Going Coastal: Peripheries and Centres in Popular Music

Call for Papers
International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) Canada
Dalhousie University, Halifax
June 12-14, 2009

IASPM-CA is pleased to call for proposals, panels and roundtables for this special interdisciplinary conference on the theme of “Peripheries and Centres.” We also welcome submissions on any aspect of popular music.
We are aiming for as broad a representation of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives as possible and hope for a conference that will provide perspectives on and (re)evaluations of the periphery/centre relationship as it relates to popular music. What changes are affecting the concepts of centre and periphery and related notions like mainstream and fringe, heartland and hinterland, privileged and marginal, mass culture and subculture? How should they be rethought? Is there still a “centre” (generically, geographically, economically, ideologically) in popular music in the 21st century? We would be especially interested in proposals that deal with issues such as:

  • questioning centre-periphery models;
  • shifting centres (in terms of styles, genres, markets, geographies, social identities);
  • centres and peripheries as they structure artistic labour (stars vs. backup performers; engineers; producers; videographers; road personnel, etc.);
  • centres and peripheries in digital and web-based music cultures;
  • ways in which centre-periphery models entrench or challenge dominant formations of popular music canons, histories, genres, pedagogies;
  • centres and peripheries in our academic work (in our choices of methodologies, research topics, ideologies);
  • centres and peripheries in the ways of disseminating our work (journals, books, on-line publishing, blogs, etc.), and in the communication between ‘scholarly’ and ‘non-scholarly’ audiences;
  • the excluded middle: how well have we gotten over the taboo of studying “mainstream music?”;
  • how fringes become centres (country, reggae, punk, rap, etc.); how centres become fringes (heavy metal, disco, kitsch/camp, etc.);
  • We would especially encourage papers, panels and roundtables dealing with Canadian popular music scenes that are regionally specific, including those of Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, the West Coast and Northern regions.

    Proposals may be submitted by email to iaspm-halifax@hotmail.com. They will be read blind by the program committee. Abstracts for individual papers and roundtables should be no longer than 300 words; proposals for panels should include an abstract of no more than 300 words for the panel as a whole, as well as abstracts of no more than 300 words for each paper proposed for the panel. The program committee reserves the right to accept a panel but reject an individual paper on that panel.

    For questions about the conference, contact conference chair Jacqueline Warwick or programme chair Chris McDonald.

    Submission deadlines:
    October 8, 2008 (for consideration for travel reimbursement)
    November 15, 2008 (final deadline for all others)

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