeting of the National Endowment for the Arts, NAfME’s designated representative, Michael Butera, drew attention to institutional racism and the under-representation of people of color in music education through his unfortunate comment that “Blacks and Latinos lack the keyboard skills needed for this field.” The opportunity to explore these important issues was lost when Mr. Butera abruptly left the meeting, precipitating a firestorm on social media. Beneath both the NAfME controversy and the CMS Task Force report lie significant challenges to a discipline fond of claiming that “music is for everyone.” Because music education does not appear to be for everyone, at least under present circumstances, careful and considerate exploration of the underlying reasons is a matter of urgency for the profession.

Call for Submissions: While the under-representation of minority faculty and students and the Eurocentricity of curricula have been relatively popular research topics in music education, this special issue of ACT, edited by Deborah Bradley, aims to promote deeper, more productive discourse—analysis that goes beyond calls for greater inclusion by exploring the problem’s systemic sources. We invite contributions that avoid diversity as a catch-all term, and theorize institutional or structural injustice (“malpraxis”) in music education. “Institutional” here refers not just to formal arrangements, but also to informal and community musical practice. Beginning from the understandingthat inclusion and diversity are serious concerns for music education, one goal for this issue is to explore rigorously and critically the conditions through which exclusion and the lack of diversity thrive—and why they are so resistant to change/correction.

Drawing conceptually from MayDay Group Action Ideal IV (see, submissions should account critically and systematically for the potentially negative influences of musical institutions, interrogating both their visible and invisible effects on musical learning, individual musical actions, identities, and representation. What barriers to individual and community musical development may musical institutions perpetuate, and how can their effects be addressed through musical education and by music education as a discipline? How do institutions perpetuate practices that result in injustice or malpraxis at individual, group, regional, national, and even international levels of concern? What changes are necessary to begin to break down structural injustices that exist at all levels of music education? How might alternative practices be introduced and fostered?

Submissions should explore the often hidden nature of institutional injustice, making the invisible visible through theoretical analysis of problems and illumination of opportunities for change. While authors may choose to explore isolated areas of injustice or malpraxis (race, class, gender, dis/ability, heteronormativity, language, religion, etc.), the exploration of their intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1991; Nash, 2008) at the structural level is encouraged. The interrogation of social justice terminology and/or the limitations of conceptual labels within social justice discourse may provide another area of interest for philosophical exploration. While the examples cited above are specific to the United States, submissions exploring these issues as manifest in other locales are both invited and welcome. The goal for this issue of ACT is to bring greater richness and complexity to discussions related to systemic injustices (“malpraxis”) in music education, and to explore how we might more effectively work to assure that music education is indeed for everyone.

Peer Review Process: All submissions to ACT are subject to a rigorous process of double blind peer review. Final publication decisions rest with the editor (in light of reviewer recommendations).

Formatting: Please format submissions using the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style’s author-date system throughout. Endnotes are permitted. Audio and video materials are encouraged. Consult a recent issue of ACT or contact the editor for more information if required.

Abstract and Keywords: Submissions must be accompanied by a brief abstract (ca. 100–150 words) and a short list of keywords.

About the Author: Include a 100–150 word biography for each author.

Please email manuscripts as attachments to

The deadline for submissions to this special issue of ACT is January 15, 2017.



Crenshaw, K. (1991). Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford Law Review, 43(6), 1241-1299.

Nash, J. C. (2008). re-thinking intersectionality. Feminist Review, 89, 1-15.