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

Writing the noise: the politics and history of subcultural music

Posted: August 31st, 2017 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

The 2nd International Conference of the Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change
University of Reading
6–7 September 2018

Confirmed keynote speakers and events:

Simon Reynolds, author of Shock and Awe, Retromania, Energy Flash and Rip It Up and Start Again
Professor Lucy Robinson, University of Sussex, ‘Less History of Zines, More Zines as History’

Plenary panel of music journalists: from the mainstream to the pop press to fanzines, featuring Simon Reynolds, David Stubbs and Cathi Unsworth

The Call:

How should we write the history of subcultures and their music? How do we write about current subcultures and musics? What theories or perspectives should we adopt? What sources can we use and how do we apply them? Who is able to write them? Did – and do – you have to have been there? This international conference will analyse the problems and possibilities of writing on subcultures and their music. It will bring together academics, journalists and practitioners; it will be multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. It will be designed to facilitate conversations between historians, sociologists and musicologists, between cultural studies and political science, between performers and commentators, between journalists, writers and academics.

Individual paper proposals should include an abstract of 300 words max, together with a brief biography and contact details

Suggested themes and areas:

  • Histories of music
  • Theories of subcultures
  • Comparing subcultures
  • Infrastructures and institutions
  • Music journalism and the music press
  • The politics of music, the politics of subcultures
  • Fanzines
  • Archives and oral history
  • Geographies of popular music, localities and space

Panel proposals should include a general abstract and brief account of papers to be included (600 words in total), together with brief biographies and contact details.

Deadline: 15 November 2017

Send to conference organisers: Matthew Worley ([email protected]) and John Street ([email protected])

Notification of acceptance will be sent by the end of February 2018


The conference fee will by £100, comprising lunch, refreshments and admin. Plans to give concessions to unwaged/students/PhDs are on-going. Accommodation can be booked for £61 per night. Registration information will be disseminated once the conference programme has been put in place.

The conference is organised by Matthew Worley and John Street, on behalf of the Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change


The network is responsible for the Palgrave book series on subcultures (https://www.palgrave.com/in/series/14579)

Previous Network publications may be found here:


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