Friday, 3 March 2017

New Perspectives On Elvis: A One-Day International Conference

21 August 2017, start time: 10.15am
University of Memphis

16 August 2017 will be the fortieth anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, one of the most popular and controversial music makers of the twentieth century. ‘New Perspectives on Elvis’ is a day-long international event held at the University of Memphis. The aim is to offer fresh perspectives on the Memphis icon, not only grounding him in the context of his place and time, but also interpreting him in relation to developments both inside and outside the academy. Paper proposals are invited on a range of topics. As well as class, race and gender, these could include but are not limited to:

Elvis Presley and…

·      Recent understandings of nation and region.
·      Work on modernity (Cold War, leisure, military service, the night).
·      Contemporary work on childhood, age and generational memory.
·      Music and media technology (studio, radio formats, social media).
·      Developments in celebrity studies.
·      Advances in studying the music industry: live music, merchandising.
·      Popular music studies work on genre or canonicity (including jazz).
·      New research on vocality and the voice.
·      Insights from fashion studies.
·      Discussions of participatory culture or fan phenomena.
·      Research on heritage tourism.
·      Cultural theory: understanding Elvis in relation to Derrida, etc.
·      New questions in research methodology.
·      Studies of musical taste (easy listening, the middlebrow, opera).

Places are highly limited. Papers will be a standard 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions. Please submit abstracts of less than 300 words for proposed presentations with equally short bios to before 8 April 2017. Successful applicants will be notified shortly thereafter. 

The registration fee for this event is $100. Tickets are available here. Submissions will only be fully accepted if this fee is paid within a month of approval. The registration fee is non-refundable, except in the case that the event is cancelled by the organizer.

Dr Mark Duffett is Reader in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Chester. He has published on Elvis fandom since 1999 and is keynote speaker at the University of Kent interdisciplinary conference, Always On Their Mind: Elvis Presley and Consumer Culture in June 2017.


Michael Bertrand, Tennessee State University
Claude Chastagner, University Paul Valery, France
Sara Cohen, University of Liverpool
Neil Nehring, University of Texas at Austin