Narratives and Popular Music: International Association for Popular Music Studies (UK-Ireland) Inaugural Postgraduate Conference

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International Association for Popular Music Studies (IASPM) UK-Ireland branch

The inaugural IASPM (UK-Ireland) postgraduate conference will be held on 9-10 June 2011 at the University of Liverpool. We invite papers on the stories we tell about popular music. We are interested particularly in illuminating how the intersection of story with study produces a contested space filled with a multitude of views. It is precisely this multitude we find fruitful for investigation.

We invite submissions on papers that address narratives: the stories we tell about particular bands, or scenes, or even entire genres. This can include the evolution of these individual bands or moments, their musical legacies, or even wholesale reevaluation of the same.

There are also, however, stories to be told on our interdisciplinary field of study; these recurring themes have their own stories to tell. Some of these include authenticity, the tension between art and commerce or high and low culture, and identity. There are also the stories about how the music industries function, both historically – 'the good old days' – and now, when the record industry has dramatically decreased its share of the music market. The nature of our research processes, too, bear investigation and discussion.

We welcome papers (non-exclusively) on the following themes:


-the stories we tell about bands, scenes, genres

-musical legacies

-musical evolution/trajectories

-reevaluations of oft-discussed bands/scenes

-the stories we tell about popular music and its study


-art vs commerce

-cultural identity

- high vs low culture

- music industries then and now

- censorship






-global vs national vs local



- ethnography

- historiography

- musicology

Papers will be limited to 20 minutes followed by discussion and questions. Abstracts (200 words) will be accepted until 15 April 2011. Please send emails to

The event will also feature a keynote speaker, Freya Jarman (University of Liverpool) and a roundtable discussion on publishing on 9 June 2011 at 5 pm.

Some travel bursaries are available. Please include a paragraph outlining need if you would like to be considered for one.