Call for articles: If You Could Read Our Minds: Essays on Gordon Lightfoot

Edited by Melissa Avdeeff (Coventry University) and Scott Henderson (Trent University Durham GTA)

Proposals are sought for an interdisciplinary, edited collection focused on the work and career of Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot.

Lightfoot’s career spans more than six decades, beginning with his emergence in the folk rock scene in Toronto’s Yorkville in the 1960s through to continued touring in the present decade. Lightfoot’s success has bridged a number of genres, including folk, pop, country, rock and a range of crossovers. A string of Top 40 hits in the 1970s cemented Lightfoot’s international reputation, both as a singer and songwriter. In addition to his own recordings, Lightfoot’s songs have also been recorded and performed by an amazing array of diverse artists., across a vast range of musical genres.

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cfp: Groove the City 2020 – Constructing and Deconstructing Urban Spaces through Music

The conference will take place from Feb. 13th to 15th at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany.

We are looking for papers that transgress the boundaries between our notions of music and space. We are explicitly following Henri Lefèbvre’s (1991) concept of a dialectics of triplicity and Edward Soja’s (2008) trialectic of spatiality. A first level encompasses material, physical, and social spaces of music and the mutuality of sound–music and space–architecture from historical, social, economic and cultural perspectives. A second level focusses on the mutuality of music and symbolic aspects of space such as images, brands, and imaginaries. While the third level should open up an arena of powerful mediations between music–sound and spatial politics, whether this results in the appropriation of the city by music or the appropriation of music by the city.

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cfp: Gender and Creativity in Music Worlds

Call for Papers for the MusicaFemina International Symposium Budapest

“Gender and Creativity in Music Worlds”

8-9 January 2020

As part of its Hungarian event series, MusicaFemina International is organizing a symposium and workshop in Budapest on 8-9 January 2020. The initiative, involving Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Germany, is primarily aimed at creating the conditions for more balanced relations of gender in the various spheres and institutions of music production.

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cfp: Listening to (Mainstream) Popular Music in 2020: Sounds and Practices

21–22 May 2020 
Department of Music, University of Innsbruck, Austria 


The interdisciplinary conference seeks to intensify the scientific discourse on the current sounds of popular music, and about those who stream, buy, talk about, like, use, and listen to them. The goal is to bring together different approaches unified by the interest in the cultural meanings, identities, experiences, and values that music without a clear subcultural context is being loaded with.

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Songwriting Studies Journal

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Songwriting Studies Journal, an initiative that emerges from the AHRC-funded Songwriting Studies Research Network based at Birmingham City University and the University of Liverpool. Since launching our series of national research events we’ve become increasingly aware of the diversity of scholarly work that intersects with songwriting. The network now seeks contributions from scholars for an inaugural issue of the journal that will help define the emerging interdisciplinary field of songwriting studies.

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Guest editor for a special issue (Journa of Film Music)

The Journal of Film Music is planning a special issue devoted to the topic “From Jukebox to Score to Jukebox” which will explore the relationship between jukebox music as source music (diegetic music) and film scoring (non-diegetic music) and how movie themes ended up being played on real jukeboxes in popular arrangements.

We are presently seeking a guest editor for the issue so if interested please contact Equinox MD Janet Joyce jjoyce@equinoxpub.com or the editor William Rosar at rosar@ifms-jfm.org

cfp: Metal and the Holocaust

Call for Papers: Metal and the Holocaust
(special issue Metal Music Studies 2020, ed. Keith Kahn-Harris and Dominic Williams)

Our special issue tackles a well-known but little-studied phenomenon: the importance of Holocaust themes to the metal scene. The Holocaust has often featured as a subject of metal lyrics (from Slayer’s ‘Angel of Death’ on). It has repeatedly been referred to in descriptions of metal’s sound (e.g. the ‘Heavy Metal Holocaust’ of 1981). And it has formed part of accusations and warnings against bands who flirt with and sometimes outright endorse far-right and neo-Nazi politics.

Even with those bands – the vast majority on the scene – who do not engage in such politics, their interest in the Holocaust has frequently been seen as exploitative at best. But many metal lyricists and musicians claim that they are providing a ‘history lesson’, and many teenagers’ first acquaintance with such figures as Josef Mengele and Reinhard Heydrich surely comes from Slayer.

It is high time, therefore, that the tangled relationship of metal and the Holocaust be unpicked and examined. We wish to face up to a difficult and troubling topic, and accept that many of the ways that metal has approached it are not beyond critique. But we are also interested in possibilities that come from its incorporation and embodiment of the Holocaust. What aspects of metal’s politics need to be thought through, attended to, challenged? Can metal form a kind of historiography? Metal frequently evokes extreme affects. Does this focus provide a means of testifying to the Shoah that goes beyond the simply propositional or representational? Are such modes of remembrance exportable beyond the bounds of the metal scene, or do they only work within the particular codes and values of this subculture? How do they compare to other forms of ‘Holocaust impiety’ and other forms of representation?

We seek proposals for articles of 6,000-8,000 words. Final deadline for articles will be 1 December 2019.

Questions could include but are not limited to the following:

  • What part has metal played in transmitting knowledge of or interest in the Holocaust?
  • What place does this particular subject have within the subculture? Is it one of many horrors that its fans wish to face up to, or does it have a particular significance for them?
  • Can metal provide history lessons?
  • How has the understanding and presentation of the Holocaust by metal bands and fans been influenced by:
    • politics (including those of the far right)?
    • religious and anti-religious positions?
    • interest in Nordic and Germanic culture and themes?
  • Does metal offer ways of approaching the Holocaust from which other cultural forms can learn, e.g.
    • its tendency to avoid moralising?
    • its concentration on intense feelings rather than contemplation?
  • How has the significant history of Jewish involvement in metal culture impacted the scene’s responses to the Holocaust?
  • How have Israeli metal scenes engaged with the Holocaust?
  • Is the approach taken by these forms of music best characterised as ‘holocaust impiety’?
  • Is it possible to be ‘reflexively anti-reflexive’ about the Holocaust?

Send abstracts of 150-250 words plus a short bio note to Dominic Williams (dominic2.williams@northumbria.ac.uk) by 6 September 2019.

cfp: IASPM-US 2020 Conference: “BPM: Bodies, Places, Movements”

IASPM-US 2020 Conference: “BPM: Bodies, Places, Movements”
May 21-23, 2020
Ann Arbor, Michigan

The International Association for the Study of Popular Music-United States chapter (IASPM-US) invites proposals for its annual conference, which will take place in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan on May 21-23, 2020. We welcome abstracts on all aspects of popular music, broadly defined, from any discipline or profession, and especially encourage submissions on the many rich popular music histories of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Detroit.
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Riffs: Call for Proposals

Riffs: Call for Proposals
’Technology is something I love and hate at the same time. One one hand the absence of any kind of technology means silence (or an environment of natural sounds which we hear much clearer because of the general silence); on the other hand, you need technology to make art’.
Christina Kubisch, ‘Artists’ Statements II: Christina Kubisch’, in The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music, ed. by Nick Collins and Julio d’Escriván, 2nd edn (Cambridge. Cambridge University Press, 2017:176)
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