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The Local, the Regional, and the Global in the Emergence of Popular Music Cultures

Copenhagen, October 2005

Call for papers
The Local, the Regional, and the Global in the Emergence of Popular
Music Cultures

University of Copenhagen, 24-26 October 2005

Popular music has been important as a means to bring into contact
local or regional cultures, sometimes creating alliances and blurring
borders, sometimes underscoring local identity in contrast to
supra-local levels. Such cultural processes have intensified since the
1940s, calling for a new kind of historical perspective in popular
music studies in order to underline the interplay between continuity
and change in popular music culture, the inspirations exchanged and
the influences between cultures.

Throughout the 20th century popular musical forms have flowed from
Great Britain and the USA as musicians and performers both within and
outside these areas made use of imitation and copying as a means of
appropriating new styles. Seemingly, this caused a strong
homogenization of cultures, but the picture is more complex as
conceptualisations like syncretism, transculturation and glocalisation
have suggested.

This conference will address such processes and examine how the
exchange between local, regional and global musics mix and interchange
in dialogue as a result of political, social, and cultural encounters
mediated in various ways, thus forming new possibilities for social
formations and constructions of identities.

In recent years popular music studies have been informed by the theory
and methodology of ethnomusicology, and the anthropological study of
music has offered itself as a means of addressing the dynamic exchange
between the local and the global. The possibility of applying
ethnomusicological perspectives to this interchange and to the
discourse on place will be one major theme of the conference.

Another major theoretical theme will be how sociological concepts like
struggle, cultural field, habitus, etc., especially as they have been
developed in Bourdieuian cultural theory, can be applied to the study
of popular music. Such concepts thematize the interpretation of the
hierarchical structures of popular cultures and the changes taking
place as popular music and culture gradually have become more accepted
within general culture.

The conference is part of the research project, Danish Rock Culture
from the 1950s to the 1980s, consisting of 14 individual projects
focussing on different aspects of the culture from different
theoretical angles (e.g., ethnomusicology, Bourdieuian cultural
theory, historiography, discourse analysis). As Denmark is a small
country with a population of 5.4 million, an area of 43.000 square
kilometres, and a stable political system it is an ideal object for
in-depth studies of the development of a popular music culture in an
everyday which is not marked by radical resistant cultures -- whether
left wing or nationalist -- or other highly visible sites of struggle.

The aim of the conference is to investigate the complex cultural
processes that have taken place in the negotiations between different
music-cultural practices from a local, regional, and global
perspective. The conference will present some of the results from the
Danish research project, and we invite researchers who work with
similar issues of local/regional/global or investigate local music
cultures from other perspectives to meet in dialogue with each other
about the main theoretical and empirical issues.

Papers should be kept to 20 minutes. There will be 10 minutes for
questions. Abstracts of about 250 words are due Monday, May 2, and
should be accompanied by a brief bio and full contact info. Email
with your abstracts, as well as questions about the theme, your topic,
or the conference in general. Authors will be notified of the Program
Committee's decisions by June 1. There is no participation fee.

The conference is funded by the Danish Research Council for the
Humanities and organised by IASPM Norden and the Danish research

A description of the Danish research project can be found at

Further information about the conference will be posted at


Morten Michelsen, Ph. D., Associate Professor
Department of Musicology
University of Copenhagen
Klerkegade 2
DK-1308 Copenhagen K
Phone +45 35 32 37 91
Fax +45 35 32 37 38

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Last updated Thu, 15-Oct-2005 11:12 / GAC