Call for Papers! IASPM Benelux International Conference at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, 14 – 16 May 2020: RE-peat, please!

RE-peat, please!signature

According to the online Cambridge Dictionary, the prefix ‘re-’ stands for “do again” or “returning something to its original state”.

These two letters can be used in various combinations, many of which relate to core issues of pop, rock, jazz, hip-hop, dance, and many other genres.

Consider the centrality of the record, a technological tool that allows reproduction, recreation, and ultimately re-evaluation.

Without records no retro. Indeed, cover and tribute bands thrive on the very idea of revivalism, allowing us to question notions of authenticity, of the global circulation of music, of the commercialisation of nostalgia.

A different result of recording is the remix. How does remixing blur the ideological boundaries surrounding genre, gender, space, place, race, and time? Is hybridity compatible with the idea of “returning something to its original state”?

And what about revolution? The civil rights struggle, May 1968 or Black Lives Matter; popular music has often been linked to protest movements. Here, music allowed to respond and react to, perhaps even reset the social, political, and economic orders of the day. The reversal, indeed even rejection or repression of revolution can be found in the often-stultifying processes of canonisation and mythologization.

And in the end, what reward lies in popular music? Should it be valuated, evaluated, or revaluated, perhaps through music competitions or education programs? How do digital media cultures affect the uses and rewards of music for audiences? Is a public performance the ultimate reward for relentlessly studying and rehearsing? To recap, should we as scholars and practitioners hit the repeat button to “do [it] again”, deepening our understanding of the music every time around?

Following the 2014 conference in Rotterdam, this IASPM Benelux conference, the first to be held in Flanders, hopes to bring together international scholars, both from within the Benelux as outside, in all stages of their career to inspire debate and discussion on current ideas about all aspects of popular music in every form and guise. We especially invite artistic performers and representatives from the cultural and creative industries to contribute to this conference too, in order to bridge the worlds of academia and industry.

We aim for papers on – but not limited to – one of the following five interlinked strands with associated key words

  • RE-cord: technology, production, industry, policy
  • RE-tro: revivalism, performance (practice), (re)creation, historiography
  • RE-mix: hybridity, mixing cultures, gender/race, global/local
  • RE-volution: protest, repression, canon formation, myths and idols
  • RE-ward: education, media, reception, audiences and scenes

Proposals are invited in the following formats:

  • Individual paper (max. 250-word abstract);
  • Themed session (3 themed papers, max. 250-word session rationale plus 250-word abstract per paper);
  • Roundtable (max. 6 speakers plus one convener, max. 750-word abstract including rationale).

Lecture-recitals or presentations with a performance component can be hosted under certain circumstances (submit under “Individual paper” and specify). Please contact us to further discuss the possibilities.

Submissions should include:

  • abstract (including paper/session/roundtable title);
  • name, surname, e-mail address, institutional affiliation (if not applicable, fill out “independent”);
  • speaker biosketch (max. 100 words per speaker).

The submission deadline is 1 December 2019. The conference committee will review all abstracts by 6 January 2020. You will be informed shortly thereafter.

Proposals should be submitted via the online module (“Submit your proposal“). The abstract and the biosketch should be provided in a Word file.

Any questions you have may be directed at Matthias Heyman.