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

In Praise of Paul Weller…? Reflections on Popular Music Studies

Posted: May 7th, 2015 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

Symposium, Wednesday 23 March 2016
Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research

‘What often passed the post-punk brigade by was Weller’s musical subtlety: the allusions to Motown and Stax, the willingness to experiment. That really came to the fore when he started the Style Council, which disgruntled fans wrote off as soulboys. Nor did they welcome the later house-music direction. But not for nothing has Weller referred to himself as The Changingman – a restlessness and impatience that makes him a much more compelling artist. Nice line in knitwear, too.’ Guardian Leader, Friday 27 August 2010

An enduring fixture of popular music culture for almost 40 years, Paul Weller and his work has been the subject of relatively little academic scrutiny. In attending to Weller’s work, the purpose of this symposium is to consider his longevity, musical path and identity as ways of raising questions about the history, historiography, direction, range and operations of popular music culture and its scholarly study.

Papers of 30 minutes in length are invited on any topic. By way of suggestion these might include but are not restricted to:

  • A life in popular music, the life of popular music
  • Music work: songwriting, performance, promotion
  • Music, cultural value, creative economy
  • Nostalgia, heritage, pastiche
  • Narrating Weller: contexts, critique, representation
  • Urban and pastoral in popular music
  • Popular music, youth and ageing
  • Politics and pop
  • Cultural intermediaries in/and the music industries
  • Subcultural sound and style
  • Fandom
  • Genre and sound
  • Identity – sexuality, class, nation
  • Exhaustion and the end of popular music culture

Abstracts of 600-800 words should be submitted by 30 July 2015 to: [email protected]. In order to make the most of the symposium format and to develop material for publication in 2017, draft versions of papers of around 6000 words are invited for submission by 1 February 2016 for circulation amongst participants.

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