Pop CONFERENCE 2022: APRIL 21-24

When I Think of Home:

Race and Borders in Popular Music

April 21-24, 2022

 ** NOTE: Out of concern for safety and security, and because of the uncertainty of the current moment—and without a clear sense of what Spring will look like—we have made the responsible decision to pivot to a virtual conference. The Program Committee is finishing work on accepting entries for this year’s conference. Notification is imminent.

Many of us have been home, listening to music. Stuck there during the global pandemic, we have explored what home sounds like and what home means materially, culturally, and in ways that are utterly personal. As a place of security that feels less a given than before; as a right that many do not enjoy; as a nexus of struggle in a time of gentrification, economic transformation, conflict over indigenous homelands. For some home is a place it can be necessary to leave, and for others it is one, as Stephanie Mills made clear, it sure would be nice to get back to.

The Pop Conference is marking its 20th anniversary, and celebrating it in 2022 with a new home: it will hosted by the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. While pursuing a theme for this year’s conference, the programming committee kept coming back to the relationship of music and race – race as a form of categorization, as a basis of genre supremacies and the erasure of voices, legacies, race as a marker of the exotic or forbidden. The topic of borders and border crossings, too, both national and personal, emerged forcefully in the committee’s pursuit of a theme – borders as establisher and destroyer of categories, hierarchies, constructions of the Other. Both race and borders seem crucial to the discussion of music today and the time feels right to center these topics at the Pop Conference’s twenty-year juncture.  

For the 2022 Pop Conference, presenters will deliver papers, and conduct roundtable conversations and performances—expect a broad approach to a time unlike any other. We will be ruminating on all the ways that the subject of home intersects with ideas of race and borders.

The deadline for proposal submissions for the 2022 Pop Conference has closed closed. Stay tuned for more details on the schedule and line up of programs.

Questions? Send them to info@popconference.org

2022 Pop Conference Programming Committee: RJ Smith (writer), Regina Bradley (Kennesaw State University), Markus K. Dowling (writer), Steacy Easton (writer & artist), Jason King (Chair, New York University’s Clive Davis Institute), Kimberly Mack (Univ. of Toledo), Amanda Marie Martinez (UCLA), Paula Mejía (Texas Monthly), Elizabeth Nelson (writer, The Paranoid Style), Jessica Bissett Perea (UC Davis)