24/25 March 2016, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
To mark the 30th anniversary of the release of their debut album Please, the University of Edinburgh is pleased to announce that it will host a two-day symposium on the history and work of the Pet Shop Boys. Despite their prolific contributions to popular culture over the last thirty years – including music, theatre, cinema, books, and film soundtracks – very little scholarly work has been produced on the band. This symposium aims to begin to rectify this omission: the organisers hope to produce an edited collection of essays based on the talks at the symposium.
We invite proposals for 20-minute papers, as well as pre-constituted panels of 3 or 4 papers, on any aspect of the career of the Pet Shop Boys. This could include:
- Analyses of particular songs, albums, videos or tours
- Pet Shop Boys and fashion
- Packaging and aesthetics: Pet Shop Boys and Farrow Design
- Pet Shop Boys and producers, from Stephen Hague to Stuart Price
- Pet Shop Boys and divas, from Dusty Springfield to Madonna
- Pet Shop Boys and Englishness
- Gender and sexuality in the songs and videos of the Pet Shop Boys
- Pet Shop Boys and the art of the interview
- Pet Shop Boys and disco, including the Disco albums
Keynote speakers at the symposium will include Professor Stan Hawkins (University of Oslo) and Lucy O’Brien (Senior Lecturer, UCA). The event will also include: additional guests (tbc); screenings; domino dancing. You can follow updates relating to the symposium online: @psbsymposium / petshopboyssymposium.tumblr.com.
Please send all paper/panel proposals to Dr Glyn Davis ([email protected]) by 5pm on Friday 4 December. Decisions will be made, and a provisional schedule announced, by Friday 18 December. Pet Shop Boys: Symposium is being co-organised by Glyn Davis and Dr Jonny Murray ([email protected]). We wouldn’t normally do this kind of thing.