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

Sites of Popular Music Heritage – Symposium

Posted: April 7th, 2011 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

Institute of Popular Music, University of Liverpool
8–9 September 2011

We invite proposals from a broad range of academic disciplines for a 2 day symposium examining sites of popular music heritage: from institutions such as museums, to geographic locations, websites and online archives. Papers are welcomed that explore popular music within narratives of heritage and identity, real and imagined geographies, cultural memory and contested histories. The event will focus on three thematic areas:

Popular Music Heritage in the Museum

In recent years museums have increasingly engaged with popular music heritage, as evidenced in a proliferation of exhibitions including those in the UK such as Kylie: The Exhibition at the V&A and the British Music Experience at the O2. Museum interaction with popular music heritage enables methods of narration beyond traditional written histories, engaging visitors with objects, sounds and images. The place of popular music in the museum raises issues of how music is both represented and used to represent and explore social histories, personal and collective identities, memories, and geographies. Possible themes for papers include:

• Popular music and locality in the museum
• Disseminating popular music heritage in museums beyond text
• History and memory in popular music exhibitions and collections

Heritage, Place and Local Identity

While ideas of heritage and cultural memory play an increasingly important role in popular music historiography, the spatial and geographic frameworks underpinning the production of popular music histories remain comparatively under-examined in studies to date. The spatial embedding of popular music heritage raises questions as to the ways in which ideas of local, regional and national identity are shaped by geographies of music and place; the role of mobility practices in the production of local music histories; and the capacity for popular music memoryscapes to stimulate (and sustain) embodied and emotional attachments to places and localities. Possible themes for papers include:

• Contested geographies of popular music heritage
• Routes of popular music heritage: mobility, migration, wayfinding
• Cartographies of popular music history

Digital Archives and Online Practice

Heritage practices have proliferated in the digital age and a large part of related activity online is devoted to popular music. ‘Authorised’ or otherwise, social media groups, blogs and web pages are organised and defined by, amongst other things, genre, artist, period and geography. Sites dedicated to the popular music of Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Coventry, Bristol, Woolongong, Brisbane or Detroit speak simultaneously to the hyper-local and global quality of popular music culture. The nature of such online practices raise questions about the ontology of the archive, the digital ‘artefact’ and collective memory. In light of the challenges presented to the music industries by digitisation, key questions concern the role of music and related intellectual property in online ‘folk’ histories. Possible themes for papers include:

• Authorising popular music heritage and archiving practice online
• Building music cultures and communities of memory online
• Online music heritage, music industries and ownership


Please submit proposals for papers (300 words max) to Dr Rob Knifton ([email protected]) and Dr Les Roberts ([email protected]).

Deadline for abstracts: 30 April 2011
Date for registration: 30 June 2011
Deadline for submission of draft papers: 01 Aug 2011

Further information and registration details will be posted shortly at: http://www.liv.ac.uk/music/events/Sites_of_Popular_Music_Heritage.htm

Papers presented at the symposium will be considered for publication.

This event is co-organized with the Centre for Media and Cultural Research at Birmingham City University.

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