UB40 Symposium

Call for Papers
Friday 18th March 2011.
Venue: Birmingham City University, UK.

Organizers: Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research in association with Birmingham Popular Music Archive.

UB40 in Birmingham

This year, the Birmingham-based band UB40 celebrates the 30th anniversary of the release of the album ‘Signing Off’.

The band gained its name from an unemployment benefit form and achieved fame and notoriety in the ‘post-punk’ era. Known for a dedication to popularizing the sounds of reggae music the band has maintained a commitment to political issues through its music as well as cultural and social action.

Over 30 years the band has sold over 100 million albums and continues to tour extensively around the world. While the band’s star has waxed and waned in critical favour at home in the UK, it maintains a global fan base, which is particularly strong in the Third World.

This symposium seeks to bring together researchers with an interest in the band in order to consider its place in various scholarly contexts.

Papers are invited on any subject that may illuminate the role of the band in a wider popular music culture and vice versa.

Subjects areas may include (although are by no means restricted to), UB40 and/in:

  • Popular music history
  • Social history and popular music
  • Music industries
  • Politics and popular music
  • The local and the global
  • Music journalism
  • Fandom
  • Genre and hybridity
  • Ethnicity, race and identity
  • Authenticity
  • The politics and aesthetics of the cover version

This symposium will take place in the Birmingham School of Media, BCU. There will be a small fee for attendance to cover lunch and refreshments.

The schedule will feature a screening of ‘Made in Birmingham’, a film produced by the Birmingham Popular Music Archive and ‘swish’ productions. The film focuses on the stories of reggae, punk and bhangra and their importance to the musical culture and heritage of the city.

Abstracts of 300 words, accompanied by an author biography and contact details should be submitted by November 1st 2010.

Full papers for inclusion in proceedings should be submitted by February 1st 2010.

Submissions and queries should be directed to:

Dr. Paul Long
Reader in Media and Cultural History
Birmingham School of Media
Perry Barr
B42 2SU

Email: paul.long@bcu.ac.uk

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