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CfP: “Notes on Deconstructing Popular Music”

Vorschläge zum Thema in all seinen Facetten für die Konferenz in Lawrenceville, USA, werden bis zum 15. Oktober entgegengenommen.

Einzelheiten aus dem Call:

“CFP: Notes on Deconstructing Popular Music (Studies): Global Media and
Critical Interventions

As the director of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at
Birmingham, Stuart Hall (1932-2014) called for a groundbreaking critical
practice that takes seriously the political heart of popular culture,
“one of the sites where this struggle for and against a culture of the
powerful is engaged: it is the stake to be won or lost in that
struggle.” From the contours of digital video’s gendered representation,
to the politics of ethnicity in the recording studio, to the affect of
co-movement on the dancefloor, the sounds and styles of popular music
both reproduce and trouble the cultural status quo. Popular music
studies itself also unfolds on contested political terrain, as we
struggle to transform–rather than reproduce–pop’s place in the
discourses and practices of dominant world systems.
Hall outlines a popular cultural studies that offers an intervention
into established regimes of representation, and the 2015 IASPM-US
conference takes up his mandate for “the deadly seriousness of
intellectual work” on popular culture. In a neoliberal age in which the
substance of political struggle organizes around unequal flows of global
capital and the elusive politics of everyday empowerment and
disempowerment, popular music studies becomes an amplifier by which the
radically contested and otherwise fugitive strains of musical practice
become audible. Here, the study of Black aesthetics, youth culture,
disability, socioeconomic class, postcoloniality, queer identities, and
Third World feminisms, among others, hangs together with attention to
the textures of musical composition as well as the patterns of global
media markets.
Hall locates the struggles of power in the realm of aesthetics and
politics. Central to this work is a nuanced consideration of the ways in
which media (for McLuhan, “any technology by which the human body is
extended”) serve both to reproduce established discourses and to
generate new possibilities for artistic liberation, decolonization,
self-authorship, and the imagination of alternative futures. Popular
music studies mobilizes an inclusive concept of media studies that
acknowledges dominant global digitalities alongside subcultural,
stylistic, and other “off-label” engagements with media technologies. In
order to account for the breadth and depth of musical practice, the
field binds together an engagement with aesthetics, the textures of
technology, and the politics of difference.
The 2015 IASPM-US conference will revisit the genealogies of critique
that shape popular music studies’ longstanding intervention into
discourses on culture, media, and power. An approach that takes into
account the radical contexts of musicmaking is key to documenting
processes of empowerment and disempowerment in pop. It calls for an
understanding of, in Hall’s words, “the effect of the unseen ‘work’—that
which takes place out of consciousness, in the relationship between
creative practice and deep currents of change.” The field honors Hall’s
legacy by practicing popular music studies while simultaneously
reflecting on its theoretical and critical arcs. We enthusiastically
welcome proposals that creatively engage both popular music and the
broader field of cultural and media studies, particularly through these
key discourses:

1. Roots and Routes
While popular music studies continues to critically mine the genealogies
of genres, lyrics, styles, and sounds in pop, we ask how the field can
also better foster a complex, multilinear engagement with globalization,
diaspora, and the mobility of musical practices. Reflexively, what
continuities does pop music studies have with other modes of engaging
music, culture, politics, and history, and how can attention to these
strengthen critical work? Who are we as a body of scholars who converge
at IASPM-US, whom does the field currently include and exclude, and who
do we hope to be?

2. Defining the Struggle
What populations exist on the periphery of or fully outside dominant
world systems that control the flow of money, availability of vital
resources, and ease of mobility? When these populations make popular
music, what does it sound like, how does it circulate, and what
interventions become possible through these sounds? How has/does this
music fit into the field of popular music studies? In what ways might
popular music studies take up the political work of contributing to the
empowerment of the subaltern?

3. A Detour through Theory
What happens when we apply Hall’s mode of conjunctural analysis–a mode
of studying culture that takes into account the intersecting histories,
polyvalent meanings, cultural genealogies, media technologies, politics
of place and time, and other radical contexts that reverberate in a
given pop genre/scene/style? How can the field of popular music studies,
which so often draws from theories generated in literary studies, sound
studies, gender and sexuality studies, ethno/musicology, anthropology,
sociology, multicultural studies, philosophy, science and technology
studies,  and communication and media studies, articulate a theoretical
legacy from within?

4. Pedagogy and Intervention
The demands of work in the academy and contemporary media challenge pop
music scholars to balance theoretical rigor and readability that, like
popular music itself, reaches wide audiences. How can intellectual work
about popular music circulate in formalized, institutional settings as
well as in public venues? What are the opportunities and pitfalls of the
growing acceptance of popular music studies within academia? What role
do popular music scholars play in light of widespread de-funding of
higher education and the increasingly corporate model of university
administration?

5. Digital Media and Representation
How can popular music studies engage new developments in technology and
globalization both in terms of the increasing speed and thickness of
their networks, and in terms of their contested, polyvalent, and
problematic work in perpetuating global inequality? How do complex forms
of musical communication and representation shoot up through the
established regimes of representation and make space for new musical
possibilities?

Please submit proposals via Word document [last name_first name.docx] to
iaspmus2015@gmail.com by 15 October 2014. Individual presenters should
submit a paper title, 250-word abstract, and author information
including full name, institutional affiliation, email address, and a
50-word bio. Panel proposals, specifying either 90 minutes (three
presenters) or 120 (four), should include both 125-word overview and
250-word individual proposals (plus author information), or 250-word
overview and 50-word bios (plus names, affiliations, and email
addresses) for roundtable discussions.  Please indicate any audio,
visual, or other needs for the presentation; each room will have sound,
projector, and an RGB hookup. We also welcome unorthodox proposals that
do not meet the above criteria, including ideas for workshops, film
screenings, and other non-traditional formats.  All conference
participants must be registered IASMP-US members (it’s okay to register
after one’s proposal is accepted).  For membership information visit:
http://iaspm-us.net/membership/. For more information about the
conference, go to http://iaspm-us.net/conferences/ or send email
inquiries to
iaspmus2015@gmail.com.

Program co-chairs: Ali Colleen Neff (College of William and Mary) and
Justin D Burton (Rider University).
Program committee: Rebekah Farrugia (Oakland University), Luis-Manuel
Garcia (Freie Universität Berlin), Anthony Kwame Harrison (Virginia
Tech), Nadine Hubbs (University of Michigan), Elizabeth Lindau (Wesleyan
University), Larisa Mann (New York University), Shana Redmond
(University of Southern California), and Barry Shank (Ohio State
University).


Justin D Burton, PhD
justindburton.wordpress.com
Assistant Professor of Music
Rider University
School of Fine and Performing Arts
371 Fine Arts Building
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Executive Board, IASPM-US
iaspm-us.net
501-230-1271″

 

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