cfp: Progressive Rock: Geography, Culture, Discourse

With apologies for cross-posting:

Progressive Rock: Geography, Culture, Discourse

The 5th Biennial International Conference of the Progect Network for the Study of Progressive Rock

St Peter’s College, University of Oxford, August 27-29, 2022 (Oxford, UK)

General enquiries about the conference can be sent by email to:

In the late 1960s, the term ‘progressive’ was used to define music that transcended the commercial ‘pop’ product, and audiences that sought the wide range of hybridized forms that emerged from that time. This blurring of boundaries was enacted by musicians who had experience performing in rock, pop, folk, blues, and soul bands, as well as those with experience or training in orchestral music, jazz, electronic and other genres. Over the past half-century numerous hybrid sub-genres have subsequently emerged; progressive rock is now a global phenomenon with significant bodies of work found on every continent. 

This progressive meta-genre has created a rich culture, capable of sustaining a lively discourse both within its own circle, in the wider field of popular music studies, and beyond. The aim of this conference is to explore the discourses, cultures, and geographical particularities of progressive rock since its emergence in 1960s England. Extending from previous conferences held by the Progect Network in France (2014), Scotland (2016), Sweden (2018), and Canada (2021), the 2022 conference will bring together scholars whose work addresses the fifty-plus-year history of progressive rock and the many hybridized genres that are associated with the term. 

We encourage submissions from scholars working in a range of disciplinary orientations, from the sociological to the musicological, to discuss themes including, but not limited to:

  • places, cities, landscapes as inspirations and musical themes
  • progressive rock discourses within popular culture 
  • the integration of progressive music and non-rock styles & genres
  • the definitions of progressive rock and the historic opposition between notions of the ‘progressive’ and ‘popular’
  • the historic and contemporary reception of progressive rock and its place in the academicstudy of music
  • the audiovisual aesthetics of progressive music 
  • the ‘progressive’ impulse in mainstream popular music
  • challenges to the assumption of ‘rock’ as central to the definition of ‘progressive’
  • progressive rock on screen (film, tv, gaming)
  • progressive rock in live performance (discourse, staging, gesture and spectacle)
  • do words matter? lyrics and language in progressive rock 
  • progressive rock and narrativity
  • record production and technology in progressive rock
  • intersectionality and the production and consumption of progressive rock
  • progressive rock and the influence of mythology and literature
  • dysoptian and utopian themes in progressive rock
  • fandom and archiving practices in progressive rock
  • the business of progressive rock

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the release of Genesis’s Foxtrot, Yes’s Close to the Edge, Jethro Tull’s Thick As a Brick, and Gentle Giant’s Octopus, the conference will feature a roundtable and public event on the topic of these formative works. The programme committee therefore also welcomes panel proposals that address the questions and problems of the progressive rock ‘canon’.  

Submission Procedure:

Scholars are invited to submit proposal abstracts for 20-minute presentations in English to by 15 December 2021. 

Please attach two files to the email submission, both in Word file format (.docx):

  1.  a proposal comprising only the paper title and abstract (300 words). This file should not include any identifying information. 
  2. a short document providing the following information: author name, institutional affiliation,
  3. a short bio (100 words), paper title, keywords, and any audio-visual equipment needs.

All abstracts will be subject to a peer review process, with authors notified of acceptance by 15 January 2022.

Program Committee:

Sarah Hill (University of Oxford, U.K.)

Lori Burns (University of Ottawa, Canada)

Chris Anderton (Solent University, U.K.)

Justin Williams (University of Bristol, U.K.)

Andrzej Mądro (Academy of Music in Kraków, Poland)

Kimberley Anderson (University of St. Andrews, U.K.)