About the conference – #btmconf

Registration starts at 9am on the
2nd Floor Atrium of the Fogelman Executive Centre,
University of Memphis (main campus)

– See conference program for more details –

The history of post-war popular music has been closely associated with concerns for social justice. It is not only that particular ideals (equality, community, rights, an end to oppression and discrimination) have animated the public sphere; it is also that those ideals have – whether we look at blues, gospel, world music, punk or hip-hop, for instance – been central in many music genres. This is no surprize, insofar as post-war popular music has developed in parallel with the rise of humanism, the postcolonial era, civil rights, the culture wars, and rise of identity politics. In that sense, and more, music has been political, and further politicized: employed as an opportunity to establish empathy, express solidarity, and mobilize agents of change. Issues of social justice in turn have influenced public decisions about, for example, music funding, heritage and archiving. Topics for the conference may include:

  • Southern music, social history and issues of race, class and/or gender
  • Popular music and civil rights
  • Personal freedom, music and social justice
  • Utopian conceptions of social justice in music cultures
  • Listening and social justice
  • Cultural appropriation, composition and performance
  • Music and social justice in the context of neoliberalism
  • Questions of rights, privilege or shared victimhood in relation to popular music
  • Gender equality, sexual identity and popular music
  • Religion, social justice and music
  • Socialism, communism and popular music
  • Social justice, music and charities
  • Non-western musical cultures or intercultural music and social justice
  • Labour, class and popular music
  • Ethical creeds publicly expressed by musicians and music movements
  • Popular music and social justice in the context of colonialism and foreign policy
  • Reactionary music cultures
  • Music and conceptions of meritocracy or the social order
  • Music and disability
  • Expressing equality through music making or listening
  • Music fandom, activism, participatory culture and social justice
  • Song collecting, archiving and issues of social justice
  • Social justice, music, and humanism / posthumanism
  • Music, contemporary criticism of social justice, and the rise of the ‘alt right’

The call for papers is now closed. 

The length of presentations shall be 20 minutes maximum.

Speakers – please use the registration or FAQ links above.

Send any enquiries to balancingthemix@gmail.com