Introduction: Reflections on the Past, Present and Future of Popular Music Scholarship

  • Kimberly Kattari Texas A&M University
Keywords: ethnomusicology, popular music studies, popular culture studies, organizational history, activist scholarship

Abstract

In 2018, the Popular Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology organized a roundtable that explored the development of popular music scholarship, not only within ethnomusicology but also in relation to the larger field of popular music studies. This special section, which includes transcriptions of each of the panelists’ spoken remarks, highlights reflections from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds (including folklore and ethnomusicology, anthropology, American studies and history, and popular culture studies) and experiences (both within academia and in the public sector). The roundtable participants recognize the value and impact of scholarship on popular music and culture, for it contributes to our understanding of the powerful and meaningful ways in which people engage aesthetically with the world around them. By reflecting on the past and present context of popular music scholarship, the panelists offer suggestions for the future growth of the field, underscoring its role in challenging elitist and ethnocentric biases, contesting the institutional marginalization and dismissal of popular culture, fostering interdisciplinary conversations, and engaging in activist scholarship that exposes, critiques and helps to change structural inequities.

Author Biography

Kimberly Kattari, Texas A&M University

Kimberly Kattari is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology in the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M University. Her forthcoming monograph, Psychobilly: Subcultural Survival (Temple University Press), explores the ways in which members of the psychobilly subculture resist normative cultural expectations and actively construct a space in which to cultivate sovereignty over their own lives. While serving within the Popular Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology, she coordinated the panel that generated the papers for this special section.

References

Bennett, Andy, and Steve Waksman. 2015. “Introduction”. In The SAGE Handbook of Popular Music, edited by Andy Bennett and Steve Waksman, 1–14. London: SAGE Publications. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781473910362

Cloonan, Martin. 2005. “What Is Popular Music Studies? Some Observations”. British Journal of Music Education 22/1: 77–93. https://doi.org/10.1017/S026505170400600X

Dawes, Kevin. 2015. “The Many Worlds of Popular Music: Ethnomusicological Approaches”. In The SAGE Handbook of Popular Music, edited by Andy Bennett and Steve Waksman, 15–32. London: SAGE Publications. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781473910362.n1

Slobin, Mark. 2003. “Ethnomusicology”. In Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Volume 1: Media, Industry, Society, edited by John Shepherd, David Horn, Dave Laing, Paul Oliver and Peter Wicke, 72–74. London: Continuum.
Published
2019-12-24
How to Cite
Kattari, K. (2019). Introduction: Reflections on the Past, Present and Future of Popular Music Scholarship. Journal of World Popular Music, 6(2), 208-215. https://doi.org/10.1558/jwpm.40173
Section
Special Section