Call for Presentations

Urban Pop Cultures

The Urban Popcultures Project: 5th Global Meeting

Sunday 10th May – Tuesday 12th May 2015
Dubrovnik, Croatia


Call for Presentations:
For each generation, the world’s cities have provided a fertile cultural landscape in which alternatives to the mainstream emerge and flourish. From the jazz clubs of 1920s Harlem and the Swing Kids of 1930s Berlin, to the block parties that gave rise to hip hop and rap in 1970s New York, to the to the Freetekno movement that swept across European cities in the 1990s, to the punk scene of seventies London, New York and Sydney to the noughties emo revival, urban popular culture has provided a space in which society‘s disadvantaged, disenfranchised and generally disenchanted populations could assert agency through the formation of communities of resistance.

Of course the relationship between the mainstream and the alternative is in a state of constant flux, which raises important questions about what it means to be alternative in a globalised world, how the dynamics of the mainstream/alternative relationship play out over time and what social purposes are served by the existence of alternative cultures generally. The Urban Pop Cultures project will explore these issues with particular reference to alternative music culture that include but are not limited to indie rock, post-punk, hip hop, rap, electronica, post-rave, dark wave scenes and post-Gothic. We therefore welcome proposals for presentations, performances, installations, and interactive workshops on themes that might include:

 Conceptualising Alternativity and Urban Popular Culture

  • What does it mean to be alternative – as a culture, a practice or a lifestyle?
  • What draws people to or alienates people from alternative musical culture?
  • What are the dynamics of the relationship between alternative cultures and the mainstream from which they diverge?
  • What ideological positions motivate and underpin alternativity?
  • Is there an inherent relationship between progressive sensibilities and alternative cultures?
  • What events and factors trigger the emergence of alternate cultures and practices?
  • What happens when alternative becomes mainstream?
  • What does alternativity contribute to society in any given moment and why is it essential to understand these phenomena?
  • What is it about urban spaces that causes alternative cultures to form and thrive?

Forms, Functions and Funding of Alternative Music

  • Case studies and first hand accounts of the emergence and evolution of specific alternative music cultures
  • Ethnographic studies of alternative music communities
  • Formal analyses of musical styles that define an alternative music culture
  • Band/artist profiles
  • Economics of alternative music culture: industry status, funding, sustainability, etc.
  • Performative spaces (clubs, scenes, etc.)
  • Lifestyles associated with alternative music culture
  • Linguistic practices associated with alternative music cultures
  • Intersections between alternative music culture and other subcultures

Alternative Music Cultures and their Urban Contexts 

  • Impact of alternative music cultures on urban planning and development
  • The relationship between immigration, multiculturalism and alternative music cultures
  • Alternative music cultures as engines for economic growth, commercialisation and tourism
  • Racial, class and gender implications of alternative music culture
  • Youth culture and alternative music trends
  • Sexuality and alternative music culture
  • Relationships between alternative music culture and fashion, film, television, computer games and the arts

Our inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary approach seeks to do justice to the richness of this theme at a conference where fruitful dialogue between and across disciplines is highly valued. As such we also welcome the submission of proposals across as many different formats as possible and can be in, but not limited to, any of the following; short workshops, practitioner-based activities, best practice showcases, how-to sessions, live demonstrations, performances, pre-formed panels, short film screenings, photographic essays, installations; interactive talks and alternative presentation styles that encourage engagement.

What to Send:
300 word proposals should be submitted by Friday 23rd January 2015. All submissions are at least double blind peer reviewed. Proposals should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: UP5 ProposalSubmission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:
Daniel Riha: rihad@inter-disciplinary.net
Rob Fisher: up5@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the ‘Critical Issues’ programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into a themed ISBN hard copy volume.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.