Archive | U2 Studies Alerts

U2 Aca-Fans, Geeks and Nerds at The World of Bob Dylan and Future U2 Conferences

Are you an aca-fan? Academics who are also fans of the subject they study are aca-fans (sometimes written as acafan). The term has been around for a while as have fan cultures and fandom studies.

There are plenty of online places to read more about aca-fans and what they do, from definition sites like this one, to a first-person “Confession of an Aca-Fan” from Henry Jenkins, who is said to have coined the term, to this recent essay on David Bowie fandom, which was published in The Fandom of David Bowie.

Toija Cinque, a co-author of The Fandom of David Bowie, wrote in another article titled Celebrity conferences as confessional spaces: the aca-fan memory traces of David Bowie’s stardom that:

The exchange of ideas between fans about stars and celebrities frequently takes place in informal circumstances, sometime face-to-face or in online forums and increasingly via social media such as Facebook. An increasingly important aspect of stardom and celebrity in contemporary societies finds now that there are important ‘new’ and professional spaces for commentary, discussion and thinking about star performers and the various affects of fandom itself. Such is the aca-fan conference.

If you’ve been to one of our U2 Conferences, or having been following along in the field of U2 Studies, you know exactly what an aca-fan is. You are, most likely, a U2 aca-fan yourself.


Kevin Dettmar, professor of English at Pomona College, attended the 2009 U2 Conference and presented his paper “Nothing Succeeds Like Failure: U2 and the Politics of Irony,” which he later contributed to Exploring U2: Is This Rock ‘n’ Roll? (Rowman and Littlefield, 2011).

In July, Dettmar wrote for The Chronicle of Higher Education about attending The World of Bob Dylan Symposium, a four-day conference on Bob Dylan at The University of Tulsa’s Institute for Bob Dylan Studies. Organizers expected about 200 attendees; they closed registration at 500.

“All Along the Ivory Tower: Amateur geeks and scholarly nerds come together to discuss Bob Dylan and his music,” shares Dettmar’s observations, personal experience and questions about the co-mingling of scholars and fans around a common subject. He shared the whole article with me and you can read it here.

I pulled some of Dettmar’s musings which I found to be most relevant to what I’ve noticed at U2 Conferences. Do his reactions strike a chord with you too? What’s been your aca-fan experience? What have the U2 Conferences done for you, and what would you like to see at the next U2 Conferences? Please leave your comments below.

Dettmar writes:

I had participated in a Dylan conference once before, one fully “scholarly” in design and tenor; the program and the talks were brilliant. But the Tulsa gathering was something different — something special. That’s reflected by the fact that it can with justice be described as a “gathering.” In part, it was a meeting of different “tribes”; in stark opposition to the traditional academic conference, the organizers had invited journalists, artists, and fans, as well as popular-music scholars. For many, the conference served as a kind of IRL meetup for folks who had known one another only from Dylan fan sites, message boards, and Facebook groups.

Most uncharitably, to both parties, the division might be described as “geeks” versus “nerds”; more conventionally, I suppose, the participants could tentatively be grouped into “fans” and “scholars.” The distinction is somewhat dubious, of course, but there’s something to it. One of the differences between fan and scholar involves the question of intentionality. Fans aspire to have the mind of Bob; scholars, in theory at least, seek rather to assess the achievement of the work, independent from what Dylan thought or said about it, to figure out not what Dylan meant, but what a given song, or album, or performance does. Scholars don’t care (or try not to care) about what Dylan thought he was doing, or was trying to do; we tend to hold to a more mysterious, even mystical, understanding of art, believing that the work always exceeds (and often contradicts) the explicit intentions of its maker. … Whereas fans, by and large, hold to a more mystical understanding of Dylan himself. For the fans, the credibility of an argument hinges on whether it jibes with their sense of what Bob was trying to do.

Another distinction that struck me that weekend is that fans’ way of seeing, analyzing, and questioning such topics is more detectivelike, more based in fact-finding, whereas scholars cherish the study of ideas. One practical consequence was that we scholars were quickly labeled the pundits, the ideas guys (and more often than not, guys took up the most space).

A final, but crucial, distinction between scholarly and fan interpretation concerns the question of context. Both scholars and fans seemed to eschew reading Dylan’s work in some orthodox New Critical fashion — they rejected the notion that Dylan’s songs alone were the sacred, self-contained source of interpretable meaning — but they had rather different reasons for doing so. The fans, too, spent a lot of time close reading Dylan’s texts, pressuring them to surrender their meanings, while also vigilantly attending to the contexts that framed their readings and proved their validity. For them, though, the principal context was what they conceived to be Dylan’s own intentions: Getting into the texts was a proxy for getting into Bob’s head.

A rich spirit of intellectual generosity reigned among the Dylan fans; I think all of the scholars were impressed with how unstinting they were with their considerable knowledge. We were also more than a little freaked out by them, truth be told, and even a little envious. It’s no secret that academics are routinely beset with professional anxieties, jealousies, and endless self-doubts. The fans, on the other hand, seemed completely untouched by things like “impostor syndrome.” But then again, they’re not impostors: What they know, they really know.

I chaired a session composed of one scholar and one fan — the latter, I’d guess, a late 20-something who said I should introduce him as an “independent basement scholar.” His talk on the world of Dylan fanzines was remarkable — as was the archive of that ephemera he has assembled, which he makes freely available via PDF to anyone who asks. The spirit of trading Dylan and Grateful Dead bootlegs is alive and well and living on the internet. … And the Dylan fans weren’t just generous with one another — they were generous with “us,” the scholars.

As should be clear by now — you will have figured it out far more quickly than I did — we scholars could learn a lot from the fans. This is not to suggest that conferences should be transformed into concerts (though I do think Dr. Freud would have something to say about the way I kept slipping up and calling it a Dylan concert rather than conference). But if we scholars think that fans’ analyses are lacking in rigor, our work would surely benefit from a bit of their enthusiasm, even joy.

U2 Studies Alert |New Conference CFPs on Celebrity Culture & Listening to Popular Music / Five Papers Newly Added to the U2 Studies Bibliography

U2 Studies Alerts share opportunities for research, writing, learning, and participation in projects and events related to U2 and topics associated with U2 that might be of interest to fans, students and scholars. Alerts are collected from a variety of sources and archived and distributed by U2conference.com. Search this site for “U2 Studies Alert” to find more.

All needed details for each alert should be in the body text, but
contact U2conference.com if you need more information or have an item to share for a future alert.

Regarding conference Call for Papers: Consider submitting proposals to these conferences on a topic that interests you about U2’s music, work, influence or fandom culture which would also fit within the framework of these conference topics.


CONFERENCE CFP

FullSizeRender

Transformations in Celebrity Culture: The Fifth International Celebrity Studies Conference

June 18 – 20, 2020
University of Winchester, UK
Sponsored by the Culture-Media-Text Research Centre, Faculty of Arts, University of Winchester.

Deadline for proposals is October 1, 2019. Full CFP here.

Keynote speakers (confirmed):
●       Dr. Nandana Bose, FLAME University, India
●       Dr. Anthea Taylor, University of Sydney, Australia
●       Prof. Brenda R. Weber, Indiana University Bloomington, USA
●       Dr. Milly Williamson, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

More details about the conference here.


CONFERENCE CFP

Home - Universität Innsbruck

Listening to (Mainstream) Popular Music in 2020: Sounds and Practices
May 21-22, 2020 
Department of Music, University of Innsbruck, Austria

Deadline for proposals: October 25, 2019. More conference details and a full CFP here.


NEW ADDITIONS TO THE U2 STUDIES BIBLIOGRAPHY
These four new papers are now listed along with 100+ more items on the U2 Studies Bibliography.

1. Côté, Thierry. “Popular Musicians and Their Songs as Threats to National Security: A World Perspective.” The Journal of Popular Culture 44.4 (2011): 732-754. Free to download with a free Academia.edu account.

2. Galbraith, Deane. “Meeting God in the Sound: The Seductive Dimension of U2’s Future Hymns.” Chapter in: The Counter-Narratives of Radical Theology and Rock’n’Roll: Songs of Fear and Trembling. Ed. Mike Grimshaw. Radical Theologies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 119-135. Free to download with a free Academia.com account.

3. Kearney, David. “‘I Can’t Believe the News Today’: Music and the Politics of Change.” Chimera 24 (2009): 122–140. Available online here.

4. Van den Berg, Jan Albert. “The Gospel According to Bono and U2? Worship in the New Millennium.” Chapter in: A Faithful Witness. Essays in Honour of Malan Nel. Edited by H. Pieterse and C. Thesnaar. Wellington: Bible Media, 2009. 197-208. Free to download with a free Academia.edu account.

5. Welch, Marshall J. “We Get To Carry Each Other: Using the Musical Activism of U2 As A Framework for an Engaged Spirituality & Community Engagement Course.” Engaging Pedagogies in Catholic Higher Education 1.1 (2015): 1-10. Free to download with a free Academia.edu account.

Furthering the field of U2 Studies with Myth, Fan Culture, and the Popular Appeal of Liminality in the Music of U2

Looking for some back to school U2 studies reading? Here’s a newish book by Brian Johnston and Susan Mackey-kallis. More info at the book’s site and here’s a back-to-school sale flyer for a 30% discount on orders through Nov. 11, 2019.

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Brian Johnston is visiting assistant professor in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film at Miami University.

Susan Mackey-Kallis is associate professor in the Department of Communication at Villanova University.

U2 Studies Alert |”U2 and Jewish Thought” available / Paperback edition of U2 and the Religious Impulse / CFP: Researching Live Music: Gigs, Tours, Concerts and Festivals

U2 Studies Alerts share opportunities for research, writing, learning, and participation in projects and events related to U2 and topics associated with U2 that might be of interest to fans, students and scholars. Alerts are collected from a variety of sources and archived and distributed by U2conference.com. Search this site for “U2 Studies Alert” to find more.

All needed details for each alert should be in the body text, but
contact U2conference.com if you need more information or have an item to share for a future alert.

U2 studies scholar Naomi Dinnen recently made her paper “You don’t see me but you will: Jewish thought and U2” free to download as a PDF. Dinnen is a PhD candidate researching U2 and religion at The Australian National University School of Music. We’re all looking forward to reading her dissertation on U2 when she completes her studies.


Naomi Dinnen’s paper “You don’t see me but you will: Jewish thought and U2” was first published in U2 and the Religious Impulse: Take Me Higher, edited by Scott Calhoun (Bloomsbury, 2018). A paperback edition of this collection of thirteen original essays on U2 scholarship will be available in late August 2019, and is available for pre-order now.


Call for Chapter Proposals
Researching Live Music: Gigs, Tours, Concerts and Festivals
(under contract with Taylor & Francis/Routledge)

Hurry! Deadline is in two-days, but perhaps you can ask the editors for a short extension. My apologies for the late notice. – SC

Edited by:
Chris Anderton (Solent University, Southampton, UK)
Sergio Pisfil (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)

We would like to encourage scholars from all disciplines to present chapter proposals for research that relates to one of three broad areas of the live music ecology. First, research that reconsiders the role of technology in the production of music events. Second, research that examines the complex set of industries and issues that surround the promotion and business of live music. Finally, research that explores the social issues and factors involved in the consumption of live music performances. Our objective is to bring together solid methodological and theoretical positions to provide a critical resource that casts new light on the practices of live music – past or present, and from any part of the world. 

Potential contributors are asked to propose chapters related to the following themes and suggested topics:

Producing live music. Topics may include but are not confined to:
Audio production, Lighting, Staging, Touring, Venues (problems facing venues; importance of local venues for artist and audience development), Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality (from the production side), Accessibility (disability), Health & well-being, Environmental sustainability.

Promoting live music. Topics may include but are not confined to:
Concert and event management, Booking agents, Concert & event marketing & PR, Branding and sponsorship, Ticketing / secondary ticketing, Corporatisation and mediatisation, Policy initiatives (e.g. music cities, gentrification), Heritage and nostalgia, Data management.

Consuming live music. Topics may include but are not confined to:
Social media integration, Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality (from the consumer side), Virtual live music communities, Bootlegging and tape-trading, Venues/festivals as music communities (could also be related to the problems of venues closing), Carnivalesque expectations (drugs, alcohol, sexual assault issues), Changing audiences (aging, gender etc), Ways of listening.

Submission Procedure:
Researchers are invited to send an abstract of no more than 300 words, together with a short biography to studyinglivemusic@gmail.com by July 26th 2019. Any questions concerning possible contributions can be addressed to the same e-mail.

Authors will be notified of the outcome of their proposals by late summer 2019.

Successful authors should subsequently submit completed chapters of between 5,000 and 6,000 words (inclusive of bibliography and endnotes) by July 24th, 2020.

U2 Studies Alert | Let Me In The “Dublin” Sound & New Research from The British Library on U2’s Early Tours

U2 Studies Alerts share opportunities for research, writing, learning, and participation in projects and events related to U2 and topics associated with U2 that might be of interest to fans, students and scholars. Alerts are collected from a variety of sources and archived and distributed by U2conference.com. Search this site for “U2 Studies Alert” to find more.

All needed details for each alert should be in the body text, but
contact U2conference.com if you need more information or have an item to share for a future alert.

Two items to pass along today for those interested in U2 Studies:

1. Is there such a thing as a “Dublin” sound in popular music? Popular music studies researchers John O’Flynn (Dublin City University) and Áine Mangaoang’s (University of Oslo) take a big step toward answering that question in their newly published article “Sounding Dublin: Mapping Popular Music Experience in the City,” in the 18 June 2019 issue (Vol. 6, No.1) of Journal of World Popular Music.

“Sounding Dublin” is but one outcome of the larger project “The Dublin Music Map / Mapping Popular Music in Dublin,” which is best summarized on Mangaoang’s site, where you can also get free downloads of the “Mapping Popular Music in Dublin Executive Report (2016)” and the research-informed “Dublin Music Map (2016).” The new Journal of Popular Music issue is for sale, though many academics might have institutional access to the journal.

The abstract for “Sounding Dublin” reads as follows:

This article interrogates ideas of popular music “sound(s)” linked to place by interpreting data gathered during the applied research project Mapping Popular Music in Dublin (MPMiD) 2015-16. An outline background, rationale and framework for MPMiD is presented, followed by a review of methods developed and overall themes that emerged. Focusing on the project’s “Sounding Dublin” strand, the article analyses the responses of 366 participants from a section of MPMiD’s e-survey relating to music, musicians, sounds and soundtracks that might be considered “typical” (or otherwise) of Dublin. Although a substantial minority of participants eschew notions of sonic uniqueness linked to place in the abstract sense, the data reveal a rich tapestry of experiences and standpoints linked to ideas of a Dublin sound or sounds. Some appear to concur with conventional hagiographies of rock and folk, with others challenging received narratives and proposing alternative viewpoints, scenes and pathways. “Dublin-specific” associations emerging across various genres are based on appraisals of performer engagement, accent and timbre, and narrative/lyrical style.


2. The U2 Tours team of Aaron Govern, Brian Betteridge, John Cropp, and Ross Perry at ATU2.com have updated their excellent database with new research informed by weeks spent in the British Library on U2’s earliest years of live performances and tours. An introduction and summary of their research is in “We Still Haven’t Found What We’re Looking For: The Search for the Missing Setlists.”

From their report:

“During our deep and almost archaeological research, we discovered some gems. We believe this effort is the largest and most significant review of U2 shows ever undertaken, and has led to the largest discovery of new and unknown U2 live shows (in Ireland), and complete or partial set lists, in decades.”

British Library

U2 Studies Alert | New book studying U2 and its fans on the JPMS list of New Books in Popular Music Studies (June 2019)

U2 Studies Alerts share opportunities for research, writing, learning, and participation in projects and events related to U2 and topics associated with U2 that might be of interest to fans, students and scholars. Alerts are collected from a variety of sources and archived and distributed by U2conference.com. Search this site for “U2 Studies Alert” to find more.

All needed details for each alert should be in the body text, but
contact U2conference.com if you need more information or have an item to share for a future alert.

The Journal of Popular Music Studies‘ guide to notable new music books is posted quarterly and the second installment is available here. The first installment (March 2019) is here.

The list is developed by the editors of the JPMS and announced prior to publication on the homepage for the International Association of Popular Music Studies-United States.

One new book studying U2 and its fans is on the June 2019 list:

Brian Johnston is visiting assistant professor in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film at Miami University.

Susan Mackey-Kallis is associate professor in the Department of Communication at Villanova University.

Several other books on the JPMS list might also be of interest to those working in the area of U2 Studies.

U2 Studies Alert | Research Query: Reading U2 Diffractively.

U2 Studies Alerts share opportunities for research, writing, learning, and participation in projects and events related to U2 and topics associated with U2 that might be of interest to fans, students and scholars. Alerts are collected from a variety of sources and archived and distributed by U2conference.com. Search this site for “U2 Studies Alert” to find more.

All needed details for each alert should be in the body text, but
contact U2conference.com if you need more information or have an item to share for a future alert.

Nathan Frank, doctoral student in English at the University of Virginia, is researching for his forthcoming chapter “Ontoflecting through U2,” contributed to Diffractive Reading, Ed. Kai Merten, Rowman & Littlefield (expected 2020).

He’s asking the U2 Studies community if you’ve ever read a study of U2 that employs “diffraction.” Contact Nathan directly through the link above to his UVA page if you have some information to share with him.

His proposed chapter was accepted in response to this CFP and he shares his proposal abstract here:

A B S T R A C T : “Ontoflecting through U2”
Nathan Frank

Innocence and experience: just as William Blake saw to it that his “songs” about each would have to be read through the other, so U2 rolls out a double album in which each installment converses with its other half; that is, it speaks to itself, and by doing so, it sets itself up such that its grounds and its figures are both coequal and reversible. Moreover, such textual democracy pulls listeners into the interpretive process: if innocence makes sense of experience, and vice versa, then together they also supply meaning for the listener who, from within the soundscape, hears herself, just as U2 hear themselves from within their own sonic creations, and just as I (in turn) read my own material situation from this theory that Songs of Innocence (2014) and Songs of Experience (2017) occasion. I propose to describe the dynamic at work here as one of “ontoflection,” a new sort of diffractive-flecting that is less re- or in-, and more directly experiential for all involved; less meta- and more -physical; in a word, more innocent precisely by dint of an experience that spans the rhetorical spectrum and which, therefore, has everything to do with the interactivity that subtends this spectrum.

U2 Studies Alert | CFP: FPRC Conference Fame and Fandom: Functioning On and Offline. Dec. 8-10, 2019. UWA, Perth, Western Australia.

U2 Studies Alerts share opportunities for research, writing, learning, and participation in projects and events related to U2 and topics associated with U2 that might be of interest to fans, students and scholars. Alerts are collected from a variety of sources and archived and distributed by U2conference.com. Search this site for “U2 Studies Alert” to find more.

All needed details for each alert should be in the body text, but
contact U2conference.com if you need more information or have an item to share for a future alert.


FPRC Conference Fame and Fandom: Functioning On and Offline
December 8-10, 2019
Perth, Western Australia
The University of Western Australia

Keynote speaker: Professor P. David Marshall.

Media is dependent on consumers. Celebrities are reliant on fans and mass media. One cannot exist without the other. However, in academia there is a divide between fan studies and celebrity studies. This conference aims to draw these fields together by uniting fan studies, celebrity studies, media, film and television, advertising, marketing, Internet studies, education, politics and any other field.

We invite you to look at what on and offline platforms offer fans and celebrities in terms of moments of interaction, presentation/shaping of persona (both fan and celebrity), and agency. How are fans consuming, creating and/or sharing content? Why are celebrities important to the fans? What can celebrity status achieve? Can they be activists, endorsers, promoters or more? What legacy do they leave behind? How can they influence change in society and politics? Does the Australian film and television industry differ to others? How does distance impact on Australian fans?

Attendees may present papers or create a roundtable discussion on the themes of celebrity, fandom, social media or Australian fan culture.

Roundtables you can apply to join include:

  • Reality Behind Reality TV – inviting actual reality TV stars to present their experiences
  • Manufacturing Minogue – discussing the fashion and brand behind Kylie Minogue
  • Discovering Disney: Fans as Creators

Potential roundtables you could form:

  • Michael Jackson: Falling Icon and Fighting Fans
  • Digital Distance: Bringing Australian fans closer
  • Diversity in Australian Television: Cleverman, Dead Lucky, East West 101

Or create your own theme and form a panel.

Extended versions of selected papers will be published in a peer-reviewed edited book by University of Iowa Press.

We will be holding an exclusive book launch as a part of our welcoming drinks on December 8, commencing 6pm at 399 Bar in Northbridge.

Registration includes: Your printed conference package, welcome drinks and food, catered lunch, coffee / tea breaks, eligibility to publish in edited book, and consideration for the best paper award. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fame-and-fandom-functioning-on-and-offline-tickets-59682231160

Submission guidelines:

  • 200-word abstract or workshop / roundtable proposal
  • Include a title, your name, e-mail address, and affiliation if applicable
  • Submit to conference Chairs Dr Jackie Raphael and Dr Celia Lam at email address: cjcelebrityresearch@gmail.com
  • Deadline for abstract submission: June 17, 2019
  • Notification of acceptance: June 25, 2019
  • Early bird registrations open: June 25, 2019
  • Full text due: October 1, 2019
  • Pre-Conference reception and book launch: December 8, 2019 (6pm-11pm)
  • Conference presentations: December 9-10, 2019 (full days)
  • Estimated publication of edited book: 2021

Other topics include but are not limited to:

Fandom and Audiences
Fan Fiction
Celebrity – Fan Interaction
Fan Forums
Cosplay and conventions
Australian Fandom
Australian Television, Film and Music
Feminist Identities
Gender and Power
Race and Fandom
Whitewashing in Films
Celerity fall from Grace
Celebrity Activism and Philanthropy
Celebrity Endorsements and Advertising
Icons and Status
Branding and Identity
Politics and Leadership
Persona and Online Presence
Mass Media and Social Media
Celebrities online
Beauty Ideals, Pageants and Culture
Models as Role Models
Sporting Identities
Life After Sports
Literature and Photography
Film and Television
Laws and Policies
Ethics and Morality
Social Innovation and Change
Education and Advocacy

Conference Chairs: Dr Jackie Raphael and Dr Celia Lam
Conference Committee Members: Dr Renee Middlemost and A/Prof Ian Dixon

Keynote speaker Professor P. David Marshall holds a Professorship and Personal Chair in New Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Deakin University in Melbourne Australia. He is the world-leading scholar in the study of celebrity and public personality systems.  Along with many articles and book chapters, Professor Marshall’s books include Persona Studies: An Introduction (2019), Advertising and Promotional Cultures: Case Histories (Palgrave, 2018), Celebrity and Power (Minnesota, 2nd edition 2014), Celebrity Persona Pandemic(Minnesota, 2016), New Media Cultures (Oxford Arnold, 2004), Web Theory (2003) and Fame Games (Cambridge, 2000). His edited or co-edited books include A Companion to Celebrity (Blackwell-Wiley, 2016), Contemporary Publics (Palgrave, 2016), and The Celebrity Culture Reader (Routledge, 2006). His current research has focussed on the concept of persona and the now associated sub-field of Persona Studies which investigates the strategic construction of the public display of the self, both in its online forms and in other transforming contexts.  His forthcoming research and publications include: the General Editor of the 6-volume Cultural History of Fame (for Bloomsbury Academic), the co-authored), and the future book Emoji Culture and Gestural Communication (McGill Queens University Press, 2020).  His expertise has led to interviews published in many newspapers including the New York TimesGlobe and Mail and the Sydney Morning Herald as well as appearances on other legacy media including the BBC, CNN, Fox News, the ABC and many other media outlets around the world. Professor Marshall has also appeared in the recent documentary film about celebrity called Big in Japan (2017). Along with occasionally publishing more journalistic articles and other media, he maintains a very intermittent personal blog at www.pdavidmarshall.com

The U2 Conference logo and site design by Beth Nabi.