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

Applications are invited for the Dave Laing PhD Scholarship funded by the Margaret Wethered Bequest

Posted: October 27th, 2021 | Filed under: News | No Comments »

The scholarship is attached to the Institute of Popular Music, homed in the Department of Music at the University of Liverpool. It is established in honour of Dave Laing, who was closely associated with the institute, from its foundation in 1988 until his death in 2019.

Dave was a prolific writer and editor, with a wide range of interests and abilities, and his work spanned the history and breadth of British popular music studies. He was a central contributor to the leading journals and encyclopaedias in the field, and authored numerous publications, including the first work of British popular music studies The Sound of Our Time (1969), the pioneering book on punk One Chord Wonders, and two monographs on Buddy Holly. First and foremost, however, Dave was a music journalist and in this role he also broke new ground. He was a contributor to the rock magazine Cream before becoming a founding editor of Let it Rock, but he also had a strong interest in the music business. He became an early leader in the detailed and rigorous study of the music industries, authoring numerous industry reports while also acting as press officer for IFPI, deputy editor of Music Week, and founding editor of Music Business International.

The scholarship is intended to support three years of study towards a PhD in the area of music journalism. Potential topics might include:

  • Digitisation and shifts in journalistic practice
  • Histories of music journalism
  • Streaming playlists, AI and 21st century music journalism
  • Music journalism and intersections of music genre, gender, race, sexuality
  • Careers in music journalism
  • Music journalism in the age of social media

Candidates with an interest in other areas of Dave’s work are encouraged to apply (e.g. Punk, Popular music history, Folk and Music Industries). They should consider how their proposed research relates to Dave’s work and to any individual staff research interests in the University of Liverpool’s Department of Music. (Details of these interests can be found on the staff pages of the School website: http://www.liv.ac.uk/music).

Applicants should normally hold an MA (or equivalent), preferably with distinction, in popular music studies or a cognate field such as media studies/communication, musicology, ethnomusicology, anthropology or sociology. Professional experience may be seen as equivalent to an MA, at the discretion of the selection committee. UK and EU students will receive living allowances in addition to tuition fees; international students will receive fees-only awards, due to the cost. The holder of the award will be expected to reside in Liverpool and participate in the research culture of the Department of Music and its Institute of Popular Music.

Application procedure

To apply, please submit a full C.V. and a research proposal to  [email protected] by no later than 5pm on Monday 8th November 2021.

Please also arrange for TWO academic references to be sent independently by referees to [email protected] by the closing date, clearly marked with your name and the studentship you are applying for.

Informal enquiries can be sent to Professor Sara Cohen, Director of the Institute of Popular Music: [email protected].

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