2015 Conference



Conference Video

Download Conference Program (PDF)

Please consult the PDF program above for important information about registration and session locations, shuttles, and parking.

Program with Abstracts and Presenter Bios
Arrival Information
Membership and Conference Registration
Travel Arrangements
Conference Hotel
Book Exhibits and Advertisers
Theme and CFP

IASPM-US is pleased to announce that its 2015 annual conference will take place at the University of Louisville, February 19-22, 2015. UofL is a public metropolitan research university situated near the urban core of Kentucky’s largest city, which boasts thriving arts, music and culinary scenes. And some really excellent bourbon. The conference will give attendees a chance to experience both the university and the city, with events taking place on UofL’s Belknap Campus and at downtown galleries and museums. The conference schedule will run as follows: Thursday afternoon and evening: Stuart Hall symposium Friday and Saturday: Conference panels and late-night events Sunday: Morning reception and travel We look forward to seeing you in Louisville!

Arrival Information

Conference Check-In and Registration:  Please make sure you’ve registered for the conference in advance to help us ensure smooth check-in on site.  Conference check-in will take place at the following locations:

Thursday4:00 to 6:30 pm at the Muhammad Ali Center (144 N. Sixth Street)

Friday8:00 am to 4:00 pm outside of the Chao Auditorium (UofL Belknap Campus, Ekstrom Library, Lower Level)

Saturday8:00 to 10:30 am in the main lobby of the Bingham Humanities Building (UofL Belknap Campus) and 10:30 am to 4:00 pm outside of the Chao Auditorium (UofL Belknap Campus, Ekstrom Library, Lower Level)

Thursday Reception:  Please join us for a special opening reception Thursday, February 19  from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (715 W Main Street).  Enjoy food, wine, beer and bourbon and the museum’s current exhibit “White Glove Test:  Louisville Punk Flyers, 1978-1994.”  Catch up with old friends, make some new friends, and pick up your conference packet if you have pre-registered.   The museum is half a mile west of the conference hotel.

Getting Around Louisville and UofL Conference sessions will take place at the Muhammad Ali Center and the Belknap Campus of the University of Louisville. PDF and interactive maps of the campus are available here. Most sessions will take place in Ekstrom Library at 2301 S. Third Street.

The conference hotel is located at the edge of Whiskey Row in downtown Louisville, providing easy pedestrian access to off-campus conference venues and a variety of excellent nearby restaurants. The hotel is approximately 3 miles from campus, and a continuous free shuttle will be provided during session hours.

Daytime shuttle (look for the yellow school bus with the IASPM-US sign in the window):  The shuttle will depart from the Courtyard Marriott on the hour and half hour beginning at 7:30 am, stop briefly at the Hyatt Regency, and arrive on campus 10-15 minutes later.  Return shuttles will leave from the IASPM-US shuttle stop on campus (see conference program) on the :15 and :45 of each hour.  The final return shuttle will leave campus 15 minutes after the last session of the day.

Evening shuttle (look for the white 15-passenger van with the IASPM-US sign in the window):  On Friday and Saturday evenings, 15-passenger vans will circulate continuously between the Courtyard Louisville Downtown and the event venues, departing from each location approximately every 15 minutes. If you need emergency information about the location of the evening shuttle closest to you, you can reach a driver at 502-939-1009.

If you are driving, you will find parking in the Speed Museum Parking Garage adjacent to Ekstrom library. Parking there is $7 a day. Parking in the Courtyard Downtown Marriott garage is complimentary for hotel guests.  

Membership and Conference Registration

IASPM-US Membership Before registering for the 2015 IASPM-US conference in Louisville, each attendee must first become a member of IASPM-US, or renew an existing membership (membership in an IASPM branch is required for conference attendees, whether or not they are presenting). To initiate or renew membership in IASPM-US, please visit Wiley-Blackwell. Membership in IASPM-US brings with it many benefits, from full website access to a free subscription to our in-house publication (the Journal of Popular Music Studies) to participation in a network of like-minded colleagues. Membership in IASPM-US also allows you to make presentations at our conferences. Moreover, as a member of IASPM-US you become a member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music and will receive the International’s newsletter, Review of Popular Music. All rates include membership in the US and International chapters of IASPM and a subscription to JPMS. Dues are as follows:

Individual memberships US $70 Student membership US $39 Unwaged membership US $45 Joint memberships US $81

Registration Registration is now open for IASPM-US 2015 in Louisville. Early registration is available only until January 15th.  Also, be sure to make hotel reservations early.

Full-time undergraduate early registration: $30 Full-time graduate student early registration: $60 Unwaged early registration: $75 Early registration $100 Sustaining registration $150*

*Registration at the “sustaining” level allows us to keep fees as low as possible for students and unwaged attendees as low as possible.  Thank you for your support. After January 15th, registration fees increase to:

Full-time undergraduate registration: $40 Full-time graduate student registration: $75 Unwaged registration: $100 Regular registration $125 Sustaining registration $150*




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Travel Arrangements

Airport: Louisville International Airport (SDF) is approximately 6 miles from the conference hotel, and it takes about 15 minutes to get from the hotel to the airport in normal traffic. The airport is about 3 miles from the UofL campus.

Driving: Directions to Ekstrom Library are available here. Directions to the Courtyard Marriott Downtown are available here. For those driving from the hotel to the conference sessions, the closest visitor parking is the Speed Museum Parking Garage. Parking there is $8 a day.

Airport Ground Transportation: Taxis are readily available at the airport and the fare to the Courtyard Marriott Downtown is about $20. Upon advance request, the conference hotel provides complimentary shuttle service. Contact the hotel for more information.

Train and Bus: Louisville is served by both train and bus. The stations are in downtown Louisville, about 3 miles from the conference hotel.

UofL Campus:  Conference sessions will take place on the Belknap Campus of the University of Louisville. PDF and interactive maps of the campus are available here. Most sessions will take place in Ekstrom Library at 2301 S. Third Street.

Getting Around: Downtown Louisville and the UofL campus are both friendly to pedestrians. Downtown conference venues are within walking distance of the conference hotel, and taxis are readily available in the area for those who prefer not to walk. A number of lunch options are available within a 3-10 minute walking radius of Ekstrom Library, and there is a coffee shop serving pastries, sandwiches, and wraps in the library. The UofL campus is not within walking distance of the conference hotel. A free shuttle will circulate continuously between the conference hotel and Ekstrom Library during session hours.

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Courtyard Louisville Downtown
A block of rooms has been reserved for conference attendees at the Courtyard Louisville Downtown at a special rate of $125. To reserve a room online please visit http://cwp.marriott.com/sdfdt/uofliaspmus/. To reserve a room by phone please call the hotel directly at 502-562-0200, provide your arrival / departure dates and tell the reservations agent that you are with IASPM-US. To receive the special rate, reservations must be made no later than January 21, 2015.

The Courtyard is the preferred conference hotel and the shuttle to the University of Louisville campus will depart from and return to this location.

Hyatt Regency Louisville
A second block of rooms has been reserved at the Hyatt Regency at a discounted rate of $125/night for single-double; $150 triple; $175 quadruple occupancy rooms. To reserve a room online, please visit https://resweb.passkey.com/go/intlassnstudypopularmusic. To reserve a room by phone, please call toll free 1-888-421-1442 for a reservation specialist. You will need to reference the Hyatt Regency Louisville and the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. To receive the special rate, reservations must be made no later than January 19, 2015.

There are many additional hotels in downtown Louisville including several national chains and several local options.

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Book Exhibits and Advertisers

Please plan to spend some time browsing the exhibit space in the registration area.  Coffee and light refreshments will be served in the morning and at noon.  The exhibit features

  • Aurthur Fournier Fine and Rare
  • Ashgate Press
  • Bloomsbury Academic
  • Oxford University Press
  • RILM
  • Routledge
  • Vinyl Valet

And don’t forget to check out our program advertisers:

  • Academic Rights Press
  • Duke University Press
  • Guestroom Records
  • Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (Liverpool University Press)

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Call for Proposals (Abstracts Due October 15, 2014)

Notes on Deconstructing Popular Music (Studies): Global Media and Critical Interventions
International Association for the Study of Popular Music, US Branch 
2015 Annual Conference
Louisville, Kentucky, February 19 – 22, 2015

As the director of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham, Stuart Hall (1932-2014) called for a groundbreaking critical practice that takes seriously the political heart of popular culture, “one of the sites where this struggle for and against a culture of the powerful is engaged: it is the stake to be won or lost in that struggle…” From the contours of digital video’s gendered representation, to the politics of ethnicity in the recording studio, to the affect of co-movement on the dancefloor, the sounds and styles of popular music both reproduce and trouble the cultural status quo. Popular music studies itself also unfolds on contested political terrain, as we struggle to transform–rather than reproduce–pop’s place in the discourses and practices of dominant world systems.

Hall outlines a popular cultural studies that offers an intervention into established regimes of representation, and the 2015 IASPM-US conference takes up his mandate for “the deadly seriousness of intellectual work” on popular culture. In a neoliberal age in which the substance of political struggle organizes around unequal flows of global capital and the elusive politics of everyday empowerment and disempowerment, popular music studies becomes an amplifier by which the radically contested and otherwise fugitive strains of musical practice become audible. Here, the study of Black aesthetics, youth culture, disability, socioeconomic class, postcoloniality, queer identities, and Third World feminisms, among others, hangs together with attention to the textures of musical composition as well as the patterns of global media markets.

Hall locates the struggles of power in the realm of aesthetics and politics. Central to this work is a nuanced consideration of the ways in which media (for McLuhan, “any technology by which the human body is extended”) serve both to reproduce established discourses and to generate new possibilities for artistic liberation, decolonization, self-authorship, and the imagination of alternative futures. Popular music studies mobilizes an inclusive concept of media studies that acknowledges dominant global digitalities alongside subcultural, stylistic, and other “off-label” engagements with media technologies. In order to account for the breadth and depth of musical practice, the field binds together an engagement with aesthetics, the textures of technology, and the politics of difference.

The 2015 IASPM-US conference will revisit the genealogies of critique that shape popular music studies’ longstanding intervention into discourses on culture, media, and power. An approach that takes into account the radical contexts of musicmaking is key to documenting processes of empowerment and disempowerment in pop. It calls for an understanding of, in Hall’s words, “the effect of the unseen ‘work’—that which takes place out of consciousness, in the relationship between creative practice and deep currents of change.” The field honors Hall’s legacy by practicing popular music studies while simultaneously reflecting on its theoretical and critical arcs. We enthusiastically welcome proposals that creatively engage both popular music and the broader field of cultural and media studies, particularly through these key discourses:

1. Roots and Routes
While popular music studies continues to critically mine the genealogies of genres, lyrics, styles, and sounds in pop, we ask how the field can also better foster a complex, multilinear engagement with globalization, diaspora, and the mobility of musical practices. Reflexively, what continuities does pop music studies have with other modes of engaging music, culture, politics, and history, and how can attention to these strengthen critical work? Who are we as a body of scholars who converge at IASPM-US, whom does the field currently include and exclude, and who do we hope to be?

2. Defining the Struggle
What populations exist on the periphery of or fully outside dominant world systems that control the flow of money, availability of vital resources, and ease of mobility? When these populations make popular music, what does it sound like, how does it circulate, and what interventions become possible through these sounds? How has/does this music fit into the field of popular music studies? In what ways might popular music studies take up the political work of contributing to the empowerment of the subaltern?

3. A Detour through Theory
What happens when we apply Hall’s mode of conjunctural analysis–a mode of studying culture that takes into account the intersecting histories, polyvalent meanings, cultural genealogies, media technologies, politics of place and time, and other radical contexts that reverberate in a given pop genre/scene/style? How can the field of popular music studies, which so often draws from theories generated in literary studies, sound studies, gender and sexuality studies, ethno/musicology, anthropology, sociology, multicultural studies, philosophy, science and technology studies, and communication and media studies, articulate a theoretical legacy from within?

4. Pedagogy and Intervention
The demands of work in the academy and contemporary media challenge pop music scholars to balance theoretical rigor and readability that, like popular music itself, reaches wide audiences. How can intellectual work about popular music circulate in formalized, institutional settings as well as in public venues? What are the opportunities and pitfalls of the growing acceptance of popular music studies within academia? What role do popular music scholars play in light of widespread de-funding of higher education and the increasingly corporate model of university administration?

5. Digital Media and Representation
How can popular music studies engage new developments in technology and globalization both in terms of the increasing speed and thickness of their networks, and in terms of their contested, polyvalent, and problematic work in perpetuating global inequality? How do complex forms of musical communication and representation shoot up through the established regimes of representation and make space for new musical possibilities?

Please submit proposals via Word document [last name_first name.docx] to iaspmus2015@gmail.com by 15 October 2014. Individual presenters should submit a paper title, 250-word abstract, and author information including full name, institutional affiliation, email address, and a 50-word bio. Panel proposals, specifying either 90 minutes (three presenters) or 120 (four), should include both 125-word overview and 250-word individual proposals (plus author information), or 250-word overview and 50-word bios (plus names, affiliations, and email addresses) for roundtable discussions. Please indicate any audio, visual, or other needs for the presentation; each room will have sound, projector, and an RGB hookup. We also welcome unorthodox proposals that do not meet the above criteria, including ideas for workshops, film screenings, and other non-traditional formats. All conference participants must be registered IASPM-US members (it’s okay to register after one’s proposal is accepted). For membership information visit: http://iaspm-us.net/membership/. For more information about the conference, go to http://iaspm-us.net/conferences/ or send email inquiries to iaspmus2015@gmail.com.

Program co-chairs: Justin D. Burton (Rider University) and Ali Colleen Neff (College of William and Mary).
Program committee: Rebekah Farrugia (Oakland University), Luis-Manuel Garcia (Freie Universität Berlin), Anthony Kwame Harrison (Virginia Tech), Nadine Hubbs (University of Michigan), Elizabeth Lindau (Earlham College), Larisa Mann (New York University), Shana Redmond (University of Southern California), and Barry Shank (Ohio State University).