Call For Papers, Student Conference: Research at the borders of music and culture


Call for Presentations for the Second Annual Student Conference by
IASPM Benelux, KVNM and the Third IASPM-D-A-CH Collegium Musicum Populare

June 2, 2017 – University of Amsterdam

On June 2nd 2017, the second IASPM Benelux/KVNM annual Student Conference for Music Research and the IASPM-D- A-CH Collegium Musicum Populare will join forces and come together at the University of Amsterdam. This one day event will offer a series of panels led and presented by students at all levels of their academic careers. At the end of the day, we will also award the prize for the winners of the BA and MA Popular Music Thesis Award, organized and presented by IASPM Benelux and KVNM. Before the ceremony this year’s winning students will provide a summary of their research. Finally we will enjoy a keynote by a reputed music scholar from the Benelux or DACH region. We will complete our day with drinks and appetizers in a nearby location to the humanities department in the University of Amsterdam.


We invite students representing all levels from the BA to the PhD to participate in this conjoint conference. This year we highlight the role that music performs in contemporary society, in all of its diversity and breadth. We encourage presentations covering a broad range of subjects and from a variety of fields. We intentionally reject strict disciplinary and/or genre boundaries, as one of the primary goals of this conference is to allow students greater contact with each across categories such as art music and popular music. We also encourage and welcome a number of perspectives and methodologies from musicological and ethnomusicological to music industry and economic based studies. Finally, we welcome students who are particularly motived to blur boundaries between established methodologies in their research. In this sense we hope to strengthen the contributions of new ways of examining classical and popular music scholarship in the Benelux and German speaking academic world. Ultimately we hope to share insights with each other to promote greater contact between our various specializations and to make visible the important role that all forms of music research perform for culture and society.


Deadline: April 15, 2017

If you are interested in participating in this conference, please submit an abstract in English on your research related to music in culture by April 15th, 2017. Your abstract should be under 300 words in 12-point font. Please also include up to no more than six key terms. Finally please state your full name, education level, major and department, name of academic institution, email, and the title of your abstract.

Presentations will last 20 minutes with 10 minutes for discussion after each presentation. Please send your abstracts to Dr. Kristin McGee (; Dr. Floris Schuiling (, and Dr. Oliver Seibt (


Chosen presenters will be asked to join one of the three music associations: International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM Benelux) or IASPM D-A-CH or De Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis (KVNM). If you are already a member of one branch and would like to join a second, we will offer a discounted fee.

The 2016 IASPM Benelux/KVNM Popular Music Thesis Prize Winners Announced!

IASPM/KVNM is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s popular music thesis prize. We congratulate this year’s winners for their excellent contributions to the field of popular music research (broadly conceived). This year’s winners are:

Eline Langejan (BA in Musicology, University of Utrecht) for winning this year’s BA Prize for her thesis:

Biophilia en Drastische Muziekanalyse


Beth Agett (MA, University of Amsterdam) for winning this year’s MA prize for her thesis:

‘Building on the Power of the Past:’ a Political Analysis of North Sea Jazz

Both of these theses significantly contributed unique and well-researched approaches towards their subjects. Their work also reflected excellent standards of writing and argumentation. Finally both contributed to under-researched areas within the music field.

In total we received 8 MA theses and 4 BA theses from various universities and HOB institutions. Our jury consisted of music journalist Job de Wit, popular music researcher and editor Dr. Lutgard Mutsaers, Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Floris Schuiling and last year’s MA winner Fardo Eringa

As always it was difficult to compare such vastly different subjects and approaches represented by all the entries, but by using the criteria listed below we have tried to ensure fairness and diligence in the evaluation process.

Here is the criteria which was used by the jury:

Beoordelingsformulier (voorbeeld) (geef een 1 tot 5 waarvan 5 het beeste cijfer is)

1.     Relevantie en/of innovatie van de scriptie (nieuw onderzoek of bijdrage aan bestaand onderzoek, relevantie voor thema van de prijs)

2.     Onderzoekskwaliteit van de scriptie (kennis van het veld, engagement met het veld, theoretisch gebruik en kader, empirische of wetenschappelijk onderzoek)

3.     Scriptie opzet en argumentatie (scriptiestelling, methoden en argumentatie)

4.     Schrijfstijl van de scriptie (citaten, tekstopbouw, bibliografie, vocabulaire, citaties…

Together with KVNM, IASPM Benelux and IASPM DACH will organize a one-day student conference in May in which we will officially award the winners of this prize. We will also invite both the winners and several upper level students to present their research on popular music. Please look to our website for the call for papers for this conference sometime in February.

Here are some of the judge’s reviews for both of these winners:

MA winner comments:


“This study presents urgency and topicality in the current debate about (strategic!) blackness in the context of the NL as a former colonial power of sorts. Really interesting and informative read. Well written too. Mature and insightful. I really loved it.”


“Interessant en relevante insteek om NSJ te onderzoeken. Origineel gebruik van verschillende bronnen o.a. social media. Erg uitgebreid onderzoek gedaan…

Een rijkdom aan informatie, verhalen en perspectieven die op een sterke manier in verband worden gebracht maken dit tot een zeer sterke scriptie.”


BA winner comments:


“Biophilia is a very fresh research project (in an area that used to be so moldy) and in a sympathetic way respects the art of composing and challenging ‘the public’ into its own active creativity.”


“Innovatief onderwerp en mooi uitgewerkt. Een heldere inhoudsopgave. Duidelijke hoofdvraag. Goede schrijfstijl. Student heeft een kritisch gebruik van bronnen en is hierbij reflectief. Goed uitgewerkt eigen empirisch onderzoek. De argumentatie is helder en overtuigend. Indrukwekkende bibliografie.”



IASPM KVNM Popular Music Thesis Prize 2016 (New Deadline! November 15th)

IASPM Benelux and KVNM Popular Music Thesis Prize 2015

The International Association for the Study of Popular Music Benelux, together with the Royal Association for Dutch Music History (KVNM), invites student applicants to apply for the annual IASPM/KVNM Bachelors and Masters Popular Music Thesis Prize. This prize honors outstanding research on the topic of popular music and society by students within a Dutch or Flemish music institution. The winning thesis, written in Dutch or English, incorporates one or more relevant perspectives from a broad range of academic and professional fields including but not limited to sociology, musicology, media studies, ethnomusicology, cultural studies, journalism, economics and/or history. 

In general the thesis must highlight the important role that popular music performs within culture and society as well as exhibit an original point of view and contribution to the field or provide critical insight upon existing research models and subjects. A well-respected jury of academics and professionals from the Dutch and/or Flemish music world as well as the winner of the previous year’s MA prize will judge the successfully submitted theses.

The winning MA student receives an award of 200 Euros generously contributed by KVNM. The winner will also be asked to present a short lecture on their research during the Eurosonic/Noorderslag conference in Groningen, which takes place in January 2016. They will also receive a free one-day ticket for this important music festival/conference.


Language: All materials must be written in either Dutch or English.

Deadline: The must be submitted by November 15th, 2016 in pdf form to

Materials: Include in your digital application:

1.              BA or MA Thesis including:

    1. Title of thesis
    2. Short abstract (200-300 words)
    3. Full thesis text (please cross out any passages referring to your name or your university name on the thesis to ensure anonymity)

2.              Separate Title Page with:

    1. Student’s name
    2. Student’s institution and major
    3. Thesis supervisor
    4. Education period (study dates)
    5. Degree granted (BA, MA or Pre-Master)
    6. Student’s email and address

3.              A digital copy of the student’s Graduation Certificate.

Please share this call with any potential interested colleagues or students.

Yours Sincerely,

Kristin McGee (Chair IASPM Benelux)

Dutch Delta Sounds Festival & Conferentie

Op 7 en 8 september 2016 viert World Music Forum NL zijn tienjarig bestaan met dit showcase festival en conferentieprogramma. 


Overdag wordt een uitgebreid conferentieprogramma voor muziekprofessionals uit binnen- en buitenland verzorgd, met o.a. een symposium, keynotes, sessies en filmprogramma en volop gelegenheid om te netwerken. Thema van deze conferentie is de creolisering van muziekstromingen en hoe die ontwikkeling zich verhoudt tot de Anglo-Amerikaanse muziekcultuur. 

Enkele highlights:

  • Symposium: Dutch Delta Sounds, Creolisation of Music in the Lowlands
  • Keynote Simon Frith (UK), Tovey Professor Music University of Edinburgh, Fellow van de British Academy, voorzitter Mercury Music Prize
  • Keynote Amitava Bhattacharya (India), Silicon Valley veteraan en oprichter  

Uitgebreid programma:


Naast het dagprogramma klinkt ‘s avonds aan de oevers van het IJ muziek uit alle windstreken, geworteld in Nederlandse klei: arabicana, salsa, tango, kaseko, ethio-pop, jazz cross-overs, reggae, afrobeat en nog meer exotica. Kortom: Dutch Delta Sounds!

Uitgebreid programma op

Registratie: 50,- pp  tot 1 september!

Voor 2 dagen conferentieprogramma, inclusief 2 borrels, speeddate en showcases  ‘s avonds.

Vanaf woensdag 1 september gaat de prijs omhoog naar 70,- dus wacht niet te lang!

(prijzen zijn ex btw).


Programma updates & Who’s coming

Naast de Nederlandse muziekprofessionals zullen ruim 30 internationale gasten op DDS aanwezig zijn. Kijk op de site voor updates:


Registreren Conferentie


Popular Music and Society, Call for Papers: Special Issue on Beyoncé

Popular Music and Society

Call for Papers

Special Issue on Beyoncé

Guest-edited by Marquita Smith, Kristin McGee, and Christina Baade

Submissions are invited for a special issue of Popular Music and Society on the musical and cultural impact of Beyoncé.


The 2016 launch of Lemonade and the Formation World Tour–along with Beyoncé’s numerous other mass-mediated performances, musical releases, and actions–inspire not only informal evaluations of her music and public persona, but also scholarly, in-depth investigations of the values, aesthetics, and cultural significance of her work.  Moreover, Beyoncé has played a profound role in intervening in and catalyzing debates about feminism, social justice movements, Black culture, and sexuality within the public sphere.  Because of the extreme versatility and dynamic range of her artistic oeuvre and the ideologies reflected by her public engagements and social initiatives, we seek to compile an issue that correspondingly highlights this complexity.  Articles may therefore introduce a range of topics and perspectives.  These may include innovative creation of visual albums; the incorporation of images of Black culture and Black history into Beyoncé’s creative work; her adroit exploitation of social and commercial media to promote her public and artistic persona; and her nonmusical but socially engaged activities in connection with various causes, especially connected to Black/Southern communities of the United States.  We also seek to investigate the diverse meanings and pleasures that Beyoncé’s work holds for her fans, who represent a range of cultural backgrounds; racial, sexual, and gender identities; and generations.  We seek to better understand Beyoncé’s role as a multifaceted cultural symbol from her status as a local, teenaged breakout star from Houston, Texas; to a national Black cultural icon; to a consummate music industry performer, singer, producer, and dancer; and to a global celebrity and pop star.  Therefore, we invite articles that explore Beyoncé’s significance to these fan communities in relation to her diverse body of work and modes of identification.

We welcome a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship, including performance studies, cultural studies, ethnomusicological, musicological, and media studies approaches and critical race, feminist, and political economic perspectives.  Articles on Beyoncé and her work might pursue the following:


  • Examination of how Black cultural values and artistic traditions across the African diaspora inform Beyoncé’s artistic work;
  • The role of intersectional feminism, especially Black feminism, in evaluating Beyoncé’s musical, audiovisual, and cultural work;
  • The relation of late capitalism and neoliberalism to the reception and mediation of Beyoncé’s public persona;
  • Theoretically informed thick descriptions of Beyoncé’s music recordings, videos, and mediated performances, including live media events;
  • The role of Black vernacular dance in Beyoncé’s audiovisual work and its relation to the meanings attached to the spectacle of the female body in pop music;
  • Performative analyses of Beyoncé’s negotiation of contemporary celebrity culture, autobiographical expression, and authorship in collaborative art forms;
  • Interrogation of the role of music-industry institutions in guiding the production and promotion of the star Beyoncé–and the ways in which Beyoncé has negotiated the shifting terrain of these institutions in the early twenty-first century; and
  • An analysis of the digitally mediated nature of Beyoncé’s stardom within/through fan communities and online criticism.


Potential contributors are asked to submit abstracts of 250-500 words and a short bio (100-200 words) by 15 November 2016 to Dr. Marquita Smith at  Those selected for inclusion will be notified by 1 January 2017 and asked to deliver completed articles (6,000-8,000 words) by 1 July 2017.  Articles will be peer-reviewed.  Inquiries regarding potential essay topics and their suitability for inclusion are welcome.  Please address all correspondence and submit all documents to, with copies to and

Door groot succes studentenconferentie 19 mei programma uitgebreid met extra panel!

Because there are so many students and people interested in the conference May 19th there is an extra (Dutch) panel added to the final schedule/Wegens grote interesse in de eerste studentenconferentie organiseren wij een extra Nederlandstalig ochtendpanel aan het programma dat nu definitief is:

schedule pop music studies conference

Meer informatie over de studiedag:
iaspm music matters prostest song and student conference flyer updated

Assistant Professor of Popular Music – University of Groningen

Job description
History and theory of popular music (0.8-1.0 fte), vacancy number 216045
The music section of the Arts, Culture and Media programme offers students a specialization in popular music at the BA and MA level. This tract prioritizes music’s relation to culture and society. The BA programme consists of five music-dedicated courses and several inter-arts courses featuring music subjects. In the MA, students focus upon Music in combination with a job/oriented framework. For this position, we seek an excellent candidate specializing in modern music with possible areas of expertise such as electronic dance music, the music industry, musical theatre, rock, popular music of the world, but other areas of concentration can also be considered. The candidate’s work should exhibit a familiarity with contemporary theoretical approaches such as post-colonial theory, queer theory, music and affect, and/or new musicology. It should also reflect an understanding of new analytical models, which recognize and theorize the values and modes of identification attached to musical genres, practices, and interpretive regimes. In terms of research, a candidate with expertise in cognitive and/or empirical approaches is of interest. Experience in ethnomusicological research methods is also desirable. More broadly, research undertaking an engaged commitment to understanding the relations between popular music institutions and communities is welcome, especially when examining music’s role in negotiating cultural identities (such as race, ethnicity, nation, gender, and sexuality). Ultimately the highest priority is for an exceptional candidate with relevant expertise and internationally significant research potential.

The candidates’ research (40% of the appointment) is conducted within the Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG). The Arts, Culture and Media department also encourages collaboration within the Arts in Society ( research group.

In addition to a number of basic requirements set by the University of Groningen, such as excellent social and communication skills, presentation skills, coaching skills, and a results-oriented attitude, we are looking for candidates who have a PhD and who

in the area of teaching,
• have teaching experience at undergraduate and graduate level
• are prepared to gain the University Teaching Qualification within two years
• are or have the ambition to become an excellent teacher, as demonstrated by positive teaching evaluations
• are demonstrably able to make concrete contributions to the development of course units, partly by actively linking teaching to research.

In the area of research:
• have the potential to author at least two publications every 2 years, preferably international
• have the potential to set up a research line and publish within it, dovetailing with the profile of the research institute
• have international experience and the potential to establish and develop an international network
• are supervising or have the potential to supervise PhD students or are prepared to play an active role in this
• have experience with the acquisition of grants.

In the area of management and organization:
• have a good command of Dutch or are willing to learn the language within two years
• are able to constructively contribute to interdisciplinary collaboration and a friendly atmosphere within the department
• have demonstrable administrative and organization skills.

Conditions of employment
Contract length: 24 months.
The University of Groningen is offering a salary based on qualifications and experience of between € 3400 (scale 11 Dutch Universities) and € 5288 (scale 12) gross per month for a fulltime position, plus 8% holiday allowance and an annual end-of-year bonus of 8.3%. These positions are for a period of one to two years with the prospect of renewal for an indefinite period, subject to appraisal in the first or second year of appointment.

For more detailed information about working conditions and working for the University of Groningen, please check: (Partial) reimbursement of moving costs and/or a beneficial tax rule may be applicable. Date of entry into employment: 1 August or 1 September 2016. Job interviews will be held in the week of 30 May – 3 June 2016. A short lecture for staff and students is part of the selection procedure.

How to apply

You may apply for this position until 24 April / before 25 April 2016 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on “Apply” below on the advertisement on the university website). Please state very clearly which position you are applying for. The cover letter should contain your reasons for applying and a description of what your contribution to research, teaching and administration could be.

Your application should contain:

1. A cover letter

2. A curriculum vitae with an overview of your teaching portfolio

3. A list of publications and an outline of your research plans

4. The names, titles and complete addresses (including email and telephone) of two people who are willing to provide additional relevant information. Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information
For additional information, please contact:
Dr K.A. McGee (for Popular Music)

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 216045-46

Digital application form

Eerste Nederlandse Pop Muziek Studies Studentenconferentie in Groningen, 19 mei 2016

IASPM Benelux organiseert op 19 mei 2016 de eerste Nederlandse Pop Muziek Studies Studentenconferentie in Groningen!

Kennen jullie enthousiaste studenten [Bachelor of Masterniveau] die graag hun onderzoek [scripties maar ook werkstukken en work-in-progress] met andere studenten en experts willen delen voor feedback en discussie? En die interesse hebben in een academisch netwerk? Stuur ze dan graag onze kant op!

De studentenconferentie is onderdeel van de aankomende Music Matters/IASPM Benelux/ KVNM Studiedag over Protest Song, maar alle pop thema’s zijn welkom!

Zie onderstaande flyer(s) voor meer informatie of stuur een mail naar: m.m. schiller at [Melanie Schiller]

prostest song  flyer_Page_1

prostest song  flyer_Page_2

IASPM Benelux/KVNM 2015 Popular Music Thesis Prize Awarded

The jury for this year’s IASPM and KVNM Popular Music Thesis Prize has adjudicated the entries and chosen the winners from 4 BA and 5 MA entries with topics ranging from digitization in the music industry, Hungarian folk singing, gender and death metal in Norway, to Romanticism in the work of Led Zeppelin and music preferences in relation to depression in Dutch adolescence.

The jury consisted of previous MA winner Bram Nigten, Dr. Lutgard Mutsears (popular music researcher, eidtor of Made In Holland), Job de Wit (popular music and cinema journlalist), and Hans Fidom (KVNM board member and musicologist at the Vrije Universiteit).

Although this year we received a smaller number of entries than in previous years, many were of very high quality and the rankings were very close, with ties for the number two positions.

The jury and Board of IASPM Benelux and KVNM would like to congratulate:

Tessa Mol (BA Department of Arts, Culture and Media, University of Groningn) for winning the BA Thesis Prize with her thesis:

Hey miss dj! Wat kunnen dj-netwerken doen aan het tekort aan vrouwelijke dj’s?

Abstract: In deze scriptie wordt gekeken naar hoe het komt dat vrouwen in de dance-industrie in 2015 nog steeds sterk ondervertegenwoordigd zijn en onderhevig zijn aan vooroordelen. Dit onderzoek richt zich op de vraag waar deze vooroordelen vandaan komen en hoe het komt dat er zo weinig vrouwen werkzaam zijn als dj of producer in de Europese dance scene. Specifiek wordt gekeken naar hoe vrouwelijke dj-netwerken iets kunnen betekenen voor vrouwelijke dj’s, in zowel positieve als negatieve zin. Om dit te onderzoeken wordt het internationale collectief Female Pressure gebruikt als case study. De hoofdvraag luidt: ‘’Wat kan een dj-collectief als Female Pressure betekenen voor het tekort aan vrouwelijke dj’s in de huidige Europese dance scene?’’
Binnen het onderzoek naar hoe vrouwelijke dj’s gerepresenteerd worden in de dance scene, zullen de onderzoeksmethoden bestaan uit een discoursanalyse en literatuuronderzoek binnen het theoretisch perspectief van cultural studies. Hierbij wordt voornamelijk gekeken vanuit het perspectief van gender studies en meer algemene theorieën over power relations en de representatie van vrouwen in de popmuziek. Er wordt een beeld geschetst van (het ontstaan van) de huidige dance scene in Europa door middel van gevonden literatuur en interviews uit blogs, tijdschriften en televisieprogramma’s. Hiernaast wordt gekeken naar algemene theorieën over genderperformativiteit, subcultural capital en de rol van de vrouw in de popmuziek. Vervolgens wordt aan de hand van theorieën over DiY en gatekeeping het voorbeeld van Female Pressure bestudeerd en geanalyseerd. De voor- en nadelen van een vrouwelijk dj-collectief worden tegen elkaar afgewogen om uiteindelijk tot een conclusie te komen over wat Female Pressure kan betekenen voor vrouwen in de huidige Europese dance scene.


Fardo Eringa (MA Department of Religious Studies, Univeristy of Groningen) for the winning the MA Thesis Prize with her thesis

Being a Michael Jackson Pilgrim: Dedicated to a Never-Ending Journey.

Abstract: This thesis studies the phenomenon of ‘Michaeling’, the act wherein Michael Jackson fans embark upon a journey during which they try to emulate the life and spirit of Michael Jackson. Utilizing insights from the field of (contemporary) religion, religion and popular culture and studies of confessional and secular pilgrimage, this research examines the experiences of eleven Michael Jackson ‘pilgrims’ and the Michael Jackson pilgrimage site in Munich, Germany. The study aims to answer whether the experience of these ‘pilgrims’ can be interpreted as a ‘real’ pilgrimage and an expression of (implicit) religion arisen as a result of modern post-secular society. This research is embedded in a broader discussion of the way in which religion and pilgrimage are changing in the face of modernity. Based on my findings, I argue that the phenomenon of ‘Michaeling’ can be interpreted as a real pilgrimage. Moreover, I argue that ‘Michaeling’ can be understood as an example of the way in which religion is taking on different shapes in modern, post-secular society through a relation to pop music. This study suggests that religious scholars should be conscious of expressions of religion outside of traditional confessional contexts, such as popular fan culture. Consequently, this research questions whether it is useful for scholars of contemporary religion and pilgrimage to stick to linguistic, theoretical debates about definitions of religion and pilgrimage. Instead, this study takes on a very practical approach including the important field of popular music studies and studies the phenomenon of ‘Michaeling’ from a bottom-up approach: the experiences of the eleven pilgrim accounts are central.

Mol’s thesis provided concrete evidence of the persistant obsticles presented by gendered networks in the electronic dance music scene by drawing from research within the fields of popular music, cutlural studies, gender theory, and the music industry.

Eringa’s thesis aptly integrated the two fields of religious studies and popular music to make bold claims about how religiousity, pilgrimage, and spirituality are finding voice in the world of poular music fandome and the pulic domain.

Both students will provide short presentations of their research at the upcoming EUROSONIC Conference in Groningen on Jan. 16th at 13:30. If you are enrolled for this conference, please consider attending to learn about the exciting research of popular music students in the Netherlands.

Yours sincerely,

Kristin McGee (Chair, IASPM Benelux and board member KVNM)