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About International Country Music Conference

The International Country Music Conference (ICMC) provides scholars an opportunity to share their work in all aspects of country music. ICMC broadly defines country music to include variants which share common historical and cultural roots ranging from Americana,, Bluegrass, Cajun, Country Rock, Crossover, and Honky Tonk to the Nashville Sound, New Traditionalist, Old Time Country, and Western Swing. ICMC is truly international with scholars from Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, and the United Kingdom participating. The conference averages around 100 attendees with all presentations in one room, making it a welcoming community for first timers.

Our History

The International Country Music Conference (ICMC) began in 1983 by Dr. James Akenson and Dr. Charles Wolfe,  held in Meridian, Mississippi in conjunction with the Jimmie Rogers Memorial Festival. ICMC moved to Belmont University near Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee in 1998. It has been held annually since it started, with the exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Making 2024 the 40th ICMC. Countless books, articles, and other projects in country music scholarship credit ICMC as a starting point or major influence. Two ICMC attendees who met at the conference, even got married! 

ICMC Board

The current Co-Chairs of the International Country Music Conference are:

Dr. James Akenson, Tennessee Tech University (1983)

Dr. Don Cusic, Belmont University (1998)

Olivia Beaudry, Center for Popular Music, Middle Tennessee State University (2022)

Dr. Jada Watson, University of Ottawa (2023)

The purpose of ICMC is to carry out educational projects in order to assist in the dissemination of accurate information and research dealing with all aspects of Country Music scholarship.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: The International Country Music Conference’s goal is to create an inclusive, respectful event environment that invites participation from people of all ages, abilities, races, ethnicities, gender identities or expressions, sexual orientations, religions (or lack thereof), and educational levels. We expect all participants to bring their own human experience in partaking in this inclusive community.

While ICMC has always been a non-profit being based out of Tennessee Tech University since 1983, in 2023 ICMC became its own 501(c) (3) in the State of Tennessee.

Click here to see a full copy of ICMC's bylaws.

Get in Touch


James Akenson: 931.372.3066


International Country Music Conference

MTSU Box 41

1301 East Main Street

Murfreesboro, TN 37132


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