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Call for Papers

IASPM-US 2020 Conference: BPM: Bodies, Places, Movements

May 21-23, 2020

Ann Arbor, Michigan

The International Association for the Study of Popular Music-United States chapter (IASPM-US) invites proposals for its annual conference, which will take place in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan on May 21-23, 2020. We welcome abstracts on all aspects of popular music, broadly defined, from any discipline or profession, and especially encourage submissions on the many rich popular music histories of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Detroit.

The theme for this year’s conference is “BPM: Bodies, Places, Movements,” which intersects with Detroit and its storied place in rhythm and blues, rock, punk, pop, hip-hop, and electronic dance music, and is intended to connect the histories, philosophies, and practices of urban spaces to other historical and global popular music communities. Each year Detroit celebrates this local-meets-global history with the Movement Electronic Music Festival, which in 2020 will commence the same weekend as the IASPM-US conference.

BPM as a marker for “Beats Per Minute” was first included on records to allow DJs to sync disco and funk selections together on the fly and has since become an important digital tool to create, alter and interweave tracks. In addition to its practical musical applications, the creation of BPM encodes an array of social and cultural histories: urban migration; industrialization and its reverberations in deindustrialization and urban renewal; the cultural, racial, and class politics of white flight, capital departure, and gentrification; social movements from the Second Great Awakening, Civil Rights, and Fair Housing through neo-conservatism, white nationalism, and millennial populism; and the myriad communities that articulate their ideals, utopias, frustrations and joys through popular music and its attendant practices, in garages, studios, music halls, warehouses, and digital spaces. Topics to consider include (but are not limited to):

  • Bodies: identities, abilities, practices, performances, communities, bodies of work, raced, classed, gendered, and sexualized bodies, modes of embodiment
  • Places: Cities, suburbs, small towns, virtual and digital spaces, stages, studios, basements, exclusive and inclusive spaces
  • Movements: social, cultural, and political movements, mobilities, dance, migration, displacement

IASPM-US is a multidisciplinary organization, and invites proposals from and across all fields of scholarly inquiry. Conference proposals from intellectuals from outside of academia, including teachers, museum and archive professionals, musicians and music professionals, and independent scholars, are encouraged. IASPM-US is also a friendly conference for students at all levels. We especially welcome proposals from members of underrepresented groups including, but not limited to, women, Black/African American, Indigenous, and People of Color, people with disabilities, and people from LGBTQ+ communities, as well as people of different ages, socio/economic classes, nationalities, and religions.

This year’s program committee consists of Justin Patch (chair), Anthony Kwame Harrison, K. E. Goldschmitt, Brian F. Wright, Rebekah Farrugia, and Kathryn Metz.

Please submit proposals via Word document to iaspmus2020@gmail.com with “last name, first name” in the subject line no later than midnight October 1, 2019. Individual submissions should include a paper title, the presenter’s name, contact information and a 250-word abstract that identifies the methodology used, states the paper’s goals, summarizes the context and argument of the paper, and includes a brief conclusion. Organized panels, consisting of 3 – 4 papers, should include a 250-word description of the panel’s rationale and goals, and a 250-word abstract for each individual participating in the panel. Roundtables, consisting of a moderated conversation with 4 – 6 participants, require a single 250 word abstract and a list of roundtable members, and should designate one person as the panel chair. All individual presentations are limited to 20 minutes with a 10-minute question and answer period. Roundtables and organized panels can be allotted up to a two-hour time slot. Abstracts not adhering to the word count will not be considered.

Please note: All conference presenters must be registered IASPM members (or must register after paper, panel, or roundtable acceptance). For membership and conference information visit: http://iaspm-us.net/