International Association for the Study of Popular Music (UK & Ireland) 2012 conference

Imagining Communities: Putting Popular Music in its Place

Albion … Chocolate City … Highway 61 … Route 66 … Wonderland … Strawberry Fields … the Crossroads … Beale Street … Haight Ashbury … Music City U.S.A. … Merseybeats … Madchester … Glastonbury

Popular music has always been affiliated with physical places, both literal and imaginary. It is one of the ways that the inhabitants of those locations define both their residence and themselves. To borrow the components of the title of Benedict Anderson’s widely read book, one of the most telling ways communities imagine themselves is acoustically. An indissoluble connection exists between musical expression and geography, both the landscape of actual locale and that conjured up by the mind. The persistent academic interest in the notion of scenes reflects this set of circumstances. So too does the research that examines how the state defines itself sonically and, in some cases, pursues its objectives with the assistance of acoustic apparatus, as in the torture of prisoners by a barrage of undesired sound. In addition, there are those composers, performers, compositions and performance practices that are thought to be quintessential expressions of states, peoples or defined populations.

This conference intends to examine this set of propositions across any possible array of musical forms, cultural practices, physical locations and imagined environments. It wishes to interrogate the ways in which geography and musicology can be affiliated.

Those “imagined communities”  can include those that form specifically about music (fan bases, subcultures, on-line communities) as well as those that form through the formal elements of compositions (the use of “we” or “us” in lyrical constructions or the composition of anthems). Examples for study will, we hope, be drawn across an array of media as well, so that the use of media not only in live and recorded performance but also in any other particular media – film, radio, television, digital space – can be considered. It is hoped as well that while the invited speakers and plenary members may well address Anglo-American circumstances, the presentations will consider any and all portions of the globe as well as the digital ether.

The conference takes place at Media City UK, Salford Quays from 5th – 7th September.More information can be found here..

http://www.smmp.salford.ac.uk/page/iaspm-2012

Published by kirstyfairclough

Kirsty Fairclough is Associate Dean: Research and Innovation in the School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford, UK and Chair of the University Women’s Voice Network. She has published widely on popular culture and am the co-editor of The Music Documentary: Acid Rock to Electropop (Routledge), The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment (Bloomsbury) and Music/Video: Forms, Aesthetics, Media. New York, (Bloomsbury) and author of the forthcoming Beyoncé: Celebrity Feminism and Popular Culture (I.B Tauris) and co-author of American Cinema: A Contemporary Introduction (Palgrave). Her work has been published in Senses of Cinema, Feminist Media Studies, SERIES and Celebrity Studies journals and she has made several television and radio appearances. Kirsty has lectured internationally on popular culture, feminism and representations of women most notably at The Royal College of Music, Stockholm, The University of Copenhagen, Second City, Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, Middle Tennessee State University, Unisinos Brazil and Bucknell University, Pennsylvania. She has significant experience in international partnership development, particularly in North America and developed the Salford Popular Culture Conference series with international partner universities, including I’ll See You Again in 25 Years, Twin Peaks and Generations of Cult Television: A Two Day International Conference (University of Salford, May 2015) and Mad Men: The Conference (Middle Tennessee State University, May 2016) and Purple Reign: An interdisciplinary conference on the life and legacy of Prince, a three day international academic conference hosted by the School of Arts and Media, University of Salford, UK and the Department of Recording Industry, Middle Tennessee State University, USA.

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