by carl wilson

Pop Goes the Conference, 2008


Already! Here's the call for papers for next year's EMP Pop Conference. I think it's the perfect subject for a U.S. election year and also the perfect subject to shake up the sometimes-too-unassertive style that's prevailed at the past couple of conferences: When what you need is more arguments, have a conference about arguments. That's the spirit. Also very glad that the smart cookies on the planning committee configured the question around "conflict and change" rather than "protest and politics," which would be the more standard and also much less useful way of looking at it. Haven't conceived a topic yet but I'm excited.

Call for Papers: 2008 Pop Conference at Experience Music Project
Shake, Rattle: Music, Conflict, and Change
April 10-13, 2008, Seattle, Washington

How does music resist, negate, struggle? Can pop music intensify vital confrontations, as well as ameliorating and concealing them? What happens when people are angry and silly love songs aren't enough? The migrations and global flows of peoples and cultures; the imbalanced struggles between groups, classes, and nations: what has music's role been in these ongoing dramas? We invite presentations on any era, sound, or geographic region. Topics might include:
- In conjunction with the new EMP exhibit, "American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music," how Latino musics have shaped the American soundscape and challenge black and white rock-pop paradigms, or more broadly, the unsettling effects of immigration, internal migration, displacement, assimilation, and colonization.
- How music enters politics: social movements and activist responses to crises such as New Orleans; entertainment's connection to ideology and propaganda; music within "cultural policy" and as part of the public sphere; debates over copyright, corporate power, and cultural democracy; performing dissent.
- Social and musical fragmentation: segregation and constructions of whiteness, divisions of class and gender, versus musical categorization and niche marketing, from big genres to smaller forms such as "freak folk."
- "Revolution" as a recurrent theme in popular music, a social or technological reality it confronts, or an association with particular genres and decades of music.
- Clashes between communal, local, identity - tradition, faith, nativism - and cosmopolitan, global, modernization.
- Music in times of war, economic crisis, adolescence, and other intense stress
- Agents of change: tipping points, latent historical shifts, carnivalesque subversions, and accidents or failures of consequence
- The sound of combative pop: what sets it apart?

Send proposals to Eric Weisbard (EricW AT empsfm DOT org) by December 17, 2007; please keep them to 250 words and a 50 word bio. Full panel proposals, bilingual submissions, and unusual approaches are welcome. For questions, contact the organizer or program committee members: Joshua Clover (UC Davis), Kandia Crazy Horse (editor, Rip it Up: The Black Experience in Rock 'n' Roll), Simon Frith (University of Edinburgh), Holly George-Warren (author, Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry), Michelle Habell-Pallan (University of Washington), Michele Myers (KEXP), Ann Powers (L.A. Times), Joe Schloss (NYU), RJ Smith (Los Angeles magazine), Ned Sublette (author, Cuba and its Music), and Sam Vance (EMP).

The Pop Conference at EMP, now in its seventh year, joins academics, critics, writers of all kinds, and performers in a rare common discussion. Our second collection, Listen Again: A Momentary History of Pop Music, will be published by Duke University Press in November. The conference is sponsored by the Seattle Partnership for American Popular Music (Experience Music Project, the University of Washington School of Music, and KEXP 90.3 FM), through a grant from the Allen Foundation for Music.

General | Posted by zoilus on Friday, September 07 at 3:23 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (2)



On the topic of "academic dissection of popular music" you may enjoy reading "On the Efficiency of AC/DC: Bon Scott versus Brian Johnson" by Robert J. Oxoby, Department of Economics, University of Calgary

OK, it's slightly off-topic, but I thought you'd find it amusing.

Posted by Michelangelo on September 11, 2007 6:33 AM



Dang, I'm sorry I missed last year's "Dudes With Gender-Ambiguous Names But Compensatory Dark Sport Coats" Panel.

I had a gig tonight. I meant to wear my dark sport coat but never put it on again once I started setting up. In my case, my dark sport coat is compensatory for my washtub abs. I guess I tried to hide behind my guitar.

Music and conflict.

In Seattle, when business owners want to drive off young black male loiterers, they traditionally have blasted country music, though some businesses started leaning toward classical recently.

We played a free-jazz-style version of "God Bless America" in medley with "I Come And Stand at Every Door" tonight. We also did our terror-stricken blues-rockin' cover of "Last Train to Clarksville," which Micky Dolenz's memoir confirms was about a guy being drafted to go to Vietnam -- "I don't know if I'm ever coming home."

Our anti-war bit. What does that mean? It means -- there's a lot to rage and grieve over. Music is one vehicle for that -- one vessel. And in public, communal raging and grieving, there can be a joy of solidarity.

Talk about compensatory.

"We'll have time for coffee-flavored kisses and a bit of conversation."

Sometimes that line makes me cry.

Posted by john on September 8, 2007 2:58 AM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson