IASPM@Journal Vol 2/1&2
Published: 29 February, 2012
“State of the Nation: Review(s) of Popular Music Studies”
Special Issue Editor: Martha Tupinambá de Ulhôa
The second volume, State of the Nation: Review(s) of Popular Music Studies, specially edited by Martha Ulhôa during her Visiting Research Fellowship at King’s College, London, addresses the state of popular music studies in national and regional contexts, reflecting on the challenges in popular music studies. The contributions very much echo debates that took place at the South African IASPM 2011 conference, which was devoted to the “many ways of situating popular music in the light of IASPM celebrating its 30th year”. This issue, therefore, opens with an overview by Philip Tagg, co-founder of IASPM, kick-starting a critical argument that will hopefully inspire many of our member-readers to respond.
The contributions show a range of differentiated geographically located perspectives that nevertheless correspond to each other through a shared involvement with transnational networks, new forms of mediation and complex relationships with the all too often conservative cultural values of various academic institutions. Laura Jordán González and Douglas Smith give an introductory overview of Latin American popular music studies, teasing out the differences between Anglo and Latino contexts in understanding the ‘popular’ in popular music studies. John Collins provides the reader with an in-depth specific perspective from West Africa regarding the state of popular music studies at Ghanaian universities. This special edition is rounded off by historical overviews of popular music studies in Germany and Turkey, by Martin Pfleiderer and Ali Gedik respectively.
In addition to Special Issues, the journal maintains a space for ongoing research, scholarship and analysis in any genre of popular music, regardless of era or location. In this issue, we feature an Argentinean as well as an American analysis of local understanding of music genres in relation to nationalist politics. Berenice Maria Corti critically focuses on nationalism in the discourse of Argentine jazz studies, while Brian Holder presents a historical approach to the analysis of discourse by addressing ragtime music in relation to American perceptions of Russian immigrant culture during the years that followed the First World War. In addition, we showcase the energetic IASPM-US branch, with thanks to Rebekah Farrugia who recently joined our Advisory Board. To round off this issue, three book reviews, edited by Annti-Ville Kärjä, Chair of the IASPM Nordic branch, with Shane Homan.
IASPM@Journal is the journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM). In addition to Special Issue CFPs, the journal maintains space for ongoing scholarly work; we publish articles, book reviews and PhD abstracts on popular music of any genre, era or geographic location.