Archive for April, 2023

CFP: Popular Music Autobiographies: Rereading Musicians and their Audiences

April 13, 2023



This broad, interdisciplinary collection to be published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2024 will consider why popular music autobiography has recently become such a widely-read genre and a significant factor in mediating popular music for its audience.

Texts such as Viv Albertine’s Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys, Miki Berenyi’s Fingers Crossed, Alex James’ Bit of a Blur, Nile Rodgers’ Le Freak, Gucci Mane’s Autobiography of Gucci Mane, and Bob Dylan’s Chronicles have been critically acclaimed and recorded on various best-seller lists whilst delivering for many fans an apparent insider’s understanding of musicians whose work they are invested in.

Yet such narratives have many other functions beyond thrilling fans with a sense of intimacy. Pop music autobiographies have variously attempted to rewrite social history; to redress gender or racial stereotypes; to question received models of fame; to validate new genres and scenes; to explore the renditions of subjectivity in pop music and lyrics; to justify transgressive behaviour; to critique the music industry.

The essays in this volume will address such diverse questions as the above, employing cultural theory frameworks to investigate what this often patronised or stereotyped genre has to offer in understanding popular music and its audiences today. The collection will also consider the forms deployed in pop music autobiographies, which range from familiar narrative arcs to experimental texts and virtual platforms.

We will work from a broad definition of autobiography, including conventional written narratives, via renditions of subjectivity in concerts, interviews, and life-writing, to manifestations of musicians’ lives including social media, museums, and avatars.

Suggested topics/themes for chapters (feel free to propose others that are important to you):

Earlier narratives by musicians before the rock era
Interviews as dialogised autobiography
Experimental forms of autobiography vs conventional narratives
Transgressive autobiographies and rock mythologising
Female and feminist musicians’ life writing
Musicians’ houses and museums as material Autobiographies
Musical subjectivities and musical genres
Lyrics as coded autobiography
Concerts as performed subjectivity
Ghosted autobiographies and promotional narratives
Oral histories and group autobiography
Musicians’ social media personae as real time virtual autobiographies
Avatars: performing virtual subjectivities

Proposals/abstracts should be 500 words maximum. Please include up to 5 keywords and a brief biography of the author(s) which includes an institutional affiliation and your contact email.

Editorial team: Tom Attah (Leeds Arts University), Kirsty Fairclough (SODA at Manchester Metropolitan University), Christian Lloyd (Queens University of Canada)

Send your proposal(s) to:

Deadline for Proposals: 30th April, 2023. Accepted authors will be notified w/c 15th May 2023. Accepted chapters to be delivered no later than 15th January 2024.


CFP: Audience Conference

April 2, 2023

Call for presentations: Audience Conference, 6 July 2023 
Hosted by Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Birmingham City University

Audience is one of the pillars of media studies, alongside industry and text. Accordingly, the current Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR) research theme returns to audience as a concept, to consider methods for studying and addressing audiences in our own research practice, and how we train our students to think about and to study audiences at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As part of this project, we are holding a one-day conference to share current theorisations and uses of audience as a concept.

There are many questions we can ask about the state of audience today. For example, how do media literacy and misinformation, populism and democracy, short-form viral content, and different humanities ‘turns’ (archival, transnational, memory, etc.) reshape or confirm scholarly views of what an audience is? Is there still a ‘mass’ audience, in the UK or elsewhere? Are the methods we use for audience research fit for purpose, given the huge swathes of people who have, historically, been left out of audience research?

Areas of interest can include but are not limited to:

    Audience as viewer/listener/reader

    Audience as commodity

    Audience as consumer, user, player, and/or citizen

    Audience as participant/producer

    Audience in the singular or plural 

    Fan audience(s)

    National/international/transnational audience(s)

    Methodology and audience research

    Pedagogy and audience research

Please send 300-word abstracts (for individual presentations no more than 20 minutes long) and a short author bio to by 5 May 2023. We aim to communicate decisions by 19 May 2023.

Panel proposals are also accepted: please submit a rationale alongside abstracts for each contribution (max. 750 words total, rationale and abstracts together).

Thank you,
Charlotte Stevens and Hazel Collie
Birmingham Institute of Media and English
Birmingham City University