Considering the ongoing spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) all over the World and under these unforeseen circumstances, the Organizing Committee of the Popular Music of the Balkans conference is forced to announce the cancellation of the conference scheduled for June 17-18 in Belgrade, Serbia.
This difficult decision was made in the light of the developments over the last few days, taking into account elevated warnings from medical and scientific experts and travel restrictions worldwide. We voted unanimously to postpone our conference, but we know it’s the right decision because the health and safety of everyone is of paramount importance.
Thank you for your support to this conference so far and for the understanding.
We shall timely inform you about the new date of the conference.
We are looking forward to the announcement of the Popular Music of the Balkans!
The Organizing Committee
The term “popular music” is used in public discourse on a daily basis, hence its multiple meanings both on a global and on a local level. It is the term’s polysemic nature that has inspired this conference in an effort to explore popular music from the perspective of different disciplines with the research focus on the Balkans.
Given the interaction of diverse cultural contents, practices and identities, popular music emerges as a productive field of research for different social and humanities disciplines and sub- disciplines with their specific research traditions and perspectives. The Balkans, for its part, emerges as a particularly challenging region to research. On the one hand, the attribute “Balkan” refers to a geographical area whose boundaries are not always clearly defined. On the other hand, the Balkans, although highly diversified culturally, is often perceived, internally as well as externally, as a bearer of “authenticity”, a bearer of an authentic culture, an authentic sound included.
This international interdisciplinary conference is conceived as a platform for re- examining the importance and place of popular music in the context of the Balkan countries, for re-examining the interrelatedness between globality and locality using popular music as a lens, and also, for establishing whether, and which elements of, the popular music produced in the Balkans can be characterized as “authentic”. Given different understandings of the Balkans – a geographical area with often unclear and fluid boundaries but also a symbolic construct – the conference should also seek to examine whether and in what ways Balkan boundaries are being (re)defined by popular music.
Contributions focused on but not limited to the proposed topics are encouraged:
Presentation should not take longer than 15 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions and discussion.
Conference languages are English and all languages of the Balkans. Poster presentations, should there be any, should be in English.
Abstract submission: 1st December 2019
Notification to authors of abstract approval status: 15 January 2020
Guidelines for abstract writing and submission
There is no conference registration fee. The organizers do not cover travel, accommodation, food and insurance expenses.
Catherine Baker is Senior Lecturer in 20th Century History at the University of Hull, UK. Her first book, Sounds of the Borderland: Popular Music, War and Nationalism in Croatia since 1991 (2010) won the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies’ George Blazyca Prize and was translated by Biblioteka XX vek in 2011. She has continued to work on popular music in south-east Europe throughout her career, and her most recent book Race and the Yugoslav Region: Postsocialist, Post-Conflict, Postcolonial? (2018) takes popular music as the starting point in examining the region’s ambiguous yet undeniable position in the global politics of race.
Ana Hofman is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Culture and Memory Studies of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts in Ljubljana. Her research interests lie in the intersection between music and sound studies and memory studies, with a focus on activism and the social meaning of resistance in the past and present. She uses both archival and ethnographic methods to examine musical sound during socialism and the present-day conjuncture of neoliberalism and postsocialism in the area of former Yugoslavia. She has published many articles and book chapters, including two monographs: Staging Socialist Femininity: Gender Politics and Folklore Performances in Serbia (Brill, 2011) and New Lives of Partisan Songs (Biblioteka XX vek, 2016). She was a post-doctoral Fulbright Fellow at the Graduate Center of the City University New York in spring semester 2018. She is currently working on the monograph Socialism, Now! Music and Activism after Yugoslavia, dealing with the sonic repurposing of cultural memory on antifascism in the moment of crisis of global neoliberalism.