Pop – Power – Positions

Global Relations and Popular Music
3rd IASPM D-A-CH Symposium

Bern (Switzerland), 18–20 October 2018

In Nigeria, the high pressure to follow the copyright rules of the globalized pop music market restrains the use of samples in hip hop culture. In Egypt, young musicians have no credit cards, leaving them without access to the online music market. In Europe, second and third generation migrants discuss their non-European backgrounds and European identities in songs and tracks. And U.S.-produced Korean pop music (K-Pop) increasingly rivals Korean-produced K-Pop in its concern for authentic presentation.
Issues of power, position, access, and representation have shaped the production, distribution, and reception of popular music and continue to do so today. The three-day interdisciplinary conference Pop – Power – Positions highlights popular music’s embeddedness in a global world. It seeks to uncover and scrutinize the risks, challenges, and potentials of power structures, positioning, and (re)presentations in popular music. The analysis of global, postcolonial structures plays a central role in this endeavour. To date, however, music– and popular music in particular – has only rarely been studied using postcolonial perspectives.
Postcolonialism refers not only to the historical fact of colonialism and its political, geographical, cultural, and economic impact on the countries and regions involved. Rather, postcolonial studies deal with all aspects of cultural diversity, ethnic and cultural difference, and their related power structures. Colonialism as well as postcolonialism refer to hierarchies that are enacted and produced through the construction of the Other and bring about and enforce debateable concepts of representation such as gender, race, ethnic group, nation, class, and culture. In this regard, the effects of (post)colonialism can be detected not only in former colonialized and colonising countries and regions, but also in those which at first sight do not have a colonial heritage, for example Switzerland.
From its beginnings, popular music has been produced and performed in and within (post)colonial (power) structures. Postcolonial traces are, according to Johannes Ismaiel-Wendt, inherent in any popular music (2011). Current productions of popular music in different countries show that (post)colonial conditions live on in popular music, especially in a globalised world, and that musicians as well as recipients react in various ways to this situation.
The conference focuses on (global) power relations and representations of race, cultural difference, ethnicity, gender, class, and nation, including the changes and subversive strategies these may involve. Ethnographic and analytical studies of popular music in and from (former) colonised countries and regions are also welcome.

We invite papers that address the following range of topics and questions:
Power
– Who speaks in popular music? What kinds of power structures shape the production, distribution, and reception of popular music? What is the impact of the Anglophone music business on other music markets? Who speaks about popular music in the areas of marketing, advertising, journalism, fan cultures, (global) politics, and educational institutions – and what vocabulary do they use?
– Have digitalisation and digital networks led to a democratisation of musical processes, or the contrary?
– What sounds and music(s) are processed in what contexts by whom and how, and to what aim? How does the use of certain sounds/music(s) point to existing power relations, dependencies, and availability?
Place
– What role do geographies and geopolitics play in popular music-making? How do geography, world order, and power structures relate?
– In what ways can popular music exist beyond cultural, ethnic, and national geographies? What role does the relation between the Global North and Global South have in popular music?
Positions
– How do structures of power and distribution limit the access to the production and reception of popular music?
– What relevance, usability, and impact do technologies (like Digital Audio Workstations) or legal regulations (like the copyright laws) that have been developed in Western contexts have for popular music? In what ways are (post)colonial structures and power relations (re)produced therein?
– What kinds of representations do musicians use for their marketing? What traits are ascribed to music?
Postcolonialism
– What potential does popular music hold for detecting and changing (or enforcing) colonial and postcolonial power structures?
– How can postcolonial theories be made fruitful for an up-to-date understanding of popular music?
– How do musicians of different forms of popular music process a „(post)colonial experience of the world” („(post)koloniales Welterleben“, Ismaiel-Wendt) in their music?
Popular Music Studies
– How marginalised are specific popular musics within the history of popular music?
– Should or can we write a Global History of Popular Music?
– In what way is the concept of popular music in itself (post)colonial?
– What hierarchies, asymmetries or restraints can be found in inter-/transdisciplinary Popular Music Studies?

Keynote: Dr Jenny Fatou Mbaye (City University London)

Contributions on popular music that lie outside the scope of these topic areas are
welcome and will be considered if possible.

Call in GermanCall in English

Please email your abstract to daniel.allenbach@hkb.bfh.ch by 28 February 2018

More information: http://www.hkb-interpretation.ch/veranstaltungen/pop-power-positions

Work & Play: Economies of Music

Work & Play: Economies of Music

The Harvard Graduate Music Forum Conference    •    20–21 February 2015

Keynote:  Robin James (UNC Charlotte)

Round Table:  Verena Andermatt Conley, Robin James, Sindhumathi Revuluri, Kay Kaufman Shelemay

 

– Call for Proposals –

This interdisciplinary conference takes as its premise that music is inseparable from the economic conditions of its production and consumption. Through presentations, lecture-recitals and composers’ colloquia, we seek to explore the intersections of music and economics from a diverse array of perspectives including labor, practice, material culture, and capital.

Questions include but are not limited to:

  • How do musicians and their employers understand musical labor, and how does this impinge on issues of amateurism, professionalism, and institutionalization?
  • How have shifting economic systems — for instance, from patronage to mass consumption, or from liberalism to neoliberalism — altered the place of music in society?
  • How have issues such as postcolonialism, the North-South economic divide, and globalization, intersected with various musical practices to forge divergent models of economies of music?
  • Where does music succeed and where does it fail in transforming economic relations?
  • What are the economic consequences of the material means of musics’ dissemination, such as manuscripts, published scores, phonograph recordings, streaming and live performance?
  • How do questions of cultural and economic capital combine in appraisals and contestations of musical value?
  • How has music symbolically represented economics and status? What is music’s role in this endeavour today?

– Submissions –

We welcome submissions from current graduate students on these and related topics. We seek proposals on all repertoires, musical practices and historical periods, and representing a broad set of methodologies. Formats for presentation include:

  • 20-minute papers, audiovisual presentations, or exploratory text works, with 10 minutes for discussion
    Please submit abstracts of a maximum of 350 words and, where appropriate, up to 4 additional pages for figures. Please add a short statement regarding AV requirements.
  • 30-minute composer colloquia, performances, or lecture-recitals, with 15 minutes for discussion
    Please submit details of the work to be presented in a maximum of 350 words and, where appropriate, links to relevant sound recordings and/or scores or supplementary documentation.

Deadline for proposals: 5 December 2014

Please e-mail submissions to: harvardgmf2015@gmail.com

For more information please visit: http://projects.iq.harvard.edu/gmf2015