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The Residents: Visionaries, Satirists, and Mythmakers

Posted: September 6th, 2019 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

A themed issue of the journal Rock Music Studies.

The Residents are one of the most important bands in avant-garde / alternative music. With their first albums in the 1970s, they quickly established themselves as fierce critics of popular culture and as visionaries of new technologies and multimedia aesthetics. Since the 1970s, they have been committed to deconstructing the canon of popular music (with Meet the Residents, The Third Reich’n’Roll, Not Available, The Warner Bros. Album) and reconstructing American popular music (The King and Eye, God in Three Persons, Stars and Hank Forever). Reinventing the music of the avant-garde (Eskimo, Fingerprince, The Commercial Album) over the decades of their artistic career, the Residents also redefined the idea of the concept album (Mark of the Mole, Demons Dance Alone, The Voice of Midnight, The Ghost of Hope) and the genre of music videos (Freak Show, Gingerbread Man, One Minute Movies, Bad Day on the Midway). During their career they have also deconstructed the mythologies of popular culture, reinterpreting the music of the Beatles, Elvis, George Gershwin, James Brown, Hank Williams, Iron Butterfly, and the Rolling Stones–to name only a few. Consequently, by the turn of the twenty-first century, the Residents had extended the concept of the avant-garde and alternative music.

With this special issue of Rock Music Studies, we want to commemorate and sum up almost fifty years of the Residents’ career in a collection of papers devoted exclusively to one of the most original and prolific artistic collectives in the history of popular music. The aim of this issue is to discuss the Residents’ place in contemporary culture and their artistic legacy. We invite contributions investigating (but not limited to) the following list of topics:

  • The Residents meet postmodernism
  • The Residents meet myths
  • The Residents meet the North
  • The Residents meet the canons
  • The Residents meet American popular music
  • The Residents meet concept albums
  • The Residents meet the Theory of Obscurity
  • The Residents meet new technologies
  • The Residents meet live performances / shows
  • The Residents meet the fans
  • The Residents meet hauntology
  • The Residents meet the “pREServed Edition”

Submission Instructions

Abstracts: Please send abstracts of 250-400 words with a brief bibliography any queries to [email protected]. An abstract should include the paper title, the scope of the paper, the research question, and the argument. Please also attach a short biographical note (maximum 100 words) including your institutional / academic affiliation and research interests.

Papers: Papers should be sent to [email protected] and be between 6,000 and 10,000 words, inclusive of tables, references, figure captions, endnotes; for further details go here. We welcome proposals from all academic disciplines.

Timeline:  October 1, 2019: abstracts deadline; November 1, 2019: abstracts notification; April 1, 2020: papers deadline; February 2021: planned publication of the special issue.

Editorial Information

Guest Editors:
Mark Jeziński, Nicolaus Copernicus University
Edyta Lorek-Jeziński, Nicolaus Copernicus University
Thomas B. Grochowski, St. Joseph’s College
Eric J. Abbey, Oakland Community College

Journal Editors:
Thomas M. Kitts, St. John’s University, USA
Gary Burns, Northern Illinois University, USA

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