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Musical Violence and/as Community, American Studies Association
Hartford, CT, October 2003

Call for Papers/Presentations
American Studies Association Annual Conference
"Violence and Belonging"
Hartford, CT October 16-19, 2003

"The way we come with such brute force": Musical Violence and/as Community

This session will explore the connections among popular musical genres,
representations of violence and questions of community and belonging.  
Common cultural criticism is that representations of violence in popular
music reflect only a fundamental breakdown of "morality," the failures of
(hetero)normative culture, and are often directly responsible for the
"troubles" of contemporary society.  This panel seeks to complicate this
easy cultural positioning and offer alternative interpretations of the
role of musical violence.  For instance, how might violence in music
directly reconstitute the limits and obligations of (hetero)normative
culture?  Or conversely, how might musical violence directly constitute,
and extended a sense of belonging to, specific subcultures?  What might be
(some of) the relationships between violence in American culture, violence
as a basis for the exclusionary logic of community and popular genres of
music?  Presenters may approach any of these questions, or topics of their
own concern in regard to popular music, violence and community.  Papers
that explore violence (lyrical, visual, or otherwise) in any contemporary
genre of popular music (rap, alt-rock, emo, techno, R+B, country,
neo/pop-punk, etc.) are welcome.

Please send one-page abstract and abbreviated vita by January 15 to Todd
Ramlow at or Todd Ramlow, Department of English, The
George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA.

Todd R Ramlow
The Program in the Human Sciences and Department of English
The George Washington University
Rome Hall 656