With this call for papers, IASPM-US is proud to announce our upcoming 2012 conference, held jointly with the EMP Pop Conference and co-sponsored by the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University. This year’s meeting represents several firsts for our organization. It is our first collaboration with New York University and our first jointly held conference with the EMP Pop Conference group. These three institutions—IASPM-US, the Pop Con, and the Clive Davis Institute—each bring different specialties and particular energies to this set of meetings. The confluence of these energies should result in an intellectually stimulating and professionally expansive approach to the most current scholarship in popular music studies.
IASPM’s decades-long tradition of being the academic home for serious scholarly work on popular music will ground and strengthen the enthusiasm and innovative writing that has characterized the past ten years of the Pop Con. The Pop Con’s openness to the intellectual contributions of musicians, fans, and journalists as well as academics will encourage a blend of perspectives and approaches that should invigorate our conceptions of scholarship, enliven our conversations and promote new thinking. Our host, the Clive Davis Institute, will set our meetings at the core of the rapidly changing world of popular music production, distribution, and criticism at a time when the media landscape is undergoing volcanic change.
This year’s theme, Sounds of the City, gives us a strong thread to tie together our diverse approaches to popular music around the globe even as it foregrounds our meeting’s location in New York. The question of urbanity in all of its associations will be at the center of our conference. What differences do cities make? What does the global concentration of peoples in cities mean for local systems of music production? What does the traditional link between urban life and sophistication mean when the social realities of global cities comprise and compress such vast ranges of ethnic, religious, and class difference? From Jakarta to Rio, Cairo to London, Seattle to Nashville to New York, popular music speaks from and to the heart of urban social life. This conference gives us a grand opportunity to confront our preconceptions and contest our assumptions about music, cities and the popular at a moment of profound global challenges.
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