2020 Conference

From 14 to 16 May 2020, we will host our international Benelux conference at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). The conference is a collaboration between the University of Antwerp (Media, Policy & Culture research group) and IASPM Benelux.

It is kindly sponsored by the University of Antwerp, the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, the University of Groningen, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the University of Amsterdam, VI.BE (the contact point for the Flemish popular music industry), and the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts.

We are honoured to have the following keynote speakers:

  • Kristin McGee (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, the Netherlands)
    Regenerating the Recorded Music Archive at the Intersections of Jazz and Pop within Europe
    Prof. McGee’s keynote is kindly sponsored by the University of Groningen.
  • Johannes Ismaiel-Wendt (Universität Hildesheim, Germany)
    The name ‘Johannes Ismaiel-Wendt’ is mentioned in a paper uploaded to Academia by a well-known author: Funky reflections on popular music studies’ most relevant ‘RE-‘: …

More information can be found on the official conference website.

To register, please visit https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/conferences/iaspm/registration/.
For information on accommodation, travel, to-dos and other basic coordinates, please go to the official conference website.

On this page, we will publish some relevant information, such as the conference program (late February), the presentation abstracts, and in due time some photos of the event (and hopefully some other audio-visual material).

You are also welcome to follow the official conference Twitter account, which will also be used to communicate essentials and provide quick updates during the conference itself. Thank you for using the official handle @iaspm_Benelux20, and the official tag #iaspmbenelux2020 in your (re)tweets.

For archival purposes, the original call for papers, which is now closed, can be found below:

University of Antwerp, Belgium, 14 – 16 May 2020

RE-peat, please!

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 Antwerp, 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 were invited in the following formats:

  • Individual paper (max. 250-word abstract; 20 min. + 10 min. Q&A);
  • Themed session (3 themed papers, max. 250-word session rationale plus 250-word abstract per paper; 20 min. per paper + 30 min. Q&A);
  • Roundtable (max. 6 speakers plus one convener, max. 750-word abstract including rationale; 90 min. incl. Q&A).

Lecture-recitals or presentations with a performance component (all 20 min. + 10 min. Q&A) can be hosted under certain circumstances (submit under “Individual paper” and specify).

The submission deadline was 1 December 2019, and was extended to 8 December 2019. The call is now closed. The conference committee will review all abstracts by 14 January 2020. You will be informed shortly thereafter (late January 2020).     

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