Jennifer StoeverThe Sonic Color Line

In The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Practices of Listening (NYU), Sounding Out! Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Lynn Stoever (SUNY Binghamton) excavates an archive that spans a century of audio-visual materials, performance reviews, and African American literature to present the relationship between the sonics of race and the historical racialization of listening. Stoever engages black performers and writers as theorists of listening to demonstrate how listening can serve as a mode of decolonization. In August, Maria Murphy (University of Pennsylvania) spoke with Stoever about the politics of voicing and listening, sound studies, and how Colin Kaepernick hears the national anthem. [Read the full post…]


2018 IASPM-US Call for Nominations

by Jarek Ervin on November 29, 2017

The US branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music is seeking applications for the following positions:

  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Open Seat, Executive Board
  • Open Seat, Executive Board
  • Student Seat, Executive Board

The committee is accepting self-nominations as well as recommendations of fitting nominees that we should approach to apply. [Read the full post…]


IASPM-US/UC Press Agreement

by Jarek Ervin on November 6, 2017

The International Association for the Study of Popular Music, U.S. chapter (IASPM-US), is very pleased to announce that beginning January 1, 2018, its long-standing journal, Journal of Popular Music Studies, will be published by University of California Press.

At University of California Press, Journal of Popular Music Studies will join a journals list that includes some of the leading titles in musicology, such as the Journal of the American Musicological Society, The Journal of Musicology, and Nineteenth-Century Music, as well as interdisciplinary offerings such as Representations and Boom California. [Read the full post…]


Tim LawrenceLife and Death on the New York Dance Floor

In Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983, Tim Lawrence (University of East London) recalls a largely unknown history of the New York party scene in the early 1980s. Lawrence shows that in this period, New York was home to a cultural renaissance that flourished until Reaganomics, gentrification, and the HIV/AIDS crisis transformed the social and economic fabric of the city. In so doing, he complicates conventional narratives of popular music history, arguing that lines between punk, disco, and hip hop were far from clear in the New York music scene. In September, IASPM-US web editor Jarek Paul Ervin (Westminster Choir College) spoke to Lawrence via Skype, discussing the untold story of 1980s party culture, the complicated social map of New York’s music scene, and the democratic ideals of the New York dance floor. [Read the full post…]


Interview Series: Oliver Wang, Legions of Boom

by Jarek Ervin on October 2, 2017

Oliver WangLegions of Boom

In Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews in the San Francisco Bay Area (Duke, 2015), Journal of Popular Music Studies editor Oliver Wang (California State University, Long Beach) takes readers behind the decks of pioneering mobile DJ crews in the late 1970s and 1980s. There, Wang shines a spotlight on a hidden subculture of Filipino American musicians and fans thriving in garages, high school gymnasiums, and community halls. Through interviews with iconic regional crews such as Ultimate Creations, Spintronix, and Images Inc.—as well as with international household names such as DJ Qbert of The Rock Steady Crew and Invisibl Skratch Piklz—Wang highlights how, without these crews, DJing today would look very different. Recently, Wang spoke over the phone with Shawn Higgins (New Mexico Tech), delving into subjects such as Wang’s own experience as a DJ, the similarities between academia and DJing, and the importance of bringing untold stories to the surface. [Read the full post…]


IASPM-US Statement on Charlottesville

by Jarek Ervin on August 19, 2017

Woody Guthrie wore a guitar that bore the slogan, “This Machine Kills Fascists.”

Nina Simone exclaimed, “Mississippi Goddam” in connection with racism and civil rights violence.

Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar issued a demand for the “Freedom” that is still denied to many people.

With these gestures and so many more, popular musicians have raised their voices and taken a stand against racism, hatred, discrimination, and the corruption of power in its various forms.

The International Association for the Study of Popular Music, U.S. Chapter (IASPM-US), stands with this history of opposition to fascism and white supremacy, and condemns in the strongest terms the actions of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist individuals and organizations that marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12-13, 2017.

We reject the suggestion made by President Trump and many other public commentators that there is any equivalence to be drawn between those marching in support of racist, anti-Semitic and fascist views and those marching to oppose such views.

We stand in solidarity with the students, staff and faculty of the University of Virginia, and the people of Charlottesville, who were victimized by the actions of the white supremacists that marched upon their town and campus.

We recognize that the history of popular music in the U.S. and abroad is inseparable from histories of racial and other forms of inequality, and we pledge to continue to enrich our understanding of how these histories intersect.

The events in Charlottesville remind us that in this time of intense political division, university campuses and academia at large are on the front lines of current conflicts. IASPM-US affirms its commitment to creating a safe and inclusive space for all its members and all who participate in activities or engage in dialogue under its name. We furthermore confirm our commitment to continuing to work to make IASPM-US a better, more inclusive organization that can continue to serve as a resource for fostering serious research and dialogue into how popular music matters in times of political trouble.


The IASPM-US Executive Committee

Steve Waksman, Katherine Meizel, Esther Morgan-Ellis, S. Alexander Reed, Mark J. Butler, Oliver Wang, Diane Pecknold, Jarek Paul Ervin, Pippin Bongiovanni, Daniel Goldmark, Robin James, Theo Cateforis, Shana Redmond, Elijah Wald, Tiffany Naiman, Reebee Garofalo


IASPM-US Survey: Win a Free Membership!

by Jarek Ervin on August 17, 2017

The IASPM-US Membership & Communications Committee is asking all IASPM-US members, as well as former and lapsed members, to complete this survey on the organization and its future. The survey should take about 15-20 minutes to complete. In exchange, we will be holding a drawing for 3 participating scholars to win free one-year IASPM-US membership renewals. To enter in the drawing, you will enter your email address and employment status following the completion of the survey. 3 drawings will take place to determine the 3 recipients. One of the 3 drawings will be reserved solely for students, contingent faculty, and underemployed scholars. Email addresses will not be linked to survey answers, and will only be used for drawing purposes. IASPM-US Executive Committee and Membership Committee members are not eligible for the drawings.

Please follow this link to take the survey. The survey will be open until Tuesday, September 5. Your participation will be essential to growing and improving our organization for the years to come. Thank you!

Victor Szabo, Tim Anderson, Pippin Bongiovanni, Rebekah Farrugia, and Esther Morgan-Ellis (The IASPM-US Membership & Communications Committee)


Interview Series: Matt Brennan, When Genres Collide

by Jarek Ervin on August 14, 2017

Matt BrennanWhen Genres Collide

In When Genres Collide: Down Beat, Rolling Stone, and the Struggle Between Jazz and Rock (Bloomsbury, 2017), Matt Brennan (University of Edinburgh) offers a deceptively simple contention: “we cannot take for granted the fact that jazz and rock would ultimately become separate musical cultures” (p. 2). Through an in-depth analysis of the popular music press—focused primarily on Down Beat and Rolling Stone—Brennan argues that the seemingly separate genres of jazz and rock formed in relation to one another. Along the way, Brennan takes readers on an engaging journey through the history of genre discourse, convincingly demonstrating the importance of both live performance and music criticism in shaping the boundaries of genres and popular music more generally. Recently, Brennan and Monique Bourdage (Finlandia University) discussed When Genres Collide over email, focusing on the development of Brennan’s project, the broader field of popular music studies, and the music critic misfits who celebrated the blurring of jazz and rock. [Read the full post…]


Carol J. OjaBernstein Meets Broadway

In Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in the Time of War (Oxford University Press, 2014), Carol J. Oja explores the 1944 original Broadway production of On the Town through a number of overlapping stories: the creators’ previous influential works (including Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free and Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s work in the Revuers), the careers of Japanese American ballerina Sono Osato and the African American members of the cast and orchestra, and Bernstein’s compositional process. Along the way, Oja chronicles the quick and successful collaborative efforts of the young group and their project to combine commercial and “high” arts. Elsa Marshall sat down with Oja to discuss the challenges of weaving together diverse historical narratives, the politics of race and gender in film and theater, and the importance of efforts to digitize historical black newspapers. [Read the full post…]

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

The current president of IASPM-US, Steve Waksman, has released this statement regarding its relationship to Wiley and the Journal of Popular Music Studies, signed by a number of former members of the JPMS editorial board:

For years now the relationship between Wiley, IASPM-US, and the editors of Journal of Popular Music Studies has been strained. As a result, we are in the process of terminating our relationship with Wiley and finding a new publisher. Unfortunately, because of the stipulations of the contract we have with Wiley, this will mean that we have to leave JPMS behind and begin a new journal more or less from scratch.

Several weeks ago, the full editorial board of JPMS, including its two current editors, Diane Pecknold and Oliver Wang, agreed to resign en masse. We did so with the understanding that this would put us in a position of strength as we conduct a search for a new publisher and work to establish a new journal dedicated to popular music studies that will better serve the membership of the organization and better reflect its intellectual mission.

Wiley has now begun to contact former editorial board members who have already given notice of their resignation, trying to invite them back into service with the journal. We are posting this announcement to make sure that all IASPM-US members and members of the broader popular music studies community understand the circumstances surrounding the status of JPMS. Any inquiries can be directed to the current IASPM-US president, Steve Waksman, or the two journal editors, Diane Pecknold and Oliver Wang.


Christine Bacareza Balance
Harris Berger
Marisol Berríos-Miranda
David Brackett
Norma Coates
Rebekah Farrugia
Raul Fernandez
Murray Forman
Reebee Garofalo
Jason Hanley
Anthony Kwame Harrison
Deborah Pacini Hernandez
Ellie M. Hisama
Hua Hsu
Steve Jones
Loren Kajikawa
Anahid Kassabian
Beverly Keel
Josh Kun
Portia Maultsby
Mark Anthony Neal
Deborah Paredez
Devon Powers
Emmett Price
Rachel Rubin
Joseph Schloss
Barry Shank
Jennifer Stoever
David Suisman
Matt Stahl
Karen Tongson
Deborah Vargas
Carol Vernallis
Shane Vogel
Steve Waksman
Gayle Wald
Eric Weisbard


The Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellowship in Musical Study

June 20, 2017

Robert Walser, president of IASPM-US from 2003-2005, has with Susan McClary established a major new fellowship to support scholarly work on music. The Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellowship in Musical Study was announced by the American Council of Learned Societies on June 15, 2017. The fellowship will be awarded annually through the ACLS, and […]

Read the full article →

Interview Series: Brad Osborn, Everything in its Right Place

May 31, 2017

In Everything in its Right Place: Analyzing Radiohead (Oxford, 2016), Brad Osborn explores how musical analysis can help reveal the processes through which listeners construct meaning. Drawing from music cognition, sound studies, and music theory, Osborn synthesizes a variety of approaches to illuminate Radiohead’s often enigmatic songs. Everything in its Right Place navigates Radiohead’s oeuvre […]

Read the full article →

Interview Series: Michael Heller, Loft Jazz

May 1, 2017

In Loft Jazz: Improvising New York in the 1970s (UC Press, 2016), Michael Heller explores the complex history of the loft jazz scene. This past March, John Petrucelli conducted an expansive interview with Heller, examining the entangled archival, social, and historical dynamics explored in the book. Loft Jazz weaves a narrative arc that relies upon […]

Read the full article →

2018 IASPM-US Conference CFP

April 17, 2017

IASPM-US has released CFP for the 2018 conference. It will be held March 8-11, 2018 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. The theme will be “Going To The Country: Pastoral-National-Musical.” Proposals will be due by Midnight by Sunday, October 1. For the full CFP, visit our conference page here; the call is also available as […]

Read the full article →

IASPM-US Website Newsletter (April 2017)

April 6, 2017

Welcome to April! This is the first installment of the IASPM-US Website Newsletter, which will come out at the beginning of each month with announcements, updates to the website, and calls for material.

Read the full article →