(Update) Museal Practices and Cultural Politics of Exhibiting Popular Music, extended deadline, May 1, 2016.

full name / name of organization: 
Lars Kaijser, Stockholm University, Sweden, and Klara Stephanie Szlezák, Passau University, Germany.

Museal Practices and Cultural Politics of Exhibiting Popular Music

Edited Volume Lars Kaijser, Stockholm University, Sweden, and Klara Stephanie Szlezák, Passau University, Germany.

Contact email: exhibitpopmusic@gmail.com

No longer limited to records, stages, and videos, popular music has widened its sphere of influence by entering the realm of museums and tourism. For the past decades, popular music themed exhibitions have multiplied as well as diversified, and have in the process gained growing visibility and cultural momentum. Be it in the form of spatially fixed museum spaces that draw international audiences, or be it in the form of traveling exhibits that transport displays across the limits of cities and nations: Exhibitions revolving around popular music participate in and contribute to the global circulation of meanings, values, and emotions ascribed to and associated with diverse genres of and eras in popular music.

Today, museums like The Grammy Museum at Los Angeles, CA, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum at Cleveland, OH, The Stax Museum of American Soul Music at Memphis, TN, or The Woody Guthrie Center at Tulsa, OK, have become institutions renowned in their own right. Moreover, temporary exhibitions like John Lennon: His Life and Work in 2000-2003 or the ongoing touring exhibition David Bowie Is, organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum and mounted at major international museums, further testify to the vast interart and intermedial potential of exhibiting popular music acts in museums at the intersections of music, performance, visual arts, design, and others. In addition, the marketing surrounding such exhibitions as ABBA The Museum in Stockholm or The Beatles Story in Liverpool evidence the brand-building quality of popular music acts and their potential for commercialization in the context of tourism practices.

This essay collection aims to explore, from a variety of angles, the manifold interrelations between forms of popular music and exhibition practices, inquiring both into the strategies of museum display that are at work and into the cultural politics that govern what is displayed and how. We invite contributions that address theoretical and conceptual questions, such as the visibility of music or the tourist modes framing popular music exhibitions, as well as case studies that explore the techniques and politics of specific exhibitions, permanent or traveling.

Please submit your abstract (max. 350 words) and a short bio by May 1, 2016, to: exhibitpopmusic@gmail.com

The dead line has been extended - May 1, 2016!