Call for Papers: 78-88: Prince, The First Decade. An Interdisciplinary Conference

Call for Papers

78-88: Prince, The First Decade: An Interdisciplinary Conference.

A two-day international conference hosted by
The School of Arts and Media, University of Salford, United Kingdom
and the Department of Recording Industry, Middle Tennessee State University, USA.

June 3 & 4, 2020,
The Robert E. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, University of Minnesota, 2001 Plymouth Ave. N., Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Organising Committee:

Dr Mike Alleyne, Dept. of Recording Industry, College of Media & Entertainment, Middle Tennessee State University.

Dr Kirsty Fairclough, School of Arts and Media, University of Salford, UK.

Kristen Zschomler, Minneapolis-based historian and writer, Sound History, LLC.

Proposals are invited for a two-day international, interdisciplinary conference on Prince during the first decade of his career. The conference aims to provide fresh perspectives on the creative and commercial emergence of Prince as an artist during the period 1978-1988 and seeks to address Prince’s significant influence on popular culture during this time.

The first decade laid the foundation of his creatively fruitful career and established Prince as both a musical and cinematic artist, as well as a complete entertainer. The conference invites explorations of elements that established the cornerstones of Prince’s identities and offers opportunities for interconnecting stylistic components of the albums through which he asserted his creative authority.

We welcome proposals from scholars in the fields of popular music studies, sound studies, gender studies, cultural studies, television studies, celebrity studies, film studies, visual arts, performance studies, digital and social media and related disciplines.

Proposals for are invited for 20-minute papers and panels.
Single and panel proposals are invited on, but are not limited to, the following which must focus on the period 1978-1988:

• Prince and Minneapolis, including the Northside.
• Prince as musician.
• Prince as songwriter.
• Prince as producer.
• Prince as auteur.
• Prince and fandom.
• Prince and racial representations.
• Prince, feminism and gender relations.
• Prince and performance style.
• Prince’s music videos.
• Prince and fashion.
• Prince as star/celebrity.
• Prince and media representations.
• Prince as enigma.
• Prince and films, including writing, acting, directing, and soundtracks.
• Prince as mentor.

Submission guidelines:

Please send: (1) a 250-word abstract, (2) a proposed title, (3) a clear indication of presentation format (4) institutional affiliation (if any), by Monday, September 30th, 2019 to:


The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson is not affiliated, associated, or connected with the 78-88: Prince, The First Decade Conference, nor has it in endorsed or sponsored the 78-88: Prince, The First Decade Conference. Further, the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson has not licensed any of its intellectual property to the 78-88: Prince, The First Decade Conference.

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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