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Popular Music and Society – Special Issue on The Sex Pistols

Posted: January 20th, 2013 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

Submissions are invited for a special edition of Popular Music and Society that examines the legacy of one of punk rock’s most infamous and seminal bands, the Sex Pistols.  Despite their brief initial incarnation (1975-1978), the Sex Pistols profoundly influenced punk music and culture and, in Greil Marcus’s words, “did so much to make the world a richer, more abstract, more contingent place [and in doing so] raised the stakes of what people see as art.”

The recent 35th-anniversary deluxe reissue of their album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, and the upcoming (November 6, 2015) 40th anniversary of their first public appearance as the support act for Bazooka Joe at London’s St. Martin’s Central College of Art provide opportunities for reassessment.  The overarching theme for this special issue will be the creative, cultural, and commercial meanings created by the Sex Pistols as talismanic punk-rock agent provocateurs.

 Contributors are invited to consider the following specific areas:

  •  Sex Pistols reissued: compilations, repackaging, the Sex Pistols in the digital age
  • Authenticity: Sex Pistols’ legacy as punk archetypes
  • “My little Artful Dodgers”: the Sex Pistols as “created” by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood
  • Defining the Sex Pistols’ image: Jamie Reid and the punk aesthetics of “ransom note” graphic art
  • The sound of the Sex Pistols: Chris Thomas/Bill Price and the recording of Never Mind the Bollocks
  • The American Tour: Anarchy in Dixie
  • Film documentary treatment: Julien Temple’s The Filth and the Fury and There’ll Always Be an England
  • Media coverage in the UK and USA 1976-1978


Potential contributors are asked to submit abstracts (approximately 250 words in English) and brief CVs by 1 July 2013.  Of particular interest are studies and approaches that go beyond what have become “the usual suspects.”

Those selected for inclusion will then be invited to submit articles (6,000-8,000 words) no later than 1 February 2014.  Essays will be peer-reviewed.  Any lyric quotations, album artwork, or screenshots included in your essay will need to be cleared for use with the relevant rights holder.  Inquiries regarding potential essay topics and their suitability for inclusion are welcome.  Please include your professional/academic affiliations, a postal address, and preferred e-mail contact with your essay.  For purposes of blind peer review, please do not include your name within the body of the essay.

The issue of Popular Music and Society will be published in 2015.

Please address all correspondence to: John Dougan (Middle Tennessee State University) [email protected].

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