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

Nocturnes: Popular Music and the Night

Posted: August 24th, 2016 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

Call for Chapter Proposals
Editors: Giacomo Bottà and Geoff Stahl

After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang out
After midnight, we’re gonna chug-a-lug and shout
We’re gonna cause talk and suspicion
Give an exhibition
Find out what it is all about

           – JJ Cale, “After Midnight”

I go out walkin’ after midnight
Out in the starlight, just hoping you may be
Somewhere a-walkin’ after midnight
Searchin’ for me

           – Patsy Cline, “Walking After Midnight”

Consuming and performing popular music is as connected to the night as sleeping, street cleaning, patrolling, having sex, delivering milk or baking bread. However, the relationship between the night and popular music has long served to energise both, such that they are tightly bound together as trope and topos. This long history of reciprocity has produced a range of resonant and compelling imaginaries, conjured up through countless songs and spaces dedicated to life after dark. Singers, songwriters and DJs have described it as a locus for inspiration and energy but also a source of mystery, anxiety, nightmares and terror. Pub, café and club visitors, among many others, have drawn on the night as an opportunity for liberation and exploration, as well as an instrument to experiment with alternative identities. By contrast, policy makers and politicians have often seen the night as an experience to repress, limit and coerce or to be commodified into something ‘that never sleeps.’ The problems, promises, and paradoxes of the night and music play off of one another to produce spaces of solace and sanctuary as well as underpinning strategies designed to police, surveil and control movements and bodies of all sorts.

Sounding out silhouettes and shadows, between the midnight choir and the dawn chorus, the rich connections found between the night and popular music offer a number of opportunities for scholarly engagement. This collection aims to provide as wide a sampling as possible of topics exploring the relationship between night and popular music. We are soliciting papers that can speak to the night and popular music, and encourage papers that look at historical as well as contemporary examples. Proposals may touch or expand upon any of the following areas, but we also strongly encourage submissions that venture beyond these:

•   Night Moves: Policing, policy, politics and urban/suburban spaces
•   Dancing in the Dark: Music, performance, and sociality at night
•   Round Midnight: Lyrics, songs, and albums after dark
•   Night Beat: Soundtracking the cinematic city at night
•   Dusk ’til Dawn: Gender and sexuality in silhouetted soundscapes

Abstracts of up to 250 words can be sent to: [email protected] no later than December 1st, 2016. Please include a selection of 3-5 keywords, and include a brief bio, of no more than 150 words.

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