Global Psychedelia and Counterculture

Call for articles
Global Psychedelia and Counterculture
Special issue of Rock Music Studies
Guest-edited by Kevin M. Moist, Penn State Altoona

Submissions are invited for a special issue of Rock Music Studies on the topic of “Global Psychedelia and Counterculture”.

Most narratives of psychedelic rock music and the counterculture that accompanied it tend to limit the phenomenon in both space (focused narrowly on the USA and UK) and time (a few years in the late 1960s). However, as record collectors have known for years, and as some music historians and reissue record labels have begun to document, psychedelia in fact reached across the globe, and was adapted in unique ways in diverse local contexts and on very different time frames (in some cases extending well through the 1970s, in others overtaken by political and social instabilities). While a few of these scenes have received wider scholarly and popular notice (for instance, Brazilian Tropicalia or German “krautrock”), the vast majority remain under-documented. At the same time, international influences were having a significant impact on countercultures in the USA and UK; and while a few examples have been covered widely (the Beatles visit the Maharishi, etc.), many other global influences on the Western counterculture have received only passing notice.

This call aims to gather work that tries to document and understand the myriad ways psychedelic rock music and its attendant countercultural values developed, as they took root around the world during the “long 1960s”; and, conversely, how global influences were incorporated into the music and countercultural movements in the USA and UK. The topic area also includes the ongoing influence of these developments on popular music and culture up to the present day, including contemporary international psychedelic revivals.

Possible topics might include (but are not limited to):

• Psychedelic music movements in the 1960s/70s outside the usual USA and UK focus, including in South America (Argentina, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Brazil), Africa (Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa), Asia (Japan, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam), and Australia, as well as understudied movements in Europe (Sweden, France, Holland) and behind the Iron Curtain (Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia).
• Other cultural developments associated with those musical forms, including in the arts (posters, light shows, publishing, fashion) and society (alternative spiritualities, drugs, sex), as well as their connection with local or international political movements.
• The impact of global influences on the US and UK countercultures, whether in terms of music (sitars and ragas, Latin rhythms and percussion, etc.), related art forms (posters, films, fashion), or other cultural developments (spirituality, etc.).
• Other cultural and social aspects of all of the above, including issues of gender, race, and cultural appropriation, as well as the influence of economic and media processes.
• Continuing influences on today’s music and popular culture, including nostalgic retrospectives, reunion tours, etc., as well as current movements that draw on their influence, from new psychedelic scenes around the world to larger developments such as the annual Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia.

Abstracts of approximately 250 words should be submitted by 31 December 2016. Authors whose topics are selected for inclusion should plan to submit completed essays by 31 October 2017.

Please email all abstracts and inquiries to Kevin M. Moist at: kmm104 [at]