Wednesday, 22 October 2014

CFP: Popular Music Fandom and the Public Sphere: A One Day Symposium


University of Chester,
Friday, 10th April 2015

Keynote speaker: Dr Cornel Sandvoss, University of Surrey

In the mainstream media, postwar popular music fandom has traditionally been associated with collective displays of emotion. Yet fandom is actually about a range of things: shared tastes and personal convictions, individual subjectivity and wider community. Fandom does not exist entirely in private nor entirely in public, but is characterized a process of continual mediation between the two. J├╝rgen Habermas’s concept of the public sphere suggests that shared spaces of discussion have political consequences, making the crossing of the private/public boundary a political act. It is possible for fans to have relatively public experiences in private and private experiences in public. What new forms of public sphere does popular music fandom create? Edward Comentale suggested that Elvis Presley created a “public sphere within the public sphere.” Furthermore, both ‘the public’ and ‘the private’ are transforming in a networked society and neoliberal era. As communities of imagination, fan bases are providing new models for public activism based on shared values. Fandom can therefore help to indicate where conceptions of the private and public might require some reformulation. We invite papers associated with this subject on specific topics such as the following:

* Closet popular music fandom
* Fandom and intimacy
* Music fan diaries and confessionals
* Voyeurism and fandom
* Fan mail and its representation
* ‘Masses’ and ‘manias’ - collective fandom in the mass broadcast era
* Fan communities as their own public spheres
* Fandom, festivals and spectacles
* Collecting, exhibiting and curating and music fandom
* Genre fandom and the public sphere
* Fan philanthropy and activism
* Fan productivity as social commentary
* ‘Drive by’ media, news and documentary portrayals
* Interaction on social media
* Fandom, affect and the public display of emotion
* The public/private boundary and historical fan studies
* Abject heroes and music fan shame

Papers will be 20 minutes in length with 10 minutes for questions. 


Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a bio of no more than 50 words to: m.duffett@chester.ac.uk - before Wednesday, 19th November, 2014.

Organized by:

Dr Mark Duffett, University of Chester.

Dr Koos Zwaan, InHolland University of Applied Sciences.

This event is free to staff and students from any university. Click here to register.