Effects of Structural Juxtaposition on Popular Music, Its Research and Mediation
32nd GFPM Conference || 5th IASPM D-A-CH Conference

In everyday life, notions of supposed “parallel worlds” and “parallel societies”, of imagined social niches and bubbles that are (supposedly) moving apart and frequently considered irreconcilable, are widespread. In the realm of popular music practice (in general) and in popular music studies (in particular), such constructions can also be observed on the most varied levels—manifested, for instance, as juxtaposed figures of thought, systems, networks, practices, and structures that have so far been but insufficiently observed and examined in terms of their modes of formation, functions, and effects as ontological givens and allegedly permanent matters of course. Who actually means what, when the choice is made to speak of “pop”, of “music that is popular”, or of “pop music”—and with what respective underlying intents? How are linguistic and aesthetic codes used in popular music to mark boundaries and stake out spaces (if one thinks of things such as genre formation and canonisation processes), and how are these practices linked to intersectional categories? And last but not least: What are the current assessments regarding how, for several years now, we’ve had two German-speaking academic specialist societies whose central concern is research on popular music?

As the organisers, we’re very pleased that the mdw will have the privilege of hosting a joint annual conference of the German Society for Popular Music Studies (GFPM) e.V. and the International Association For The Study Of Popular Music – Germany – Austria – Switzerland (IASPM D-A-CH) in order to devote extensive discussion to issues such as the aforementioned. The main objective of this international conference, which is entitled “Parallel Societies – Effects of Structural Juxtaposition on Popular Music, Its Research and Mediation”, will be to render pop-cultural paradigms of difference visible on the most varied levels, thus also rendering them critically negotiable. The intent is then to query the impact of the according attributions that, as a fait sociale (Émile Durkheim), do just as much to shape pop music reality as do the corresponding journalistic and academic practices, evoking connection and inclusion but also numerous instances of exclusion. A further central concern of this conference is the matter of where and how we could move from the current state of juxtaposition to one of synergistic interconnection and productively mediate between existing parallel structures and constellations.

We’re looking forward to numerous lectures on this topic by renowned colleagues from Austria and abroad whose contributions will be framed and complemented by keynote lectures. Hyojung Sun (University of Ulster) and David Hesmondalgh (University of Leeds) will speak about music streaming as a digital and increasingly significant alternative to analogue modes of (popular) music reception on Thursday, 20 October; this keynote will be held in collaboration with the International Music Business Research Days. On Friday, 21 October, a further keynote will see Moritz Ege (University of Zurich) speak on Diagnoses of Division, Critiques of Moralisation, and Fantasies of the Popular, thereby subjecting the semantics of the popular and of pop to critical analysis. On Saturday, 22 October, we will be speaking with a panel comprised of Amira Ben Saoud (Der Standard), Esra Özmen (EsRap), Axel Petri-Preis (mdw), and Anne Wiederhold-Daryanavard (artistic direction, Brunnenpassage, Vienna) about their experiences with parallel-world constructions, binarities, and parallel structures at work and in everyday life, about their strategies for dealing with paradigms of difference, and about ways in which to overcome them.

Participation in this conference is free of charge but registration is mandatory; to register, please send an informal E-mail to: musiksoziologie@mdw.ac.at
Further information: musiksoziologie.at

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