Call for contributors for an edited collection
Psytrance: Local Scenes and Global Culture
Edited by Graham St John
This volume seeks contributions to the study of psytrance (psychedelic trance) culture. In particular, it will feature research attending to psytrance as a product of intersecting local and global trajectories. International and interdisciplinary, the collection will host contributions from scholars researching psytrance in worldwide locations, employing various methods, within multiple disciplines: including anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, media studies, ethnomusicology and studies in religion.
Rooted in Full Moon parties held on the beaches of Goa, India, in the 1970s and 1980s and incubated within “Goa Trance” scenes flourishing around the world in the mid-1990s, psytrance culture mushroomed globally over the past ten years. Inheriting from ecstatic and visionary pursuits of 1960s psychedelia, sharing music production technologies, DJ techniques and the culture of electronic dance music scenes, and harnessing the communication capabilities of the internet, psytrance would develop distinctive sonic and visual aesthetics, organizations and events, discourse and practice. This cultural proliferation would depend upon the growth of exotic sites of travel, exchange and performance (from Goa to Koh Phangan, Thailand, Bahia to Bali, Ibiza to Nevada’s Burning Man and so on). With events attracting enthusiasts from dozens of nations, in the early 2000s psytrance festivals would become what are likely the most culturally diverse music and dance events on the planet. By 2008, psytrance music, style, and texile fashions are evident in scenes the world over, with the music and culture translated among populations across Europe, in Israel, North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South America, Mexico, Japan, and elsewhere.
Possible themes to be explored in the collection:
The roots of psytrance and the development of electronic trance music.
The hybridization of aesthetics, genres, and subcultures in psytrance culture.
The role of new communications media and music technologies in production, performance and culture.
Globalization and psytrance music and culture.
The cultural economy of psytrance.
Gender, race, class and psytrance.
Psytrance and counterculture.
Psychedelics, entheogens, and the trance experience.
The trance dance “experience” illuminated performance and/or trance theory.
Trance carnivals and transgression.
Pilgrimage and festivals.
Fandom, and trance enthusiasts.
New spirituality, visionary culture, and psytrance.
Distinctions between “travellers” and “tourists”.
Theories of subculture, neotribalism, scenes, and psytrance.
Contradictions and hypocrisy within psytrance countercultures.
While the volume will address these and other themes, contributors should keep in mind the principal objective of the collection: to investigate the local, regional, or national translations of psytrance, on the one hand, and its global character on the other. Chapters will at the very least attend to either the local or global dimensions of psytrance music and culture. Submissions focusing on the interfacing of local/global dimensions will be especially appreciated.
Interested contributors should send a 250-300 word abstract to Graham St John by May 1 2008. Please send abstract and direct questions to Graham