cfp: Popular Music, Decolonization and Indigenous Studies (IASPM Journal)


Special Issue: Popular Music, Decolonization and Indigenous Studies

Editors: Daniel Hernandez and Kirsten Zemke

IASPM Journal is the peer-reviewed open-access e-journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, IASPM. As part of an international network, the journal aims to publish research and analysis in the field of popular music studies at both global and local levels.

This Special Issue seeks to confront the Western tradition of academia, which has only been made possible through historic and ongoing processes and ideologies of colonialism. This includes the paradox that many academic scholars and institutions are housed on stolen lands. This Special Issue of IASPM Journal aims to contribute to an ongoing process of decolonization through the lens and practices of popular music by highlighting Indigenous academics, theorists and musical explorations.

Indigeneity is a contested and negotiated term yet provides a geopolitical identity and relationship to colonial legacies and contemporary power relations that survive and are resilient, despite the initial and enduring encounters of violence, erasure, displacement, and occupation. This includes Indigenous peoples in settler colonial nation-states as well as those within systems of coloniality in non-settler nation-states. Historical processes have served as catalysts to subversive Indigenous responses, adoptions and adaptations of styles and instruments, as well as, the erasure of Indigenous contributions to popular music.

This issue is interested in, but not limited to, any of the following themes:

  • Indigenous peoples’ relationship with popular music
  • Indigenous musicians in popular music
  • Indigenous issues represented and negotiated in popular music
  • Popular music, Indigenous organizing, and protection of sacred sites
  • Decolonial coalition-building between communities through music
  • Indigenous Futures, Self-determination and cultural sovereignty
  • Indigenous cosmologies, instruments, and styles in popular music
  • Queer, Anti-colonial, Anti-capitalist Indigenous identities
  • Indigenous activism, sounds, and stories

We would like this Issue to reflect a global spread and diversity. We are looking for articles that represent Indigenous popular music and issues on Turtle Island (North America), Oceania, Abya Yala (Central and South America), Africa, Asia, and wherever an Indigenous subject in popular music exists.

We seek proposals for articles that will be between 6,000-8,000 words. Abstract/proposals are due by 1 November 2019, with full articles (if accepted) expected by May 15th 2020.

To be considered for this Special Issue, please submit an abstract of 150-250 words (plus references, if necessary) by 1 November 2019; along with author name(s), institutional affiliations, contact details and a brief bio of no more than 150 words which includes the author’s positionalities in relation to their topic to: Kirsten Zemke Please indicate “IASPM Decolonization Special Issue” in the subject line.

If your abstract is accepted we expect to receive the full article of 6000 – 8000 words uploaded into the online submission by May 15th 2020 at  

See the journal site for further information regarding Submissions.

Click here for a Style Guide.

All articles undergo a double-blind peer review.

NOTE: In order to submit to IASPM Journal you must be an IASPM member and registered as an author on the site. If membership is a financial barrier for any contributor, please discuss this with the editors and we could perhaps try to arrange some sort of funding.