Nona Willis Aronowitz, ed, Ellen Willis, Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press)
This curated project demonstrates Ellen Willis’ importance as a female critic writing in the male-dominated era of 1970s rock. Willis’ writing is truly interdisciplinary, breaking down boundaries between journalism and scholarship as well as between fandom and analytical detachment. It is an important feminist recovery/recognition project, and an invaluable contribution to the fields of popular music, music history, and women’s and gender studies.
Kevin Fellezs, Birds of Fire: Jazz, Rock, Funk and the Creation of Fusion (Durham, Duke University Press)
Birds of Fire is an engaging, well researched and argued interdisciplinary study of a long vilified musical movement. Fellezs’ book destabilizes our concept of genre itself, by analyzing the porousness between musical styles and traditions, and the complex power relations involved in the politics of borrowing and sharing of forms. Fellezs work not only makes a crucial contribution to jazz and rock studies but suggests approaches to the wider study of the production of popular music.
This year’s prize committee consisted of Jayna Brown (chair), Christine Balance, and Ulrich Adelt. The award was presented at the University of Texas at Austin during the IASPM-US 2013 Annual Conference on March 2, 2013.
IASPM-US represents the U.S. branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, a 700-member international organization established to promote inquiry, scholarship and analysis in the area of popular music. IASPM-US, which has about 200 members, publishes the peer-reviewed Journal of Popular Music Studies (with Blackwell Publishing), holds conferences, and encourages research projects designed to advance an understanding of popular music.