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

The UoW Annual Black Music Symposium at the British Library

Posted: September 4th, 2023 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

20th  October 2023

The black music research unit (BMRU) and its research methods are designed to provide greater access and ownership toblack British-born individuals of their history within the academic ‘ivory tower’. In the academic literature these individuals have become subject to erasure and invisibility for successive generations. Examples include histories of popular music where they are largely overlooked in analyses of punk and its successor genres. This is despite punk and reggae’s co-existing, and were subject to considerable music collaboration and overlap in the 1970s. Many of this first generation, whilst now elderly, have important stories to tell, and objects and recordings to share. These stories should inform second and third generation black British-born individuals. All three generations are central to the research programme and ongoing discourse, and will feature in a new exhibition at the British Library in 2024.

General Outline

This symposium invites the submission of a diverse range of conference papers, posters and facilitated discussion about black British music and what it means globally. The frame of the symposium, and its themes, is expanded to consider a broad range of thematic areas. A suggested list of paper and poster themes are below, as is an invitation to organise a themed panel discussion. We also welcome papers on any theme or area relevant to the conference, black British music, black music, researching the African diaspora and music, as well as work with an interdisciplinary and/or intersectional focus relevant to the conference.

The symposium is currently scheduled to be an in person event at the British Library in London 20th October 2023.

Call for Papers, Posters, Video or Podcast

We are interested in papers tackling any of the following topics of interest or discussion areas. We welcome submissions from those who might not be affiliated with a University or other organisations/institutions.

Please use the following as a guide and feel free to suggest your own.

  • What is black British music?
  • What position should black British music hold within a national library collection?
  • What is the intangible heritage of Dub?
  • Misogynoir and colourism in the music industry.
  • To what extent are black British music festivals, exhibitions and events culturally transformative to British culture?
  • What is the potential impact of AI on the provenance of African music?
  • What are the barriers for black British music on radio, TV and performance?
  • Where should black British music sit within the UK curriculum for schools and university?
  • Is black British music more DIY than punk?
  • What does the philosophy of dub have on the formation and creation of pop music?

As well as papers, we would also like to expand the remit of the symposium to include other media submissions, especially from those unable to attend in-person. We encourage proposals for various media artefacts such as video, podcast or poster, and visual essays/presentations which address the symposium theme(s). These will be showcased in the run up to and as part of the symposium.

How to Submit Your Proposal:

Please submit all abstracts (250 words) with accompanying bio (up to 100 words) and affiliation (if any) by September 21st, 2023, to Hussein Boon at [email protected] [University of Westminster, United Kingdom] with the subject heading “Proposal- Annual Black Music Research Symposium” and an indication of either presentation (15 min. + 10 Q&A) or poster, video or podcast. You can also submit your proposal using the following forms link: https://forms.office.com/e/CuHp3pEdRB.

Contact Info:

Hussein Boon at University of Westminster, United Kingdom.

Contact Email:

[email protected]

Leave a Reply