Starting Over? Popular Music and Working in Music in a Post-Pandemic World.
University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
May 22-25, 2022
IASPM-Canada and the Working in Music research network (WIM) invite abstracts for their joint 2022 conference, to be held at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario, Canada.
The IASPM/WIM 2022 joint conference welcomes scholarly research from all disciplines that engages with the changing contexts of musical practice experience—music making, the circulation of music, musical pedagogy and fandom, music and social movements, and various other dimensions of musical engagement—playing, dancing, streaming, listening.
For more than a year, the global pandemic has highlighted and accelerated the destabilization of practices and institutions of music making and partaking. The enforced hiatus from many aspects of public life offers a chance to evaluate music practices. Which have continued? Which ones will resume? Which ones may not return, at least not as they were?
While we welcome papers on any aspects of popular music, we encourage papers that align with the conference subthemes.
The Impact of the Global Pandemic and Reopening
The pandemic-driven global recession and states’ preferential delivery of economic relief to major corporations have produced a “K-shaped recovery” with wildly divergent outcomes: record-breaking profits in some sectors and regions, recession and even depression in others.
For example, platform capitalism and its playlist-based systems of music circulation and changing habits and preferences of music audiences—not to mention competition from “spoken word” podcasts—have continued to transform markets for recorded music. Covid-19 has devastated touring circuits and venues of all kinds. Music teachers offer lessons remotely, performers and orchestras produce concerts especially for home audition by internet video users, and while record stores are shut, pressing plants operate under massive backlogs.
Pause and Resumption in Popular Music
We also welcome proposals that explore other aspects of resumption in relation to music. Music careers of all kinds are marked by hiatus and returns – the “comeback” is a common feature of many artists’ biographies. Likewise, the histories of musical styles are not necessarily continuous, and there are numerous examples of revival of musical styles, or even recovery of lost traditions within popular music.
Proposals might also approach the long and rich history of breaks, pauses and returns as formal musical elements. Such elements may be used for dramatic effect in a song, or may have been in a vinyl album, by the need to flip the record. Comeback or starting over also appears as a thematic or lyrical element in any number of songs and albums.
Working in Music
Following Ruth Finnegan, it is possible to say that one of the noticeable aspects of musical work is that it is often hidden. The hours that are taken to master an instrument are hidden from the public, the musicians who make recordings and perform live are often hidden behind the “stars”, the ways musicians find work and work with other musicians and music intermediaries are often hidden, and the vast majority of working musicians remain anonymous. Meanwhile those working behind the scenes in areas such as publishing, live music, artists’ management and recording largely remain similarly unknown as well as the ways they make music and musical careers happen. But music only happens because work is put in. It is this context that we invite panels and papers to this subtheme which address working in music, pre- or post-pandemic, as distinctive social practices.
Abstracts of individual papers, workshops, performances and other presentations should be no longer than 300 words. The program committee is especially interested in proposals in diverse formats. Panel submissions should include a title and abstract for the panel (300 words max.) as well as titles and abstracts for the individual papers on the panel. All abstracts for a panel should be submitted together. Abstracts will be adjudicated individually, so it is possible for a panel to be accepted but not an individual paper and vice versa. Each abstract should also include a short biography of the author (100 words max.) including the institutional affiliation, if any, and email address of each author. Each abstract should also include five keywords. Submissions in French and English are acceptable. Proposals will be blind reviewed.
Please submit proposals using the following Google form link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeu7Ho_MdoFRtXXFHnd_ru_3AcpETWLgUkY8z9LymxSrzJl_w/viewform?usp=sf_link
Proposals are due on or before November 1, 2021. We hope to inform you of decisions before January 31, 2022.
Papers will be limited to 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes of questions. Panels will be limited to a maximum of 4 papers. Other presentations (workshops, film screenings, roundtables, etc.) will generally be limited to 60 minutes, but alternatives can be discussed/proposed.
For questions about the conference, please contact the Program Committee Chair, Richard Sutherland (rfsuth…@mtroyal.ca), or Local Organizing Chair, Matt Stahl (mst…@uwo.ca).
Program Committee Members:
Olufunmilayo Arewa, Temple University (WIM)
Pierre Bataille, Université Grenoble-Alpes (WIM)
Vanessa Blais-Tremblay, Université de Québec à Montréal (IASPM CA)
Maxim Bonin, Université de Québec à Montréal (IASPM CA)
Alexandra Boutros, Wilfrid Laurier University (IASPM CA)
Marie Buscatto, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, IDHE.S (WIM)
Francesca D’Amico-Cuthbert, University of Toronto (IASPM CA)
Athena Elafros, University of Lethbridge (IASPM CA)
Charity Marsh, University of Regina (IASPM CA)
Méi-Ra St-Laurent, Concordia University (IASPM CA)
Richard Sutherland (Chair), Mount Royal University (IASPM CA)