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

Mixing Pop and Politics: Call for Chapter Proposals

Posted: June 19th, 2018 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »


Catherine Hoad (Massey University, Wellington)
Geoff Stahl (Victoria University, Wellington)
Oli Wilson (Massey University, Wellington)


History provides us with ample instances of the power of popular music to speak to, through, and against various political moments. The contemporary socio-political situation of the late-2010s also offers countless opportunities to explore how popular music revisits, reconstitutes, rewrites and reconciles itself to this past. This current context necessitates an awareness of the complex position of popular music, and the new directions it must negotiate, as music responds to the shifting paradigms of power in which we currently find ourselves.

This collection aims to explore the complex politics of resistance, subversion, containment and reconciliation in popular music in both contemporary and historic formations. Following the IASPM-ANZ 2017 conference on this theme, and building on earlier scholarship mapping popular music’s entanglement with politics (Frith 1983; Bennett, Frith and Grossberg 2005; Cloonan and Garafolo 2009), here we ask what it means to mix popular music with the political in the current socio-political paradigm. How has popular music responded to, resisted, or been represented within the resurgence of far-right politics? What is the role of popular music in responding to climate change and environmental degradation? In what ways can the use, misuse and abuse of musical technology be framed as political? What role has popular music played, both historically and contemporaneously, in contributing to the fluid renegotiation of gendered and sexual identities? How is popular music situated within the context of online activism, as international communicative flows target police brutality, state corruption, and sexual harassment? Here we seek to explore popular music’s political implications, and the nuances with which these impact upon constructions of identity, community and practice in distinct locations and ideological epochs.

We invite chapter proposals that can be situated within the following broad areas. We emphasise the value of diverse contributions, in pointing to pop’s entanglements with politics beyond Western centres, and the regional nuances of this relationship therein. We will consider chapter proposals which touch on, but are not restricted to, the following areas:

Affect and Embodiment

  • I Will Survive: The Politics of Pleasure and Popular Music
  • We Are the Robots: Resistant, Reconciled, Reconstituted, Recombinant Bodies in Popular Music
  • If You’re Feeling Sinister: Affect, Emotion and the Subversive Power of Popular Music


  • This Machine Kills Fascists: Technologies, Politics and Popular Music
  • A Whisper to a Scream: Silence, Distortion, Amplification and the Politics of Sound
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Popular Music on Screen(s)

 Histories, Identities, and Spaces

  • Playing With a Different Sex: Otherness and Othering in Popular Music
  • Here’s Where The Story Ends: Alternate Histories of Popular Music
  • What’s My Scene: Communality in Online Spaces and Local Scenes


  • You Don’t Own Me: Cultivating, Codifying and Commodifying Resistance
  • You’ve Got the Power: Populism, Authoritarianism, Conservatism and Popular Music
  • (We’re) Stranded: Political Legacies of Punk and Post-Punk

Please submit chapter proposals of 300 words (plus references, if necessary) along with author name(s), institutional affiliations, and contact details and a brief bio of no more than 150 words by September 1st to [email protected].

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