2014 Conference



Download Conference Program (PDF)

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

IASPM-US is excited to announce that its 2014 annual conference will be hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, March 13-16.  UNC is home to the Southern Folklife Collection and the Center for the Study of the American South, and is situated in the midst of a vibrant and storied local music scene. We look forward to continuing the fruitful relationship between IASPM-US and UNC in what will certainly be a vibrant weekend of popular music scholarship and creative practices.

Arrival Information

Registration:  Please make sure you’ve registered for the conference in advance through this website.  You’ll avoid long lines Friday morning and help us skip unnecessary extra paperwork.  It’s quick and easy!

Thursday Reception:  Please join us for a special opening reception Thursday, March 13th,  from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Center for the Study of the American South.  Location:  410 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill.  Food, wine, beer, local live music, an art exhibition, and a great way to kick off the conference!  Catch up with old friends, make some new friends, and pick up your conference packet if you have pre-registered.   The Center is about a mile from the hotel, right down the main strip in Chapel Hill, and a very pleasant walk, or catch the free “F” bus (eastbound) on the Chapel Hill Transit system.


Friday Morning:  conference check-in will begin at 8 a.m. in the Kenan Music Building, located on the corner of campus near the intersection of Franklin and Columbia.  Check-in, coffee, and exhibits will be in the Kenan Music Building Rehearsal Hall, room 1201.  A map of the music buildings is available here.

Getting Around UNC: maps are available here. Most conference activities will take place in Hill Hall, the Kenan Music Building, and Person Hall, all located near the intersection of Columbia and Franklin Streets. We will post detailed information on where to find conference registration, the exhibits and the welcome desk at a date closer to the conference.

To stay up-to-date on the 2014 conference and all of the happenings in IASPM-US, subscribe to our listserv by searching groups.yahoo.com for “iaspmuslistserv,” or contact Local Arrangements coordinator, Jocelyn Neal (jneal@email.unc.edu), Program Committee chair, Marina Peterson (petersom@ohio.edu), or Editor-in-Chief of the IASPM-US website Mike D’Errico (theatticbat@gmail.com).

We look forward to seeing you in Chapel Hill!

Membership and Conference Registration

IASPM-US Membership

Before registering for the 2014 IASPM-US conference in Chapel Hill, 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 is now open for IASPM-US 2014 at Chapel Hill.

Early registration is available only until February 15th.  Also, be sure to make hotel reservations early.

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

*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 February 15th, registration fees increase to:

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




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Travel Arrangements

Airport: the closest major airport to Chapel Hill is Raleigh-Durham (RDU).  Many major airlines fly into RDU. The airport is about 20 miles from UNC’s campus and the conference hotel, and it takes about 30 minutes to get from campus to the airport in normal traffic.

Driving: directions from I-40 to the music department buildings are available here. The hotel website has additional driving directions to the hotel. Please note that parking is limited, especially on or close to campus.

Airport Ground Transportation: there are two main airport shuttle services (Skylink and Sky Shuttle, Inc.), car companies, and taxi companies in the local area. A taxi from the airport to the hotel will be approximately $45-50 plus gratuity. The shuttle services range in price; some offer a discount for booking round trip. Expect prices around $25-30 for the shuttles.

Train and Bus: Durham is served by both train and bus. The stations are in downtown Durham, about 12 miles from the UNC campus.

UNC Campus:  maps are available here. Most conference activities will take place in Hill Hall, the Kenan Music Building, and Person Hall, all located near the intersection of Columbia and Franklin Streets. We will post detailed information on where to find conference registration, the exhibits and the welcome desk at a date closer to the conference.

Getting Around: Downtown Chapel Hill and the campus are both friendly to pedestrians. We also encourage you to take advantage of the local, free bus service while you’re in town.

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For the 2014 IASPM-US Conference we are facilitating a system whereby childcare can be arranged privately off-site. A list of childcare providers will be available soon. Please contact Marina Peterson (petersom@ohio.edu) if you will need childcare during the conference, would like names of providers, or are interested in sharing childcare.

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The conference sessions for IASPM-US 2014 will take place on UNC Chapel Hill’s campus. Most sessions and exhibits will occur in the buildings that house the Department of Music, with some special events at both the Center for the Study of the American South and the Southern Folklife Collection. There are also several music venues that are walking distance from campus, as well as a range of restaurants and other amenities in the immediate area.

Chapel Hill has a free bus system that you may wish to consider for local transportation. There is very limited parking on campus, so attendees are encouraged where possible to make alternate arrangements.

Hampton Inn & Suites
Preferred conference hotel. This hotel is walking distance from UNC’s campus, as well as restaurants and music venues. A block of rooms has been set up at the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Chapel Hill / Carrboro with a special rate of $119. The rate includes a full deluxe hot breakfast and high speed wireless internet access. To reserve a room online please visit this site and use the group code IAS. To reserve a room by phone please call the hotel directly at 919-969-6988, provide your arrival / departure dates and the group code IAS. To receive the special rate reservations must be made no later than February 13, 2014.

Aloft Hotel
This hotel is quite nice but is not convenient walking distance from UNC’s campus. The hotel has a shuttle service that runs weekdays, and they are on the public (free) bus line in Chapel Hill (weekday routes FCX, G, S, V; Saturday route FG). Rooms are available at a rate of $114 per night. To reserve a room online, please visit International Association for the Study of Popular Music. To receive the special rate reservations must be made no later than February 20, 2014.

There are many additional hotels in the Chapel Hill area including several national chains and several local options.

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Exhibits and Advertisers

Please plan to spend some time browsing the exhibit space at IASPM this year. We will have coffee available in the mornings and light refreshments in the afternoons. Come see new and exciting offerings from:

  • Academic Rights Press
  • Bloomsbury Academic
  • Intellect Press
  • Oxford University Press
  • Routledge
  • Southern Cultures

Please also take a moment at the conference to read the program booklet, which features advertisements from the following sponsors:

  • Bloomsbury Academic
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Duke University Press
  • Intellect Press
  • Mona-Lynn Courteau
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Call for Proposals (Abstracts Due November 15, 2013)

Music Flows
International Association for the Study of Popular Music, US Branch 
2014 Annual Conference
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, March 13 – 16, 2014

Music flows. Evocative metaphorically while directing our attention to the global circulation of songs, the theme for the 2014 IASPM-US Annual Conference takes its inspiration from the UNC campus-wide Water initiative.

Water in its many forms is a ubiquitous subject of pop songs. Whether as metaphor or literal reference, water imagery as a theme in popular music has been used to celebrate identity, express emotions, address environmental issues, convey pleasure, pay homage to spiritual beings, and shape communities of resistance. Here we take up notions of fluidity and flow to address not only what many deem our most important natural resource, but to consider the ways in which water’s qualities may yield productive insights into the present and future of popular music.

Fluidity suggests smoothness and flow, as well as uncertainty, indefiniteness, and mutability.  This tension is felt across global capital, ecology, and the business of music, as money, energy, and sounds flow around the world, their movement unevenly enabled and restricted by a range of economic, political, and cultural forces. From the licit or illicit circulation of songs to the melting of glaciers, popular music – and the world in which it exists – faces a future in which the status quo is quite literally in flux. With seemingly solid foundations melting away, we face a moment of productive instability, in which new potentialities emerge even as life as we know it may be dramatically transformed.

The 2014 IASPM-US Annual Conference will take place from March 13-16, 2014 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The Center for the Study of the American South (CSAS) will be our host on campus, in collaboration with the Department of Music and the Southern Folklife Collection. Papers related to popular music and southern culture are especially welcome. Look for a featured panel on southern music and enjoy a lively reception hosted by the Center.

Papers may focus on one of the following aspects of the theme, on other aspects of the conference theme, or – as always – any other issue in the study of popular music.

1. Liquidity and flows

Zygmunt Bauman suggests that ours is an era of “liquid modernity,” in which subjectivities and social life have been transformed. Liquidity indeed seems fundamental to current configurations and imaginaries of everything from capital to the music industry and identity. Yet these flows are rife with contradiction. Financial institutions circulate money through increasingly intricate channels of risk while class inequality increases globally. With digital audio files circulating widely and streaming internet radio providing us with a flood of music for every mood and desire, musical labor, intellectual property, and revenue is newly in flux. On the high seas of international exchange, piracy, alternately lauded and critiqued, threatens the fixed interests of global culture industries.

How have the infrastructures that bridge, dam, or contain spaces of fluidity (of music, capital, or water) figured in popular music? What of their futures? How are flows managed, in ways that both enable and restrict circulation? How are subjectivities shaped or expressed by the flows of technology and sound? How does popular music speak to the volatility and indefiniteness of our current condition?

2. Waterways, mobilities, and cultural encounters

Fluidity also suggests movement and mobility. Waterways figure in songs as metaphors, while serving as important spaces for the development of musical styles or religious transformation. As historical sounds from “the Delta blues” to “the Black Atlantic” suggest, popular music has long traveled over oceans and rivers, connecting communities across continents even as cultural encounters yield new hybrid musical styles. Water can also isolate, challenging dreams of a return home for diasporic communities or fueling sentiments of insularity across the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans.

What sounds emerge when we take waterways as spaces of mobility or geographic foci, rather than land? What spaces of exchange or conflict open when we consider music (and culture) in motion, rather than located in discrete spaces? Papers might engage with transoceanic mobilities and diasporas, historically and in the present; sounds of crossings, hybridity, and friction; port cities as rich spaces of cultural exchange; and transformative experiences through water.

3. Ecology and embodiment

Water in its many forms, from ice to ocean to rain, is crucial for the ways in which humans live on and with earth. With glaciers melting, sea levels rising, and potable water supplies diminishing, this relationship is shifting in ways whose consequences are yet unknown. These changes reflect global interconnections, cycles, and flows of resources and energy that again affect people and sounds in diverse ways. While North American singer-songwriters coin songs about pressing environmental issues, elsewhere, indigenous peoples struggle to maintain rights to land and ways of life in the face of massive infrastructure projects or pollution, or are forced into exile as island homes are immersed by rising sea levels.

In considering relationships between music and environment, we might consider the human and nonhuman stakes of musical research. As the Anthropocene witnesses an ongoing wave of extinctions, climate change radically disrupts life, and clean fresh water becomes a scarce resource, how do musicians, audiences, and music researchers react? Do environmental crises call for a change in theory and method or are environmental exigencies merely a new set of questions to be dealt with in the same ways as past emphases? Papers taking up concerns of ecomusicology and of human/non-human relationships are especially welcome.

4. Sonic metaphors and materialities

The congruities between the materiality of sound and water as a medium are expressed in the terminology of acoustic science: sound waves, sound pressure, ultrasound, and so on. Air and water share the quality of being “immersive” (Helmreich) mediums, while techniques of “sounding” bring sonic technologies to bear on domains of communication, information, and mapping. More literally, water and its infrastructures are used to make music, and synthesizers are programmed to make “watery” sounds.

What do we learn from thinking across fluid materials and sound? How do congruities and incongruities between the two domains register, represent, or embody wider global flows? How are such materialities heard and felt in and through bodies? We hope this sub-theme will inspire a range of subjects related to materiality, from sonic ontology to the “matter” of voice and objects, as well as the ways in which water evokes literal, affective, or imagined meanings of music.

Deadline for proposals is Friday, November 15, 2013. Please submit proposals to iaspmus2014@gmail.com. Proposals may be made in the following categories: (1) individual paper, (2) panel, or (3) alternative format. Specify in the subject heading of the email the category in which you are submitting. 

(1) Individual presenters should submit a paper title, 250-word abstract, AV needs, and author information including full name, institutional affiliation, email address and a 50-word bio.

(2) 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) as well as AV needs.

(3) Alternative format events may include lecture-demonstrations, round-tables, discussion of a pre-circulated text, or documentary film screenings. Proposals for alternative format events should stay within a 2-hour timeframe. Send a 250-word overview, author information for all participants, and AV needs. The program committee reserves the right to adjust alternative events to suit the overall program needs.

Submissions should be attached as a single Word document. You will receive an email confirming receipt of your submission. All conference participants must be registered IASPM-US members. 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 Marina Peterson, program committee chair, at petersom@ohio.edu.

This year’s program committee consists of Marina Peterson (Ohio University), Jerome Camal (University of Wisconsin–Madison), Benjamin Court (UCLA), Mark Katz (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Ali Colleen Neff (College of William and Mary), Josh Ottum (Ohio University), and Mark Pedelty (University of Minnesota).

See you in Chapel Hill!

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