‘No radical critique ever comes from the centre’
Interview with Professor Bruce Johnson
Keywords:jazz diaspora, cultural globalization, new jazz studies, periphery, Bruce Johnson
In addition to providing an overview of some of the major milestones of Professor Bruce Johnson’s scholarly trajectory spanning over three decades in the fields of popular music and (new) jazz studies, the subsequent dialogue represents a critical approach to dominant trends characterizing Western jazz historiography. Drawing on Johnson’s influential scholarly works as well as on his research experiences in Australia and Europe, the interview sheds light on the meaningful ways through which geographical differences are intertwined with epistemological distinctions related to the construction of global jazz histories. The thematic areas covered, such as the complex relationship between the notions of popular music and jazz, or the revolutionary potential of marginal positions to challenge conventional Anglo-European narratives, are conceptually connected to the emerging field of diasporic jazz research of which Johnson is one of the major pioneers. The particular dynamics stemming from the interviewer’s position as an Eastern European sociologist and a senior Australian popular music scholar lend a particular dynamic to the discussion over some relevant contemporary issues in global jazz scholarship.
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