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1415CfP: Pussy Riot Complex, 'Popular Music and Society' 1.9.14

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  • Andreas Umland
    May 16, 2014
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      "Popular Music and Society"
      Call for Papers
      Special Issue on Pussy Riot
      Guest-edited by Yngvar Steinholt and David-Emil Wickström
      Submissions are invited for a special edition of Popular Music and Society that examines "The Pussy Riot Complex: Post-Soviet Popular Music, Activism, and Power Politics in the 2000s."  Throughout the 2000s popular music has in various ways been associated with protest movements as well as with the authorities of Russia and its neighboring states.  Indeed, since the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine, popular music has played significant roles at the opposite ends of confrontations between conforming power and forces of change.  While the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church initiated closer cooperation with selected rock bands, anti-Russian sentiment took to the stage of Eurovision, Verka Serdiuchka's "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" and Stephane & 3Gs "We Don't Wanna Put In" being two cases in point.
      When the art activist group Voina brought punk rock to the Taganskii Court's proceedings in Moscow 2009, music was introduced to civic protest in a manner that surpassed its use by radical organizations such as the National Bolshevik Party.  In the autumn of 2011, the perfection of punk as a vehicle for social protest would bring Pussy Riot world fame, culminating in their controversial punk prayer of February 2012 and the subsequent incarceration and trial of Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich.
      Although Pussy Riot were supported by a number of high-profile cultural personalities, the Russian music scene reacted to the activists' performance with relative disinterest or hostility, compared to international solidarity acts spearheaded by Madonna and Sir Paul McCartney.
      This call aims to shed light on Pussy Riot and similar constellations as well as the role of popular music within recent post-Soviet protest movements and authorities in general.
      Questions and issues to be explored within this context can include:
      - Boundaries between music, performance art, and civic activism
      - Relationships between popular music, protest, religion, and political power
      - Links between bands/musicians and political movements/parties
      - The influence/legacy of Voina and Pussy Riot on neighboring countries
      - Reactions to Pussy Riot within the post-Soviet art and music community
      - Attempts and strategies to silence musicians and bands linked to the post-Soviet protest movement
      Contributions are welcomed from researchers in all disciplines involved in the study of popular music in the post-Soviet space: popular music studies, ethnomusicology, sound studies, Russian studies, literature studies, culture studies, sociology, business, history, linguistics, folklore, journalism, communication.
      Submission instructions: Submit a short abstract by e-mail to David-Emil Wickström and Yngvar Steinholt at:
      Tentative schedule:
      1 September 2014: deadline for abstracts
      1 December 2014: deadline for articles (must be in MLA format)
      Spring 2016: special issue published
      Yngvar Steinholt, Tromsø University
      David-Emil Wickström, PopakademieBaden-Württemberg – University of Popular Music and Music Business
      Journal websites: <http://www.niu.edu/popms> and <http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/03007766.asp>