Call for papers: Euro-Pop: The Consumption and Production of a European Popular Culture in the 20th Century

Whereas Europe as a political, economic, and social project has received much scholarly attention, the European dimension of popular culture has been neglected. This is somewhat surprising as popular culture is generally perceived as a prime medium of social integration and the construction of identity.

Against this backdrop, the planned conference suggests to scrutinise the consumption and production of a European popular culture and its socialising effects. It wants to assess its historical developments in the 20th century, explore its potential for European social integration and identify factors that have facilitated or impeded its Europeanization.

We invite researchers at post-doc stage or near completion of their doctoral thesis to present studies that deal with the consumption and/or production of popular culture in one area from music, food, tourism, sport, fashion and news/fiction in mass media. We are interested in presentations that compare patterns of consumption in different European countries, follow the transfer of culture or trace networks and constraints of cultural production within the EU, all in the light of the question whether and how this may contribute to Europe’s integration.

Aspects to be covered might be:
– Encounters of consumers (Europeans on vacation, event tourism)
– Similarities and differences in taste (European high street fashion, popular music)
– Non transferable and transferable genres or format in Europe (The German “Heimatfilm”, Big Brother reality television)
– Appropriation and adoption of cultural products (translation and dubbing, the NFL Europe)
– The inscription of local or European meaning into global products (coffee as an “Italian” product, English humour)
– The role of the media in the transfer and adaptation of cultural imports (European news agencies, publishers and broadcasting networks)
– Networks of producers, creative hubs and transfer routes (pop and art fairs, the education and the labour market for cultural workers in Europe)
– Specifics of European cultural industries (the music industry in Europe and the US compared)
– The impact of cultural policy on popular culture (Eurovision, European film awards).

Subject to financing, the conference is going to take place June, 8-11, 2009, at the German-Italian Centre Villa Vigoni (Lake Como). Applicants may send an exposé of their paper of no more than 600 words until November, 30th, to Patrick Merziger (p.merziger@fu-berlin) or Klaus Nathaus (klaus.nathaus@uni-bielefeld.de) who coordinate the conference. Please add a brief CV and a list of publications.

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