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

Regional experiences and external influences: reclaiming identities by popular music in the digital era

Posted: March 5th, 2020 | Filed under: Calls for Papers, IASPM Conferences | No Comments »

Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and International Association for the Study of Popular Music
Toruń, Poland June 18-20, 2020

Conference website: https://iaspm2020torun.wixsite.com/website

The main objective of the conference is to exchange the experiences of studying popular music regional scenes. Such panorama tends to functionally and structurally reflect the specific and diversified character of cultural regionalism itself, including music and its social functions. We shall examine local popular music scenes in three varied but overlapping perspectives located mainly in the fields of musicology, sociology, anthropology, literary studies, cultural studies, political science, but we do not limit the academic areas of research. Thus, the experts of the enumerated fields covering the research on popular music are welcome.

We encourage discussion on, firstly, the interpretation of popular music in the context of recent changes in the modes of music production and consumption in the area of regionalism. During two last decades, scholars studying popular music witnessed a general change in the modes of music consumption. To large degree music, traditionally and usually subjugated to the record companies and the “old” media, is no longer subject to the marketing and promotional decisions imposed from above by the management or/and corporations. It allowed the artists, performers and composers to liberate themselves from the institutional dependencies and plan their careers across the firmly established business and cultural boundaries, as well as start their modes of music promotion. More importantly, at the same time, the internet turn unshackled the regional scenes and artists and made their visibility worldwide possible. Accordingly, the regional music scenes in Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Honduras, Uruguay, Indonesia, Korea, Iran, Malaysia, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Greece, Italy, Denmark, Poland, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and many more started to reclaim their position in the quest for trans- regional recognition and visibility. Following the above, the international scholars studying popular music reflected the tendencies in their research, promoting the regional issues in the worldwide forums.

Secondly, with this contextual approach, we intend to interpret the Western influences on popular music in the Eastern bloc as the internet as a medium made certain influences visible and accessible to scholar debate. This form of acculturation (in the anthropological and political science theory called Americanization or Westernization) was and still is visible not only in popular music in particular but also covers tendencies in popular culture or the entertainment industry in general, including film, TV production, masses-oriented literature or comics. In the field popular music, the works of some of the East European artists relatively easily reflected the Western patterns, while simultaneously the performers were active in social, political, and cultural contexts of their regions with the problems dependent on the local conditions. We also imply, that in this particular context equally important were the patterns of resistance towards Westernization: apart from the Western or “global” influences popular culture in Eastern

Europe was saturated with local surroundings and reflected some inclinations deeply rooted in particular cultural systems.

Thirdly, the special attention will be paid to both regional scenes and popular music research in the post-communist countries as the advent of democratic political regime at the turn of the 90s was followed by transformations in economy, social systems, political power, and – more importantly – changes in the modes of music production, publication, and consumption. Undoubtedly, popular music reflected all these aspects of cultural changes observable in the diversified fields: history provides us with epitomes of the power of popular music and its impact on people or cultural systems. Thus, the researches tend to identify, observe and interpret the shifting paradigms of the socially defined place of popular music in the region.

We look for the conference papers and presentations that address (but are not limited to) the following themes:

  • Popular music research and the new media
  • Sounding locality / reclaiming dignity by popular music
  • Regional and local scenes as social or/and political platforms
  • Music practices in the regional conditions
  • Popular music research as a historical issue
  • Materiality/materialities of popular music in the age of the internet
  • Popular music 2.0: searching the web
  • Technology, Power and Popular Music
  • Sound studies and materiality of music
  • Grooving the Cities as local identities
  • The acts of hearing and listening to music through regional contexts
  • The functions of popular music and regional identities
  • Writing histories with music in the regional contexts
  • Regional/Local/Other popular music historiographies
  • The patterns of otherness in popular music
  • Music ethnography in local and regional perspective
  • Popular music and political power
  • Changes in the East according to the rhythm of the West
  • Regional Beatles and Local Stones: towards the universal patterns of popular music influences?
  • Cover bands and tribute bands covering the Western music

The presentations and paper will be grouped in panel sessions, each presentation should last no longer than 20 minutes and each panel will be concluded with questions and discussion.

The conference will be held at the Nicolaus Copernicus University, located in the city of Toruń, one of the most impressive Medieval cities in Central Europe with a rich history going back to the 13th century (http://www.visittorun.pl). The Old Town of Toruń is enlisted on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Nicolaus Copernicus University is one of the leading universities schools in Poland, gaining recently the prestigious status of “Excellence Initiative – Research University” (https://www.umk.pl).

Also during the conference, we shall discuss the possibility of establishing the Central European regional branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), grouping the East and Central European countries. One of the conference panel sessions will be dedicated to the activity of the IASPM in the Eastern/Central European region.

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Franco Fabbri, PhD, University of Milan (Italy), the founding member of IASPM

Dr. Sarah Raine, PhD, Edinburgh Napier University, IASPM UK

Submission Procedure

Abstracts of approximately 500 words should be emailed to: [email protected] Deadline for abstracts: March 31, 2020.
Notification: April 30, 2020

Conference fee: 100 euro (it DOES NOT cover the accommodation)

Organizing committee

Dariusz Brzostek
Marek Jeziński
Łukasz Wojtkowski
Małgorzata Lisecka
Aleksandra Brzostek

Academic Board

Rupert Till, University of Huddersfield, IASPM Chair
Franco Fabbri, University of Milan, founding member of IASPM
Sarah Raine Nicolaus, Edinburgh Napier University
Michael Ahlers, Lephuana University in Lüneburg, IASPM D.A.CH
Alenka Barber-Kersovan, Lephuana University in Lüneburg, IASPM D.A.CH Jerzy Biniewicz, Wrocław University
Jan Bluml, Palacky University in Olomunc
Wojciech Burszta, SWPS University
Martin Butler, Carl von Ossietzky Universitat, Oldenburg
Theo Cateforis, Syracuse University, IASPM USA
Jacopo Conti, Universita degli Studi di Torino
Kyle Devine, University of Oslo, IASPM Norden
Mary Fogarty Woehrel, York University, IASPM Canada
Paweł Frelik, Warsaw University
Ewa Głowacka, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń
Sarah Hill, Cardiff University, IASPM UK
Anna Idzikowska-Czubaj, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
Adam Ignacz, Hungarian Academy of Science, Budapest
Jerzy Jarniewicz, Uniwersytet Łódzki
Leonardo Massi, UKSW, Warsaw
Anna Nacher, Jagiellonian Univesity, Kraków
Mirosław Pęczak, Warsaw University
Michael Rauhut, University of Agder
Rafał Szczerbakiewicz, Maria Curie Skłodowska University, Lublin
Renata Tańczuk, Wrocław University
Paweł Tański, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń
Fernán del Val Ripollés IASPM Spain
Violetta Wróblewska, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń

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