CFP: [20th] Middlebrow Cultures conference

full name / name of organization: 
Erica Brown
contact email: 

Call for Papers
Middlebrow Cultures
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Tuesday 14th â€" Wednesday 15th July 2009

Keynote speaker: Professor Ann Ardis, University of Delaware

The Middlebrow Network is a transatlantic interdisciplinary project
funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It was launched at
the "Historicising the Middlebrow" conference at Sheffield University in
July 2008, and we now invite papers for the second conference.

The study of middlebrow culture matters because it illuminates a set of
tastes, institutions and social practices associated primarily with the
aspirational middle class in the early to mid-twentieth century, and
because it helps us understand the relationship between elite, popular
and 'intermediate' cultural production. It matters especially now because
the emergence of middlebrow cultural products in the decades following
the First World War was, primarily, a result of technical innovations in
printing, distribution, recording, and broadcasting. This relates
directly to trends in our own time, since the internet has not only
resulted in a vast renaissance of textual production, but has also
generated new internationalised audiences and interpretive communities
which echo the middlebrow cultural formations of the early twentieth
century. Examples include electronic book clubs, new bohemian web
magazines, and diaries and blogs which recall the Mass Observation

We invite proposals which focus on any aspect of middlebrow culture, and
on any period from the later nineteenth century to the present. In
particular, we welcome papers or panels on our two priority themes:
• material cultures
• postcolonial cultures

The "material cultures" theme encompasses technologies of the middlebrow,
broadcasting, book history, reception studies, and related topics.
The "postcolonial" theme invites consideration of geographies of the
middlebrow, travel, and the cultural production of formerly colonised

We also plan to include in the conference:
• a special session on resources for researching the middlebrow
• a Middlebrow Network meeting to plan future activities
• dinner at the famous Glasgow art deco restaurant 'Rogano'
• a visit to the Britannia Panoptican Music Hall (not normally open
to the public). To be confirmed.

Proposals of 400 words for 20-minute papers, or up to 1200 words for
panels (three papers, or two papers and a respondent), should be sent to
Erica and Faye at by 31 January 2009.

The Middlebrow Network is led by Faye Hammill, University of Strathclyde;
Erica Brown, Sheffield Hallam University; and Mary Grover, Sheffield
Hallam University.
For information on the network, see

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Received on Thu Nov 20 2008 - 05:25:48 EST