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

This is Me: Interrogating the Female Pop Star Documentary

Posted: June 6th, 2023 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

From Lady Gaga’s Five Foot Two (2017) to BlackPink’s Light Up the Sky (2020), Billie Eilish’s The World’s A Little Blurry (2021), Love, Lizzo (2022) and many more, documentaries on female pop stars have been released with increased frequency in the past decade. Many of the world’s most famous female artists both in (and beyond) the pop genre have allowed fragments of their onstage and offstage lives to be filmed and released for public consumption as part of the bolstering of their brand.

This broad, interdisciplinary collection (which will be the first full length study of its kind) to be published by Bloomsbury Academic in early 2025, will address the ways in which women in pop music documentaries have played a significant role in shaping the narrative of popular music history. Such documentaries shed light on the experiences, challenges, and achievements of female artists in the pop music genre and provide a platform to explore the artistry, cultural impact, and personal stories of women who have made an indelible mark on the pop music landscape. The portrayal of women in pop music documentaries occupies a crucial space in the exploration of popular music history. Such documentaries celebrate the achievements of iconic female pop artists, challenge and reaffirm gender stereotypes, highlight artistic prowess, and influence, and share personal journeys of resilience.

The collection will address the complexities of the construction of female celebrity as portrayed through the pop star documentary. The essays in this volume will employ broad cultural theory frameworks to investigate what this often-overlooked genre of documentary has to offer in understanding both popular music and celebrity culture today.

Suggested topics/themes for chapters (without being limited to):

  • Constructions of celebrity
  • Abuse narratives
  • Ageing
  • Gender identities
  • Materiality
  • Narratives of motherhood
  • Racial identities
  • Social histories
  • The music industry
  • Mental health narratives

Proposals/abstracts should be 500 words maximum outlining your proposed chapter. Please include up to 5 keywords and a brief biography (150 words) of the author(s) which includes an institutional affiliation and your contact email.

Editor: Kirsty Fairclough (SODA at Manchester Metropolitan University)

Please send your proposal(s) to: [email protected]

Important Dates:

  • Abstract Submission Deadline: Friday 30th June 2023
  • Notification of Acceptance: Sunday 30th July 2023
  • Full Chapter Submission: Tuesday 30th January 2024
  • Expected Publication: January 2025

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