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Pet Shop Boys: Symposium

Posted: October 9th, 2015 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | 5 Comments »

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.

5 Comments on “Pet Shop Boys: Symposium”

  1. 1 David Sheppard said at 9:48 pm on October 10th, 2015:

    As a lifelong fan, this looks to be a very interesting event. I would like to suggest a topic: Pet Shop Boys taking pop outside its natural boundaries. This would analyse how they have carried their unique music and style successfully across many genres including film, musical, ballet etc.

    I would also be grateful if you could inform me on how to register for attendance at this symposium.

    Many thanks

    David Sheppard

  2. 2 Iain Tough said at 2:10 pm on October 11th, 2015:

    As a fan since 1985, I just wanted to express how happy I am that the works of PSB are being held up to scrutiny in an academic setting. A section on Pet Shop Politics: from bedroom to boardroom could explore social commentary, reflected in certain works, dealing with diverse topics from sex, commerce, art and politics. Many of their songs have captured the zeitgeist on a number of topics, thus reflecting British sensibilities over the last 30 years and so would easily fit into an argument for PSB to be regarded as social commentators. I look forward to seeing the proposed programme and registration details.

  3. 3 alina said at 6:20 am on October 15th, 2015:

    need to add
    Pet Shop Boys and New World Order
    Pet Shop Boys and Mind control

  4. 4 Robert Motyka said at 4:12 pm on November 28th, 2015:

    How to register to this event?

  5. 5 Cláudio Ramos said at 4:10 pm on December 2nd, 2015:

    Greetings from Brazil.
    I am interested in sending a paper proposal, which I already know how it should be done, but also a panel proposal. Could you tell me HOW should I send the proposal for the panel with all the requirements, please?
    Thanks in advance!

    Cláudio Ramos.

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