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

Place, Perspective and Popular Music

Posted: December 12th, 2023 | Filed under: Calls for Papers, IASPM Conferences | No Comments »

Venue: International Centre for Music Studies, Newcastle University
Date: 4-6 September 2024
Format: In-person

Theme: Place, Perspective and Popular Music

For this meeting of the UK and Ireland branch of IASPM, we invite colleagues to consider the fruitful relationships between music, place and perspective. Our use of these terms is intended to encourage discussion around how, where and when we situate our work in the broad discipline (and multiple subdisciplines) of popular music studies as we understand it here and now as well as then and there.

Place is physically located, for example in the spaces and places it represents, in the locations it emerges from and travels to, and in the material aspects of live music ‘ecologies’ – relations between venues, transport routes and their polities, the physical spaces in which recorded music is produced – institutional and domestic). Place is also imagined – both backwards (through nostalgia, tradition and memory) and forwards (through planning, urban and rural policies, ‘placemaking’, cultural initiatives).

Perspectives are institutional and personal, historical and geographical. They are also theoretical: habitus, milieux, scenes, scapes, ecosystems. Where we look at popular musics from, how we frame them, where we place them, how we project them: all of these are intrinsic aspects of how we situate, map and shape our field. Perspectives, like opinions, are inherited, contested and can be productively changed.

Popularity has dimensions that are numerical (units shifted, venues filled), ideological (traditions and rhetoric ‘of the people’, ‘for the people’, ‘by the people’ what ‘the peoples’ music’ is and isn’t) and aesthetic (seeking different audiences, of different sizes and kinds).

We invite contributors to propose papers, panels and other activities relating to (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • The place(s) of popular music: geographical, disciplinary, constitutionally
  • Narratives of place in popular music heritage and tourism
  • Music cities; rural touring networks
  • Gentrification; cultural quarters and ‘zones’
  • Perspectives on popular music history; musical memory and counter-memory
  • Studying and mapping popular music scenes, communities, ecologies
  • Collaborative, cross-sectoral and citizen research on music and locality
  • Music and local, national and transnational identities
  • Ecological perspectives in popular music; popular music studies and ecomusicology
  • Creative sites and spaces (studios, venues, etc.)
  • Real, imagined and virtual places
  • The place(s) and space(s) of artificial intelligence in popular music
  • Popularity, populism and imaginations of ‘the people’
  • Unpopular music, contested perspectives

We encourage contributors, wherever feasible, to think about where your work sits and to consider exploring it from a different perspective to the one(s) you habitually use. Reflections on ‘where’ the field of popular music studies is and where it might be headed are welcome.

In line with our invitation to self-reflection and thinking about the spaces and places in which we conduct our work, we ask contributors to the conference to keep in mind the IASPM Code of Conduct and IASPM UK & Ireland Branch’s statement on safe spaces.

Abstract Submissions

The deadline to submit proposals is 16 February 2024.

  • Individual Papers (20 mins + 10 mins for questions). Please include name, affiliation, and email address of the presenter, and an abstract of no more than 300 words. Make sure that the name of the presenter does not appear in the abstract.
  • Musical or Multimedia Presentations (20 mins + 10 mins for questions). Please include an abstract of no more than 300 words, including an indication of equipment required.
  • Group Sessions (90 Minutes) based around a topic and involving three or four contributors. Please include names, affiliations and email addresses of proposer/facilitator and individual contributors, an abstract for the session (c.300 words) and additional abstracts for each contribution (c.200 words). Make sure that the names of the proposer and contributors do not appear in the abstracts.

To submit your abstract please send the requested information to [email protected]

Please note that conference participants will need to be IASPM members.

Important Dates

Deadline for submission: 16 February 2024
Notification of acceptance: mid-late March 2024
Registration details will be available in due course.

Conference Organising Committee

Adam Behr
Nanette de Jong
Richard Elliott
Emma Longmuir
Matthew Ord
Mariam Rezaei
Simon Zagorski-Thomas



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