OK Computer: Radiohead's legacy

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Guillaume Clement / Universite Rennes 1 (France)

OK Computer, twenty years on: Radiohead’s musical, cultural, and political legacies


OK Computer, Radiohead’s third album, has captivated many rock music fans worldwide and continues to this day to feature in the music press’s lists of the best rock albums of all times. A complex, at times experimental, album, OK Computer stood at odds with the dominating trends in mid-to-late 1990s British music and culture, especially Britpop, and the album’s bleak, subversive lyrics provided a sharp contrast with the features of the Cool Britannia phenomenon.


Following a symposium held at Rennes 2 University last may, further contributions (in English or French) are now sought in order to publish a wide-ranging collection of articles appraising OK Computer’s musical, cultural and political legacy twenty years after its release. The peer-reviewed collection will be published in a special issue of the LISA e-journal (https://lisa.revues.org/?lang=en) in 2018. The aim of this publication is to bring together contributions from scholars who wish to confront Radiohead’s work with their own disciplinary methodologies, including (but not limited to) musicology, sociology, art history, political science, literature, cultural studies or even economics. Potential topics may include:


  • The literary, philosophical, artistic concepts which may have influenced Radiohead during the album’s recording;

  • The use of visual arts as a way to convey and deepen the album’s socio-political message (e.g. the use of video clips and the album’s and singles’ cover art);

  • OK Computer’s appraisal and reception by fans and critics;

  • OK Computer’s impact on the evolution of contemporary British rock music;

  • The way Radiohead have reacted and adapted to the overhaul of the music industry and consumption mechanisms since the late 1990s

Abstracts (400 words maximum) and short biographical notes should be sent to Guillaume Clément  (prof.guillaume.clement@gmail.com) and David Haigron (david.haigron@univ-rennes2.fr) by 15 December 2017. Selected authors will be notified quickly thereafter and final papers should be submitted by April 1st, 2018.

Guillaume ClémentSenior Lecturer in British studiesUniversité Rennes 1, Francehttp://gbclement.weebly.com