‘Straight from the heart’: a conference on love and rock music



Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier 3 (France)

  April 16 & 17, 2014

A joint production University of Chester (United Kingdom) – Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier 3 (France)

 Sponsored by Études Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone (EMMA)

and The Chester Centre for Research in Arts and Media (CCRAM) (to be confirmed)

 Call for Papers

Music historians have often associated archetypal rock music with rebellion and social unrest – political protest, generational conflict, individualism, narcissism, and sexual liberation. Likewise, the press, public authorities, medical and religious institutions have routinely considered rock music as a more or less overt, dangerous form of opposition to established order, crystallizing teenage revolt. Rock has been construed as a language of resistance and grammar of protest, embodying the spirit as well as the letter of subversion.

Rock songs, however, have often taken love as a central theme – love between men and women, brothers and sisters, parents and children, or friends; sometimes for a dog, a car, a bike, or even a pair of shoes; sometimes universal, spiritual love.

Exploring the place and role of love in rock may open up new perspectives from which we can analyze the genre and its audience. We invite papers from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives that explore themes associated with the many roles of love in rock music, from all periods and geographical areas. Paper topics might include (but are not limited to):

* Power ballads, gender address and radio formatting

* Love expressed: musical form in the rock love song

* The use of rock in declarations of monogamous romantic love

* Anniversary tunes: weddings, rock discos, proms, funerals

* Taste, canon and genre: soft rock; the love ballad as “guilty pleasure”

* Troubadours, Lotharios and duets: the use of love in images of celebrity performers

* Issues of affect and authenticity: fan love, “music lovers,” love and the role of the critic

* Rock and the family drama: psychoanalytic interpretations, parental and brotherly love

* Themes of lost love and heartache

* Love in the realm of genre hybridity / rock subgenres

* Lovers identified: class, race, age, nation and culture

* Between love and sex in the rock genre

* Queering love: LGBT and the rock love song

* Valentines tunes

* Rock love and the negotiation of gender identities

* Second hand love: rock cover bands and tribute artists

* In the name of love: love, community and politics

* Still in love: History, memory and heritage

* Reconsidering theory and love in rock

The papers must be unpublished and can be delivered either in French or in English.

Proposals (300 words in French or in English + a short biography) must be sent either to Mark Duffett (m.duffett@CHESTER.AC.UK) or to Claude Chastagner (claude.chastagner@univ-montp3.fr). They shall feature the first and last name, field, status, affiliation, and electronic address of the author, as well as 5 key words.

The document will be saved under the following: LASTNAME.firstname.doc.

Deadline for proposals: July 15, 2013.

Summer 2013: evaluation of the proposals by the Scientific Committee

October 2013: notification of the decision to the authors


Mark Duffet, University of Chester

Claude Chastagner, Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier 3

Scientific Committee

Andy Arleo, Université de Nantes

Paul Carr, School of Cultural & Creative Industries, Cardiff

Stan Cuesta, Écrivain, Journaliste (Rolling Stone, Rock & Folk), Montpellier

John Dean, Université de Versailles St-Quentin-en-Yvelines

Magalie Dumousseau, Université d’Avignon

Vincent Dussol, Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier 3

Charlotte Gould, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3

Elsa Grassy, Université Marc Bloch, Strasbourg

John Mullen, Université Paris Est, Créteil-Val de Marne

Christophe Pirenne, Université Catholique de Louvain

Simon Warner, University of Leeds



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