Call for Papers 2017 IASPM-ANZ Conference: Mixing Pop and Politics

Mixing Pop and Politics: Subversion, Resistance and Reconciliation in Popular Music
IASPM-ANZ 2017 Conference
December 4-6, 2017
Massey University, Wellington, Aotearoa/New ZealandForty years ago, the story goes, punk broke. Not for the first time, and not the last. History provides us with ample examples of the power of popular music to speak to, through, and against various political moments. The contemporary situation also offers countless opportunities to explore how popular music revisits, reconstitutes, rewrites and reconciles itself to this past. At the same time, it also points to new directions informed by the complicated position popular music occupies in relation to the shifting paradigms of power in which we currently find ourselves. This IASPM-ANZ conference aims to explore the complex politics of resistance, subversion, containment and reconciliation from now and then, as well as points in-between.
We are seeking papers and panel proposals that touch on, but are not restricted to, the following areas:• (We’re) Stranded: Punk and Post-Punk in Australia, New Zealand and Beyond
• I Will Survive: The Politics of Pleasure and Popular Music
• You Don’t Own Me: Cultivating, Codifying and Commodifying Resistance
• You’ve Got the Power: Populism, Authoritarianism, Anarchy and Popular Music
• This Machine Kills Fascists: Technologies, Politics and Popular Music
• The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Popular Music on Screen(s)
• Here’s Where The Story Ends: Alternate Histories of Popular Music
• Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: Of DJs, Dancefloors and Discos
• We Are the Robots: Resistant, Reconciled, Reconstituted, Recombinant Bodies in Popular Music
• If You’re Feeling Sinister: Affect, Emotion and the Subversive Power of Popular Music
• Playing With a Different Sex: Otherness and Othering in Popular Music
• A Whisper to a Scream: Silence, Distortion, Amplification and the Politics of SoundAbstracts should be no more than 250 words, and should include 3-5 keywords. Please submit abstracts in doc, docx, rtf format, and send as “last” to
Deadline for abstract submission: June 1st 2017.
All participants must be members of IASPM. If you are not a member, details on how to join are available here:
We encourage all members of IASPM-International to consider attending.
Best regards from the organising committee,
Kim Cannady (Victoria University)
Olivia Lucas (Victoria University)
Norman Meehan (Massey University)
Geoff Stahl (Victoria University)
Oli Wilson (Massey University)

IASPM-ANZ 2016 federal election press release

INXS, Powderfinger, Jet, Courtney Barnett – will Australia support the next generation of music stars?

As a leading body for popular music in Australia, the Australia & New Zealand branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM-ANZ) adds its concerns to those of other arts organisations over the lack of focus on the arts in the current Australian election.

Dr Catherine Strong, Chair of IASPM-ANZ, said today,

‘Music is and always has been a key part of Australia’s culture. The cuts to music and arts funding made by the current government in the last budget, and their continued failure make public its arts policies in the lead up to the election, now only days away, is deeply concerning for the sector and our culture’.

IASPM-ANZ members know that the production, consumption and circulation of popular music has many economic, social and cultural benefits. Popular music remains an important leisure/entertainment activity: a report from the Australia Council in 2014 showed that 99% of Australians listen to music and attend a music event in any one year; 32% of young people between 15 and 24 make music; and 14% of Australians play a music instrument.

According to APRA and Live Performance Australia, it is estimated that the Australian popular music industries contribute almost $6b to the national economy, generating revenue of $2b annually.

Recent cuts and changes made to funding related to popular music threaten the health of this sector and our culture.

Strong added ‘we support the policies of the Labor Party, Greens Party and Arts Party, where they have pledged to return funding to the Australia Council, and ensure transparency in the administration of arts funding; restore funding to Sounds Australia, and put in place or retain other initiatives that promote and nurture Australian musicians.”

Given that the benefits to the community and economy of popular music are greater than any of these investments, we call on the current government to also commit to supporting music in Australia.

Contact Catherine Strong (

Extended statement
(With thanks to Shane Homan)

The production, consumption and circulation of popular music has many economic, social and cultural benefits. Popular music remains an important leisure/entertainment activity: 99% of Australians listen to music and attend a music event in any one year; 32% of young people between 15 and 24 make music; and 14% of Australians play a music instrument (Australia Council 2014).

It is estimated that the Australian popular music industries contribute almost $6b to the national economy, generating revenue of $2b annually (APRA 2011; Live Performance Australia 2015; Music in Australia Knowledge Base 2015). This is as part of an arts sector that more broadly has higher employment growth rates than the rest of the economy.

Globally, the current powers of multinational music-media aggregators of music content to set the terms of music consumption and revenues have important implications for Australian artists, labels and consumers. The role of industries and the state in promoting the visibility of Australian music in international markets has also become increasingly important. Locally, the health of live performance circuits emphasises the need for continuing reform of our music venues.

IASPM ANZ seeks to emphasise this mix of issues in ensuring policy settings that reflect industrial and cultural priorities. In particular, as political parties increasingly emphasise the need for ‘smart’ cities and innovative industries, there is an urgent need to address the following policy areas:

Music cities
The strong music scenes of Australian cities have produced many important artists, and are recognised internationally as key sites of music making. This should be supported through:

Ensuring sustainability of funding for the Live Music Office to continue to investigate reform of council and state government regulations affecting live performance sectors

Nation-wide adoption of best practice in noise law reforms, including the ‘Agent of change’ principle and the ‘Good Music Neighbours’ programs established by Creative Victoria. Policy changes in this area have led to a reduction in live music revenue in NSW recently, highlighting the vulnerability of the sector to government decisions that do not sufficiently understand its needs.

Music education
There is a growing body of research that shows that not only does music education in schools and beyond help to create the next generation of musicians, but that it also has significant benefits for young people in terms of their learning and wellbeing more broadly. This should be supported through:

Ensuring funding for specialist music teachers in primary schools, in keeping with best international practice

Preventing deregulation of university fee structures that will prohibit the completion of tertiary music courses at reasonable HECS rates

Touring programs
The ability of acts to play in regional areas is decreasing as touring costs rise and the number of venues decrease. There is an urgent need to review and renew the assistance provided to Australian artists to support regional circuits that can address city-centric emphases in live performance.

Arts funding
Peer reviewed administration of public arts funding remains an important part of due process and is respected by the music sector (Australia Council 2012). To ensure faith and transparency:

The $28m cut from Australia Council block funding in 2014 should be restored; and

Rather than existing as a Ministerial prerogative, the $104.8 Catalyst program should be administered by the Australia Council

Music promotion
The federal export program, Sounds Australia, has grown from showcasing 49 acts per year in 2009 to over 200 acts per year in 2014 and 2015 (APRA-AMCOS 2016). To ensure the program continues its work in promoting an Australian presence in international markets, the following should be adopted:

Restore block funding of Sounds Australia within Australia Council funding, removing the need for yearly applications for funding in other funding programs;

Restore prior investments in music export promotion (e.g. Music Managers, International Pathways programs) administered by the Australia Council

Broadcast Media
The community radio sector remains an important part of the broadcast media ecosystem, particularly in airing emerging local artists seeking state and national profiles. To assist community music radio in remaining viable against mainstream commercial radio, the usual election-cycle plans by political parties to remove community radio funding should be replaced with stability for this sector:

IASPM ANZ calls on the federal government to restore the $1.4m proposed cuts to the Community Broadcasting Program

Popular music research
There is a lack of consistent social, cultural and industrial research mapping popular music activity in broad Australian contexts. This is particularly acute as the Australian Bureau of Statistics partially withdraws from cultural sector research as the result of funding cuts.

There is a need for the federal government to financially support and broker key research landscapes that can inform future social and industrial priorities. This research support should be administered in an impartial and transparent manner, to ensure freedom from industry and government agendas.

A coherent cultural policy
Above all, it is astonishing that beyond Ministerial attendance at an ArtsPeak policy debate, the sitting government does not possess a cultural policy as an alternative to the 2013 Labor government’s Creative Australia.

There is an urgent need for the successful government post-election to construct and implement a coherent national cultural policy that makes clear intersecting arts and cultural industry policies, schemes and activities; and how and where Australian artists are positioned in relation to current and future global shifts in cultural production and consumption.

APRA (2011) Economic contribution of the venue-based live music industry in Australia, Report by Ernst and Young

APRA-AMCOS (2016) APRA AMCOS 2014-2015 Year in Review, online report

Australia Council for the Arts (2012) The music recording sector in Australia: strategic initiatives, June

Australia Council for the Arts (2014) Arts in Daily Life: Australian Participation in the Arts – Report, May

Live Performance Australia (2015) 2014 Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey

Music in Australia Knowledge Base (2015) Estimating the Value of the Music Sector (2005-2014)

Productivity Commission (2016) Intellectual Property Arrangements, April, Australian Government, Canberra

Call for Papers 2016 IASPM-ANZ Conference: Isolated Musics, Connected Musics

Call for Papers

2016 IASPM-ANZ Conference: Isolated Musics, Connected Musics

7-9 December 2016, CQUniversity Mackay 

Music exists within space as social practice. In the past, music traditions have been embedded within geographical place; however increasingly we regard distance and space differently than in the past. How do popular musics interact with space? What does the concept of distance or nearness mean in globally connected or disconnected music cultures? What does the advent of technology for ameliorating distance mean for the concept of distance, eg. urban/country, near/far, amateur/professional.

This conference invites papers on this theme. This may include (but is not limited to):

•  Geographical distance

•  Urban vs. rural space

•  Musical place vs. musical space

•  Personal space vs. communal space

•  Social and economic distance

  Regional versus metropolitan

•  Amateur space

•  Professional space

•  Islandness versus mainland

•  Performance spaces

•  Virtual distance and social media

•  Temporal distance

•  Aesthetic distance

•  Sonic distance and cultures

•  Spaces and distances of intimacy

•  Connection with audiences

•  Existential distances

We welcome papers of 20 minutes’ duration (plus 10 minutes for discussion). Members are also invited to submit proposals for panel presentations.

Abstracts may be submitted at

The organising committee may be contacted at

About the Conference

The conference will take place at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music at CQUniversity‘s Ooralea campus in Mackay. Mackay is in Central Queensland at the southern tip of the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef. Accommodation is offered on-campus, or is available nearby.

Call for papers due: 31 May 2016

Dr David Cashman, CQUniversity

Professor Phil Hayward, UTS/Southern Cross University

Dr Eve Klein, University of Queensland

Dr Natalie Lewandowski, Griffith University

Conference Organising Committee

IASPM-ANZ Statement on the Federal Government’s ‘Radicalisation Awareness Kit’

At the start of this week, the Federal Government released its ‘Radicalisation Awareness Kit’ into schools. The kit includes a fictitious case study about Karen, explaining how although she came from a ‘loving family’, “[w]hen she moved out of home to attend university Karen became involved in the alternative music scene, student politics and left-wing activism.” This then led to attending demonstrations and finally the sabotage of logging operations and Karen’s arrest.

Our organisation strongly objects to the linking of participation in the alternative music scene to radicalisation of any kind. There is no reputable evidence to suggest that listening to certain types of music leads to particular political outcomes for the audience. Suggesting that young people who listen to certain types of music are in some way more ‘dangerous’ than others is not only insupportable, but can have negative consequences for those young people, as we will outline below.

To begin with, however, we need to note what an extraordinarily wide net this case study has cast through using the phrase ‘alternative music’. This could mean almost anything, from music such as heavy metal and electronic music that pushes boundaries musically, to music-based subcultures, such as goth, emo and punk. It could also mean anything that is not distributed on mainstream record labels, and the live music that is performed in thousands of independent venues around the country.

Not only does this demonstrate the absurdity of suggesting a link between music and radicalisation, given how many people come into contact with this type of music, but it means the government is casting aspersions on a very large proportion of the Australian population.

It is worth remembering also that the live music sector – most of which can be considered ‘alternative’ in one way or another – is worth around $16billion to the Australian economy (on conservative estimates). It is surprising therefore to find the government undermining, rather than supporting, this sector.

The idea that young people who like certain types of music are problems waiting to happen needs to be challenged, as it has consequences for them. We have seen this in the US in the wake of the Columbine massacre in 1999, where unsubstantiated media reports suggested that the music the killers listened to influenced their actions. This led to the targeting of differently dressed students at schools across the country, with some being expelled or arrested mainly on the basis of their perceived association with particular types of musical subcultures.

In the UK, work by researchers such as Paul Hodkinson has clearly demonstrated the way that visible identification with alternative music scenes and subcultures can lead to discrimination, particularly in the form of bullying. Sometimes though it can go further; Lancaster goth Sophie Lancaster was killed in an attack motivated by her subcultural clothing. This has led to the adoption of laws that have made discrimination on the basis of membership of a subculture a type of hate crime, on par with discrimination on the basis of sexuality or race. This recognition of the legitimacy of young people’s identity construction through music, and protection of their right to do so, is forward thinking, and shows a very different approach to what we see in this awareness kit.

Attending protests and listening to alternative music are not gateways to radicalisation. On the contrary, young people should be being encouraged to take an interest in politics, including lawful demonstrations, and to explore as many different forms of culture as possible. For the government to frame these things as frightening and problematic is misguided at best, and can have real-world negative consequences for young people at worst. Alternative music, and music generally, is an art form that can be especially powerful for young people as they develop. We should not further alienate those that feel isolated or ‘alternative’, but instead invite them to discuss their difference and seek help if they are in danger.

IASPM-ANZ calls on the government to withdraw these materials from schools.

2015 Conference registration now open

Hi everyone,
We are pleased to announce that registration for the 2015 IASPM-ANZ branch conference is now open. Registration fees are as follows:
Early bird registration until October 5th – $140
Full registration (October 6th – November 13th) – $180
Student registration – $110 (Please note identification will be required on arrival)
Please register via the conference website here:
Our conference dinner will be held at Mount Stromlo Observatory on Saturday December 5th. The cost of the dinner is $50, to include return travel by coach from the School of Music, ANU.
The organising committee is delighted to announce Professor Bruce Johnson as our keynote speaker. Professor Johnson’s paper is titled ‘More Than Meets the Eye: Popular Music Stardom and Politics’.

We look forward to welcoming you all to Canberra in December.

Best wishes
Dr Julie Rickwood
Dr Stephen Loy
Dr Samantha Bennett
H C Coombs Fellow Andrew Farriss
ANU School of Music

2015 IASPM ANZ Branch Conference Organising Committee 

IASPM ANZ Publication Prizes 2015

Dear members,

IASPM-ANZ invites applications for the 2015 publication prizes. Prizes are awarded in two categories: Open Prize and Rebecca Coyle. Criteria and prize eligibility are outlined in the attached application forms.

The prizes will only be awarded if a minimum of three applications are received by the due date: 30 September 2015. Please note that due to a continued lack of entrants over a number of years, the Open Prize will become defunct if three applications are not received by this date. 

To be considered for either prize please fill out the attached application forms (click on their names below) and return to the Secretary, Kat Nelligan (, by Wednesday, 30 September 2015.

I look forward to receiving your submissions!

Kind regards,

Kat Nelligan

Publication prize application form 2015 Open Prize


IASPM-ANZ Postgraduate Travel Grants – Canberra 2015

Dear members,

IASPM-ANZ invites applications for travel grants to assist postgraduates in attending the 2015 annual conference in Canberra. Up to three postgraduates will be awarded grants of up to $500 each.

To be eligible for the grant, postgraduates must have had a paper accepted for the conference, and must not be receiving any financial support from any institution to cover their attendance at the conference.

To apply for the grant, postgraduates are asked to supply the following:

1.       Evidence that they are not receiving support from their institutions

2.       A copy of their abstract for the conference and a copy of the letter of acceptance

3.       A one page (approx. 500 words) outline of their current research agenda, indicating how the paper they are presenting fits in with this

Applications will be assessed on the basis of the quality of the candidate’s abstract and research agenda, and the extent to which their ongoing research aligns with the aims of IASPM. Candidates may also, if desired, present evidence of hardship or extenuating circumstances that might make a grant of particular value to them (geographic location, e.g., living in a remote or rural area, may be considered here) and the assessors will take these circumstances into consideration also.

Please submit submissions by Friday 30 September, 2015 to the Treasurer, Natalie Lewandowski (, with the subject heading “IASPM-ANZ 2015 Postgraduate Travel Grant”. Applications should include full contact details and institutional affiliation of the applicant.

2015 annual IASPM ANZ conference- call for papers

IASPM ANZ Branch Conference 2015

School of Music, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

December 4th – 6th 2015

Popular Music, Stars and Stardom

‘Stars’ manifest in popular music literally, conceptually and metaphorically through song lyrics, artist ‘stage names’ and in discourses of economic and/ or mainstream success (Hamlen Jnr., 1991; Holmes, 2004). Stars can be conceptualised as ‘mythic constructs’ (Shuker, 2005) ‘other worldly’ (McLeod, 2003) or associated with fantasy and escapism. As performers, ‘stars’ have been considered as ‘manufactured’ (Franck and Nüesch, 2007) and/ or ‘authentic’ (Zuberi, 2001); as groups of individual artists, such as ‘Superstar DJs’ (Phillips, 2009), or the individual persona, such as ‘Ziggy Stardust’ (Grant, 2000). In recent years, popular music stardom is closely associated to reality television (Frith, 2007), a site of tension between influences of traditional auteur and public ‘star maker’ roles. The portrayal of popular music ‘stars’ on film varies between those in the foreground (Rock Star, 2001), in the background (20 Feet from Stardom, 2013) and those in supporting or ‘behind the scenes’ roles (Muscle Shoals, 2013).


In a literal sense, astronomy research suggests a ‘musical galaxy’; a black hole is heard ‘singing’ a B?, at 57 octaves lower than middle C, ‘the lowest note in the universe’ (Overbye, 2013). The universe may have its own ‘soundtrack’, a ‘sonic composition that records some of the most dramatic events in outer space’ (Levin, 2013).


If we consider popular music as a metaphorical universe, who or what are the planets, stars and constellations? In what ways do they align, traverse and orbit? We invite papers that consider the theme of popular music, stars and stardom from one or more of the following angles:


? Stars: musical, cultural, political biography

? Stardom: discourses of mainstream success, fandom, reception, memory

? The universe: popular music production, management, distribution

? Constellations: genre, tradition, locality, subculture, collaboration

? Galaxies: ‘other worlds’, spirituality, fantasy, iconicity

? Waiting for a Star to Fall: songs, lyrics and ‘star’ references

? Stellar performances: liveness, audiences, performance on film and television

? Selling stars: business models, economics, revenue streams

? Fading stars: success, career trajectories, ageing, posthumous canonisation

? Black holes: noise/ silence, the ‘visible’ and the ‘concealed’

? Papers that address the overall theme beyond these angles will also be considered.


Abstracts: Please upload abstracts of 300 words in .docx or .pdf file format (with SURNAME_ANZ2015 as the file name) via the web form at the conference website:


Deadline: Sunday May 31st 2015


Notification of acceptances: Friday July 17th 2015


Conference website:


Conference email address:


Registration: Early bird registration applies between August 3rd – October 5th. Further information will be released on the IASPM ANZ 2015 Conference website in May.


Transport: Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin operate regular flights to Canberra from most domestic Australian airports, including Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. Canberra is a 3-hour coach ride from Sydney, with Murray’s and Greyhound services every hour to and from Canberra’s central ‘Jolimont’ bus station.


Accommodation: a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets are available, including University House Further information, including location and maps will be available on the conference website


Conference activities: lunch and morning/ afternoon tea is provided. A first-day evening reception is planned at Canberra Museum & Gallery. Canberra is home to Australia’s National Gallery, National Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Questacon Science Museum. Opportunities to visit the public gallery in Parliament can also be arranged.


Conference dinner: to be held on Saturday December 5th at Mount Stromlo Observatory with an evening of music and stargazing.


Publication: following the conference, the organising committee plan an edited collection with ANU Press. Further details TBA.


Local Organising Committee: Dr Julie Rickwood, Dr Samantha Bennett, Dr Stephen Loy, H.C. Coombs Fellow Andrew Farriss, Ms Harriet Torrens