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

Internet Musicking: Popular Music and Online Cultures

Posted: November 10th, 2021 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

A free academic conference sharing new research into cultural practices of music taking place online
21–22 May 2022

Department of Music, University College Cork (Ireland) & Online

Over the last few years, music researchers have paid increased attention to the internet and its effects on cultural life. For example, edited collections on digital culture, virtuality, and social media have emerged alongside landmark research projects that seek to understand how the internet shapes the cultural production of music. Meanwhile, interdisciplinary inquiry has addressed internet-based cultural practices of popular music, critically examining the tension between creative platform uses and the political economy of an increasingly privatised internet.

Given the intensification of the internet as a site for cultural activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, online popular music communities have recently been transformed and new online practices have emerged. Popular musicians and industry personnel are adapting to a quickly shifting landscape for cultural production and promotion via social media, while listeners, viewers, and fans share, curate, and comment on music across the globe. Video and communication platforms have captured the imagination of participants worldwide, with musical and multimodal self-expression broadcast across the social web. These developments, however, are contextualised by profit-driven corporate entities that reframe cultural producers as ‘content creators’ and other participants as consumers, followers, or subscribers. Concerns about personalisation algorithms, surveillance strategies, and data security are escalating in sites of popular music culture. The widespread use of the web in the developed and the developing world has undoubtedly altered everyday cultural practices, although between the poles of technological determinism and cyberutopian narratives of democratisation, there is still much detail to be sought.

This conference invites contemporary research into cultural practices of popular music taking place online. The phrase ‘internet musicking’ takes Small’s term – and developments of it – to address all social activities involving music on the internet. The conference is particularly (though not exclusively) interested in spotlighting previously undocumented uses and experiences of music online. It is designed to generate discussion, identify major issues, and develop a diverse network of scholars to be formalised in subsequent activities and events. We invite submissions on topics including (but not limited to):

  • social media musicking: sharing, curation, and platform interactions
  • viral new media and musical memes
  • music and internet socialities: (imagined) communities of practice, networked individualism, and online music sub/countercultures
  • genres of popular music and their online mediations
  • non-musical expressions of online popular music cultures, such as dance and games
  • ‘the I in Internet’: popular music and identity, otherness, queering practices, and resistance
  • online music and cultural economies: datification, platformization, surveillance, and attention
  • music and cultural industry agents in the context of Big Tech
  • global participation in music culture, digital divides, and issues of internet access

Deadline for abstract submissions: 20 December 2021

The conference is committed to ensuring a diversity of views along with a code of conduct following the REACH Inclusive Conference Guide. The organising committee is Raquel Campos Valverde (King’s College London), Steven Gamble (University College Cork), and Jason Ng (University College Cork).

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