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Listening to the Rising Right: Populist Rebels, Fascist Countercultures, and the Global Sounds of Right Wing Music

Posted: May 15th, 2024 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | Comments Off on Listening to the Rising Right: Populist Rebels, Fascist Countercultures, and the Global Sounds of Right Wing Music

Call for Chapter Proposals
Editors: Nadav Appel and Fiorenzo Palermo
To be published by Bloomsbury Academic

The parallel emergence during the 1960s of modern styles of pop, rock and soul music together with new leftist and countercultural movements often leads to the identification of popular music in general, and “protest music” in particular, with political values and aspirations that are broadly associated with the left. However, the 21st century has seen a substantial rise in the commercial success and popular appeal of explicitly right wing music. As populist anthems such as “Try That in a Small Town” and “Rich Men of Richmond” top the US Billboard charts, Russian pop is becoming enamored with the authoritarian figure of Vladimir Putin, xenophobic sentiments are echoed by a diversity of global genres from Indian H-Pop to Serbian turbo-folk, and nationalist rappers are enjoying unprecedented success in such disparate locations as Japan and Israel.

The edited volume Listening to the Rising Right will focus on the many faces of global 21st century right wing popular music. We are especially interested in cases where musicians acknowledge their role as political actors and express their activism and militancy in additional ways beyond recording songs with right wing content. A running theme throughout the book will be the right wing appropriation of countercultural and oppositional tactics historically associated with the left, such as the concept of “protest music”, the romantic image of the artist as a rebel/revolutionary, or the cultural function of popular musicians as organic intellectuals. Analysis of musical pieces will consider their use of generic conventions and stylistic tropes and place them in the context of the common meanings associated with their respective genres and styles in popular music history. Each chapter will deal with a defined case study from a specific country, using it to investigate one or more of the following questions:

  • How do right wing ideologies, values and discourses intersect with contemporary popular music?
  • Where can we identify such intersections of music with right wing formations, and in which ways is the nature of these formations affected by the music?
  • In which ways and under which circumstances is popular music instrumental in spreading and promoting right wing ideologies, furthering right wing causes and/or empowering right wing movements and communities?
  • What are the common strategies for the deployment of popular music for right wing mobilization, agitation and advocacy, and how effective are they?
  • How and why are common semiotic systems, stylistic conventions, generic tropes and/or discursive formations of 20th century popular music, most of them traditionally identified with left-leaning values, co-opted and organised coherently to articulate current right wing trends of struggle and rebellion?
  • What could be the historical causes for the growing right wing use of musical aesthetics formerly identified as “left wing” and/or “avant-garde”, and what are the conditions of possibility that enable them?

We invite chapter proposals on all geographical regions, musical genres and right wing tendencies, but we are especially interested in studies of African and Asian cases. Please send your proposal for a 6,000 words chapter to [email protected] and [email protected] by June 15, 2024. Proposals should include chapter title, a 300-500 words abstract and a 50-100 words biographical note. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by June 30, 2024. In case of acceptance, the full draft of the chapter will be expected by November 30, 2024.