UPDATE: [General] Extended Deadline

full name / name of organization: 
Jan Hein Hoogstad
contact email: 
janhein@mac.com

DOWNBEAT: PLURALIZING RHYTHM

Editor: Jan Hein Hoogstad
Book Series: Thamyris / Intersecting: Place, Sex, and 'Race'
Publisher: Rodopi (Amsterdam / New York)
Series Editor: Ernst van Alphen
Deadline for Proposals: December 15, 2007

This volume wishes to draw attention to rhythm as an alternative for the use of textual
metaphors in analyzing cultural objects.

With ‘Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag’ (1965), James Brown challenged the status quo by breaking
conventions of rhythm. Instead of emphasizing the even beats of a measure ("upbeat"), common
in music at the time, the funk pioneer put the stress on the ‘one’ and ‘three’. Brown’s
foregrounding of what is called "downbeat" in popular music opened it up to polyrhythm and
syncopation, and changed rhythm from a fixed structure into a site of negotiation. This
transformation prefigured similar contestations of social and political structures in songs like
‘Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud’ (1968) or ‘Funky President’ (1974).

In fields as diverse as music, culture, nature, and economy, rhythm can be seen as a
phenomenon that simultaneously connects and divides. It suggests a certain measure with which
people, practices and cultures can comply. Yet, for this very reason rhythm can also function as a
field of exclusion, contestation and debate. Whereas its connecting force is often accentuated in
the esthetic, political, and commercial usage of the term, the divisive aspect of rhythm is at least
as important.

This volume wants to rid rhythm of its harmless, nearly esoteric, reputation as a cosmic unifier
by understanding it in the light of the contemporary medial turn. For this volume, we welcome
contributions that combine the political, aesthetic, and theoretical dimension of rhythm. We
invite essays that consider the unifying as well as disruptive potentials of rhythm by performing a
close analysis of particular manifestations of rhythm in the contemporary arts, music, politics,
economics, and other fields. In short, we are looking for texts that – just like James Brown did
four decades ago – complicate, disturb and pluralize the notion of rhythm.

Proposals for contributions to Downbeat: Pluralizing Rhythm may be submitted by email
(j.h.hoogstad_at_uva.nl) before December 15 2007. Include the proposal (600 words) in the body
of the message. Use "Downbeat" as the subject line. Please include a short c.v. The deadline for
the finished articles (6,000-8,000 words) is January 31, 2007. All acceptances are conditional on
the approval of the series editor. For more information on the Thamyris/Intersecting series, refer
to http://www.rodopi.nl/senj.asp?SerieId=THAMYRIS

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Received on Sat Nov 03 2007 - 17:54:59 EST

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