cfp: Experts, non-experts and the participatory production of knowledge (Volume! The French Journal of Popular Music Studies)

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Experts, non-experts and the participatory production of knowledge. The case of popular music research (Volume! The French Journal of Popular Music Studies)
Editors: Christophe Pirenne and Christophe Levaux (University of Liège, Belgium)

The call for papers

After four decades of of studies, the subjects and objectives defined in several essential texts on popular music published from the late 1970s onwards (Frith 1978, Tagg 1982, Wicke 1990, Middleton 1990) seem to have been largely covered. Whether in terms of methodology, interdisciplinarity, decompartmentalisation or decentralisation; or even in terms of institutional recognition and integration into the academic field, the knowledge acquired has been considerable to the point that, in return, it sometimes influences the disciplines from which popular music studies originally drew its inspiration.

However, many questions remain unanswered. Have popular music studies truly embraced all types of popular music? Have popular music specialists really succeeded in covering all musical genres? Hasn’t its initial struggle against various forms of cultural elitism actually been transposed to popular repertoires? Can we refer to over- or under-representation within styles, genres and their associated communities? Can or should a balance be guaranteed and how? Do studies relating to a participatory production of knowledge offer new opportunities for the study of popular music (Callon, Lascoumes & Barthe)? Is it ultimately a question of re-thinking the role of experts and non-experts in the elaboration of narratives relating to popular music?

The purpose of this special edition of Volume! The French journal of popular music studies is to offer a retrospective and critical reflection on popular music studies’ initial vocation, to bring to light repertoires that are seldom studied and even sometimes discredited. It also aims at encouraging new reflections and research avenues regarding this initial vocation, by especially envisaging the collaboration of experts and non-experts in the knowledge-building process.


Below is a non-exhaustive list of themes that could be covered in proposed articles:

Historiography and critical historiography of popular music studies;

Relationships between culture and issues of power, cultural studies;

Science, technology and society, actor-network theory and the participatory production of knowledge;

The influence of the sociology, the musicology, the history, the economics of popular music on their respective “mother” disciplines;

The established role of fans and fandom on the academic study of popular music.

Editorial process

There are two parts to the assessment process.

The contributors shall first send proposals (6,000 characters long) to Christophe Pirenne, Christophe Levaux and the Volume ! team to the following email addresses:, and

Before 7 April 2019.

After notification of the first selection in April, selected authors must send in their full contributions before 1 October 2019. These complete versions will then be assessed anonymously, by experts in the field, in accordance with the journal’s editorial process.