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Call for Abstracts: Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change
A Volume in the ILA Building Leadership Bridges (BLB) Series

Call for Abstracts Deadline: December 1, 2015

You are invited to submit a 250 word abstract on the theme Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change for our Building Leadership Bridges Series, published by Emerald Group Publishing with an anticipated publication date of March, 2017. Please see details below.

Following an editorial review, selected authors will be contacted and invited to submit a 5,000 word max previously unpublished paper due May 4, 2016, for consideration. Please note that an accepted abstract does not guarantee inclusion in the book. Final acceptance will depend on the finished product.

Volume Co-Editors

Susan J. Erenrich and Jon F. Wergin. Susie is the founder/Executive Director of the Cultural Center for Social Change and a Professor at American University and New York University. Jon is a Professor of Educational Studies in Antioch University's Ph.D. Program in Leadership and Change.

Call for Proposals Details

The International Leadership Association invites you to submit your work on the theme, Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change for a volume in our Building Leadership Bridges series. The series captures the best contemporary thinking about leadership from a diverse range of scholars, practitioners, and educators working in the field of leadership studies. In keeping with the mission of the ILA, the book series connects ways of researching, imagining, and experiencing leadership across cultures, over time, and around the world. The book will be published by Emerald Group Publishing with an expected publication date of March 2017.


Throughout history artists have led grassroots movements of protest, resistance, and liberation. They created dangerously, sometimes becoming martyrs for the cause. Their efforts kindled a fire, aroused the imagination and rallied the troops culminating in real transformational change. For instance, slaves sang "No More Auction Block For Me" under their breath, out of earshot of the master as a statement of purpose or defiance; songwriter Joe Hill courageously faced a five-man firing squad on November 19, 1915 after working tirelessly with the Industrial Workers of the World; following the September 11, 1973 Chilean coup, folksinger Victor Jara boldly stood in Santiago's stadium before he was tortured, beaten, electrocuted, and machine-gunned to death; Musicians United For Safe Energy (MUSE) demonstrated, performed, and raised money for the anti-nuclear movement; Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali known for his political criticism of Israel, was mortally wounded after being shot in the face by unknown persons in London in 1987; and more recently, in January of 2015 the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo were senselessly murdered in their administrative offices in Paris. Their art served as a form of dissent during times of war, social upheaval, and political unrest. Less dramatically perhaps, artists have also participated in demonstrations, benefit concerts, and have become philanthropists in support of their favorite causes. These artists have been overlooked or given too little attention in the literature on leadership, even though the consequences of their courageous crusades, quite often, resulted in censorship, "blacklisting," imprisonment, and worse.

Howard Gardner is one of the few leadership scholars that discuss artists in his book, Creating Minds (1993). Even though the book makes a bold attempt at highlighting artists from the 20th century who made significant breakthroughs in their respective professions, his argument never touches upon artists' contributions towards societal change.

This volume seeks to explore the intersection of grassroots leadership and the arts for social change by accentuating the many victories artists have won for humanity. History has shown that these imaginative movers and shakers are a force with which to be reckoned with. Through this volume, we hope readers will vicariously experience the work of these brave figures, reflect on their commitments and achievements, and continue to dream a better world full of possibility.

The authors for this issue of Building Leadership Bridges will call for papers, essays and creative works that explore the intersection of grassroots leadership and the arts for social change. The editors expect each submission to be supported by a theoretical, philosophical, and/or disciplinary grounding. We will seek traditional scholarly articles/essays, personal reflective narratives, ethnographies, plays, poetry, visual art, and photo essays, as well as reports of research and discussions of how educators and practitioners have used these concepts in their classrooms, in their personal development, and in leadership workshops.

Questions for Stimulation

The editors of this volume offer a set of guiding questions to stimulate your thinking about Grassroots Leadership & The Arts For Social Change:

Areas for Submission

The editors welcome previously unpublished submissions that explore the theme Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change from diverse perspectives, disciplines, cultures and sectors. Submissions should strengthen ties among those who study, practice and foster effective leadership. Submissions will be considered in five areas that help us understand leadership and leading at the intersections of research or theory, application, experience, and art.

Submission Guidelines

Send submissions electronically as two WORD DOCUMENTS to ILA Communications Director, Debra DeRuyver at dderuyver@ila-net.org by December 1, 2015 with the subject line: Submission - BLB 2017 Grassroots Leadership and the Arts.

Your submission must include:
Additional requirements: PLEASE NOTE: All submissions must meet these guidelines except artistic works. If guidelines are not met, submission may be excluded from consideration.

NOTE ON MULTIMEDIA SUBMISSIONS: If your abstract is selected, you are welcome to write a complete chapter that references videos, photos, etc. that are available for the reader to peruse on your website. However, at this time, we do not plan to produce a multimedia companion to the book.


Abstracts will be reviewed in December and invitations to submit complete chapters will be sent out late December. If you do not hear back from ILA by January 4, 2016 regarding your submitted abstract, please contact us at dderuyver@ila-net.org.