This panel for the upcoming M/MLA conference -- entitled "High and Low Culture," to be held in Chicago, Illinois on November 9-12, 2006 -- invites scholars to explore the shifting relations between the ‘high’ and the ‘low’ by focusing on the popularization of music and its interaction with various literary and cultural forms. Papers that address one or more of the following topics are welcome:
1. How do we begin to theorize the (historical) process of 'popularization' in the realms of music and literature?
To what extent does the process of popularization implicate or problematize ‘high’ and ‘low’ cultural and literary forms?
2. How does the potential interaction between the 'high' and the 'low' in popular music and literature inflect question of taste and the cultural values underlying it?
3. How do specific musical genres (classical, rap, jazz) intersect with popular literary movements or highbrow literary innovations?
4. How do specific literary tropes of self-fashioning create (or complicate) the cult of the pop star (the diva, the sex kitten, the anarchist punk rocker, the teen heart throb, the rap mogul, the protege, etc)?
5. What kinds of reading practices do the multiple “texts” of popular musicians (album covers, music videos, concert performances, lyrics, forays into the world of film, etc) demand?
6. What kind of political "work" does popular music and literature perform, and how might that conception of "work" have changed in light of technological innovations (not only in production but also in dissemination) and with respect to an increasingly global audience?
Please email 250-word abstracts in Microsoft Word attachment to Drago Momcilovic by April 15th, 2006.
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