Country Music and Philosophy: Call for Abstracts

deadline for submissions: 
May 20, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Joshua Heter and Brett Coppenger (with McFarland and Co.)

Call for Abstracts!

Country Music and Philosophy

Edited by Joshua Heter and Brett Coppenger

Abstracts are sought for a collection of essays on any philosophical topic related to country music (which may also include western, folk, bluegrass, etc.) to be published with McFarland & Company Publishers Inc. Potential contributors may want to examine a previously published volume: Punk Rock and Philosophy: Research and Destroy (2022). Abstracts and eventual essays should be written for an educated but non-specialized audience (with an approximate length of 3,000 – 4,000 words). Potential topics include (but are not limited to)...

Metaphysics: What is “country”? Is it just a musical genre? Or, does it encompass a broader spectrum of cultural aspects? Is country music the type of thing that can be defined, does it have an essence, or do you just know it when you hear it? Wherein lies the distinction between (for instance) country and bluegrass?

Political Philosophy: Is country music inherently conservative? If so, why? Is there room for progressive country? What is the relationship between country music and patriotism?

Ethics and The Good Life: What can country music teach us about living well and achieving happiness?

Philosophy of Religion: What is the relationship between country music and religion? Do the values espoused by country music cohere with any particular religious traditions? Is country music religious by its nature, or is there room for nonbelievers?

Aesthetics: What about country music is so appealing? What makes country music uniquely aesthetically valuable?

Philosophy of Race: Does country music (itself) have a troubling racial history? Can country music be inclusive?

Philosophical Psychology: Why do we listen to such sad (country) songs? Why do so many people actively dislike country music?

Philosophy of Emotion: What is it about country music that lends itself to tales of heartbreak and loss?

Authenticity: Does it matter if Johnny Cash never shot a man in Reno (to watch him die)? Do country music stars need to be authentically country?

Health and Wellness: Is there a troublesome relationship between alcohol and country music?

Storytelling: What is so significant about stories in country music? Why are human beings so drawn to (telling, hearing, and learning from) stories? How do we learn from stories?

Gender and Sexuality: How are women portrayed in country music? How are women treated in the culture surrounding country music? Can country music be a vehicle for female empowerment? Is masculinity portrayed in a healthy (or unhealthy) manner in the genre?

… and many more!

Contributor Guidelines:

Mail abstracts (and any questions) to:

1. Abstracts should be between 100 – 500 words.

2. Potential contributors must include a resume/CV for each author/coauthor.

3. Initial submissions should be made by e-mail as either a Word doc. or a PDF.

4. Deadlines:

Abstracts due by: May 20, 2024

First drafts due by: August 26, 2024

Final drafts due by: October 28, 2024

(Early submissions are encouraged and welcomed!)