Welcome to The International Association for the Study of Popular Music UK and Ireland Branch

Music and Musicology in the Age of Post-Truth

Posted: February 12th, 2018 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

 7-8 September 2018
University College Dublin

In recent months alternative facts, fake news and similar terms have become more and more commonplace among politicians, media and other public influencers alike in what is now often called the age of post-truth. Expertise appears to be discredited, gut feeling at least as important as facts, and facts themselves no longer valid and reliable. Often postmodernism and poststructuralism are blamed for the rise of a relativism that lies at the heart of post-truth attitudes. But is this really the case? And how should an academic subject such as musicology react to this development? Given the impact that postmodernism and post-structuralism have had on our disciplinary development, do we as academics in general and musicologists in particular have a special responsibility to engage productively with this challenge – as researchers, educators and last but not least as citizens? Are there potential music-specific reactions to the post-truther’s mindset? How can / should we adjust our teaching in this environment? And what role does music / do musicians play in the new “culture war” that we now find ourselves in? How is music utilised by either side? Are there differences in the responses from within popular, traditional and art music (and their respective musicologies)? Is our task as academics to neutrally analyse and describe developments, or rather to try and actively influence them through research, teaching and as public intellectuals – and if so, how?

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