CFP: Imagining Communities Musically

by justindburton on October 25, 2011


September 7-9, 2012
Salford University

Albion … Chocolate City … Highway 61 … Route 66 … Wonderland … StrawberryFields … the Crossroads … Beale Street … Haight Ashbury … Music City U.S.A.

Popular music has always been affiliated with physical places, both literal andimaginary. It is one of the ways that the inhabitants of those locations define boththeir residence and themselves. To borrow the components of the title of BenedictAnderson’s widely read book, one of the most telling ways communities imaginethemselves is acoustically. An indissoluble connection exists between musicalexpression and geography, both the landscape of actual locale and that conjured upby the mind. The persistent academic interest in the notion of scenes reflects this setof circumstances. So too does the research that examines how the state defines itselfsonically and, in some cases, pursues its objectives with the assistance of acousticapparatus, as in the torture of prisoners by a barrage of undesired sound. In addition,there are those composers, performers, compositions and performance practices thatare thought to be quintessential expressions of states, peoples or defined populations.

This conference intends to examine this set of propositions across any possible arrayof musical forms, cultural practices, physical locations and imagined environments. Itwishes to interrogate the ways in which geography and musicology can be affiliated.Those “imagined communities” can include those that form specifically about music(fan bases, subcultures, on-line communities) as well as those that form through theformal elements of compositions (the use of “we” or “us” in lyrical constructionsor the composition of anthems). Examples for study will, we hope, be drawn acrossan array of media as well, so that the use of media not only in live and recordedperformance but also in any other particular media – film, radio, television, digitalspace – can be considered. It is hoped as well that while the invited speakers andplenary members may well address Anglo-American circumstances, the presentationswill consider any and all portions of the globe as well as the digital ether.

Keynote Speaker: Rob Young, author of Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’sVisionary Music (Faber, 2010).

Proposals should include the name, institution and contact details (email) of theproposer, the title of the proposal and an abstract of no more than 150 words.Individual presentations should be for 20 minute papers, while proposals can also beconsidered for 90 minute panels of affiliated speakers.

Proposals will be welcomed from any academic perspective and addressing any kindof music. They can consider the proposed theme or any other related issue of popularmusic debate.
Please send proposals to participants whose proposals are accepted must be members of IASPM.

The deadline for proposals is March 1, 2012.

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