Forum für akustische Kunst

Denken, Schreiben, Treffen

Symposium in Otago

Irgendwie zur Benennung des neuen Berliner Kulturstaatssekretärs in Berlin passend startet der  Fachbereich Medien, Film und Kommunikation der Universität von Otago ein Symposium, dessen Titel sich wie eine Gebrauchsanweisung für Tim Renner liest: “Music / Media / Politics”.

Das Symposium findet am 16. April statt. Einreichungen für kreative Beiträge sind erwünscht.


“Popular music is one of the key cultural sites for contemporary political struggle. In the media, we see rock songs and stars harnessed by politicians in order to gain credibility with demographics and the antics of pop stars generate public discussion on issues such as gender, race, class and sexuality.

However, music is most often encountered as a part of our everyday mediated lives. These moments of banal engagement – listening to music on the train, pirating tracks at work, following musicians on twitter – are also political. Media representations of music (music videos, social media feeds, lyrics etc.), as well as the experience of ‘musicking’, reveal the machinations of the contemporary music culture industry – as well as potential spaces of negotiation and resistance by consumers and producers.

Possible areas of inquiry include

·         music and cultural publics

·         music and radical politics

·         politics of media representations in music

·         music subcultures / music scenes

·         political-economies of music and social media

·         music and the ‘blogosphere’

·         music modalities (the return of the record etc.)

·         politics of music and the ‘retro revival’


Keynote: Boots Riley

Acclaimed hip-hop artist and radical activist, BOOTS RILEY, will be the keynote speaker for our symposium. Boots fronts radical hip-hop outfit THE COUP, who have released six albums since 1999. As a lyricist, Boots is one of the most outspoken critics of contemporary neoliberalism in the global music scene.

Boots is also a radical activist. He played a key role in the ‘Occupy Oakland’ movement and has been involved in numerous grassroots campaigns in California and the USA more broadly.

Boots is travelling to New Zealand to play two shows and then heading to Melbourne as a keynote speaker for Marxism 2014. This is an excellent chance to engage with one of contemporary music’s most prolific activists!

(more info: http://bootsriley.tumblr.com)


Submission details

We are calling for twenty minute papers on the topic of ‘music / media / politics’. We encourage interdisciplinary submissions, postgraduates and early career researchers to apply.

Please submit a short abstract (no more than 250 words) and 100 word bio by 14th March 2014 to



Free (tea and coffee provided)



We will compile selected papers arising from the Symposium for publication as a special issue of a relevant, peer-reviewed, academic journal 


Rosemary Overell
Media Film and Communication
The University of Otago
Dunedin NZ 9016


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