Indigenous Pop, a critical collection on contemporary music (abstracts due 9/1/09)

full name / name of organization: 
Eds. Jeff Berglund, Kimberli Lee, and Janis (Jan) Johnson
contact email: 

call for contributors to a new critical collection

Indigenous Pop

jazz, rock, rockabilly, folk, country western, blues, rap, reggae, metal, hip-hop, punk

Edited by Jeff Berglund, Kimberli Lee, and Janis (Jan) Johnson

This proposed collection of criticism examines the understudied and academically underappreciated varieties of musical traditions that emerged in Indigenous communities in Central and North America throughout the twentieth century and that continue to flourish. In particular, we'll trace the transition of musical expression from the era following World War I and beyond, looking at the way that blues, jazz, country/western, rock, rockabilly, folk, reggae, metal, punk, hip hop and rap performers fuse "non-Indigenous" and Indigenous musical modes.

The volume's three editors contend that contemporary musical expression deserves to be studied alongside the greatest works of literature, particularly if we want clear insights into the ways that art, audience and context interrelate in immediate ways; to not consider the impact of music and song is a political act in itself, not merely academic neglect. Our intended audience is the broad, interdisciplinary field of Indigenous Studies as well as American Studies, literary studies, and music studies. We have serious academic press interest.

We're especially interested in discussing the intersection of "tradition" and popular art, intercultural cross-pollinations, commerce, and activism. We are interested in essays that wrestle with terminologies such as "tradition," "popular," "Indigenous," "post-traditional" and question the ways that tradition is reinvented and passed on. Additionally, we're interested in essays that examine the way performers and their music expand on tribal archives of songwork—including their spiritual and social dimensions—as well as works that foreground how music functions as a form of activism and/or social commentary on the past or the present.

Please send a detailed abstract (at least two pages) with possible sources by September 1, 2009 to