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Music on the Edge
International Association for the Study of Popular Music, Australia/New Zealand Branch

University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, Friday 30 November to Sunday 2 December 2007

Call For Papers

The 2007 annual conference of IASPM-ANZ will be held at the University of
Otago in Dunedin from November 30 to December 2. This will be the first
time that the IASPM-ANZ conference has been hosted by a South Island
institution. The title Music on the Edge reflects Dunedin's geographic
isolation from other Australasian centres of cultural influence, but also
the culture of alternative music that has long predominated in the local
music scene. As a guide to the scope of this conference, four thematic
areas are outlined below.

Abstracts for paper presentations are now invited from researchers with an
interest in popular music regardless of disciplinary orientation. All
papers detailing new and established research in the field will be
considered, though preference may be given to papers that demonstrate
clear engagement with one or more of the conference themes. Papers with a
theoretical orientation are particularly encouraged, as are submissions
from postgraduate students.

Special Events

The 2007 conference will be an opportunity to showcase Dunedin's
contemporary music scene through performances for the conference delegates
and general public. It also heralds the return of the IASPM-ANZ `jam
night', with a house band and some instruments (drums and keyboards)
provided by the University of Otago Music Department. Delegates are
encouraged to bring their instruments along (where practicable) for an
inclusive IASPM jam.

Conference Themes

1. The edge of discipline(s)
This theme proposes an investigation of the place of popular music in
academic discourse. Is popular music innately inter-disciplinary? What
forces now influence our understandings of popular? The first 25 years of
popular music studies are clearly mapped out, but what directions lie
ahead? Is Australasia ready for a home-grown theory and method, or does
this already exist? This theme also invites papers that deal with the
analysis of popular music in other contexts (literature, art, iconography,
psychology, history, politics, etc).

2. The edge of popular
There is now an abundance of texts providing clear guidelines for
researching the popular, but what about the music that is at the edge of
popular: the up-and-coming, the formerly popular (but now very uncool),
the comeback, the kitsch, one hit wonders, the resolutely independent, the
ones that almost made it, or the ones that are so bad as to become
popular? Papers concerning bad music and utterly unpopular music are
invited, as well as papers dealing with the embedded characteristics,
structural analyses or aesthetic critiques evoked by this theme.

3. The edges of society
A lot of significant music is culturally, geographically, and socially
isolated. This theme invites papers dealing with music that is, by design,
accident or convention, at the edges of the mainstream. Topics may include
music that is criminal, dangerous, or deviant; marginal, isolated,
separatist, resistant, alternative, independent, or underground.

4. The cutting edge
This theme invites research that investigates new music or sound
technology, innovative new research, and research that challenges
established scholarship.

Abstract Submission
Abstracts should be submitted as an email attachment (Word document, 12pt
Times New Roman font) to the conference convenor:, by 31 March 2007. Please use your
surname as the document title, as in Bendrups.doc. Delegates requiring an
extension of this deadline should indicate this in an email to the above
address. The abstracts will be reviewed by an IASPM-ANZ committee and
successful applicants advised promptly by email. Please include (in this

-Name of author(s) (as you would like it to appear in the programme)
-Institution or affiliation
-Contact phone numbers
-Title of paper
-Abstract (200-300 words)
-Consideration for 2007 IASPM-ANZ postgraduate prize? (Yes/No)

Registration and Membership
Information on registration, accommodation and additional activities will
be provided by email and posted on the IASPM-ANZ website following the
abstract review process. All presenters are required to be financial
members of IASPM. Membership information can be found at the IASPM-ANZ
webpage:, and will also be provided at the time of
conference registration. For further membership information, please
contact IASPM-ANZ treasurer John Scannell (details below).

Conference Proceedings
IASPM-ANZ endeavours to publish a peer-reviewed proceedings for each
annual conference. In 2007, it is proposed that a selection of
thematically cogent papers (provisional volume title `Music on the Edge')
be submitted for rigorous peer review with the aim of attracting an
independent publisher. Delegates wishing to submit their papers for review
should provide a copy in electronic format (Word document) and hard copy
to Dan Bendrups (details below) by 30 November 2007. Please follow the
stylistic conventions for Perfect Beat, and observe a maximum 4,000-word

Other Information
Each year, IASPM-ANZ awards one postgraduate presenter with the IASPM- ANZ
Postgraduate Prize for the best paper. The $100 AUD prize is determined by
an independent panel of established members. To be considered for this
prize, you must be currently enrolled as a postgraduate student. Please
indicate your interest when submitting your abstract.

For any queries regarding the conference please contact Dan Bendrups at
the University of Otago:

Department of Music
University of Otago
PO Box 56, Dunedin
New Zealand
Ph: +64 3 479 4025
Fax: +64 3 479 8885

For information on:

IASPM membership: John Scannell (Treasurer),
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