Radiohead and Philosophy: Edited by Brandon Forbes and George Reisch
The editors of Radiohead and Philosophy, forthcoming from Open Court Publishing Company, invite short abstracts describing essays for possible inclusion in this volume of Open Court’s series, Popular Culture and Philosophy.
Guidelines: Accepted proposals will be those that bring philosophical concepts, arguments, and/or sensibilities to bear on issues or ideas latent in, or raised by, the band Radiohead, its music, its popular success, or its various roles in popular culture. Essays should be jargon-free and appealing to an intelligent lay reader who seeks to learn about Radiohead and its various connections to philosophical ideas and traditions.
Sample Topics and Titles: We especially welcome essays from phenomenological, hermeneutic, aesthetic and existentialist perspectives addressing, for example:
*the qualities of modern experience—fear, dread, nausea—that Radiohead capture, or attempt to capture, in music. What is Radiohead doing and how do its attempts compare to those of philosophers or other artists?
*The natural versus the technological, or organic versus synthetic. Is there a conflict or contradiction here? Or is it a creative tension? What form or forms do these relationships take in the band’s music?
*Critics often argue that Radiohead *says* things about the world. Can a rock band genuinely cultivate an original and unique form of discourse? If so, does this discourse exceed, somehow, poetry, prose or logic?
*Alienation. What does the success of “Creep” say about modern alienation? About Radiohead’s relationship to their fans? About the contemporary self and identity?
*Epistemology and skepticism: “Just cause you feel it, doesn’t mean it’s there.” What is “it”, and how can we know in the first place?
*Radiohead and Classical Music. What qualities make Radiohead’s music susceptible to classical transcription (such as those of Christopher O’Reilly). What do O’Reilly’s treatments tells us about Radiohead or classicism itself?
*Copyright and Copywrong: In what senses does Radiohead’s decision to let consumers ‘pay what you wish’ for “In Rainbows” subvert or challenge dominant conceptions of intellectual property or value?
*Radiohead and Contemporary Politics: As evidenced by the title “Hail to the Thief” and Thom Yorke’s endorsement of the book “No Logo”, Radiohead is overtly political and against globalization. What exactly are the arguments or positions taken here? Does musical expression add to these claims, or merely confer notoriety to the claimant? How do they compare to claims made by Marxists or critical theorists?
*Radiohead are often compared to Pink Floyd. Does that comparison extend to the phenomenological and existential themes in Pink Floyd’s music? Do any similarities or differences between the two bands tell us about the development of modern culture or modern philosophy (or both) from the 1970s to the present?
1) Please send an expression of interest and a proposal or short abstract by Friday, February 1, 2008. Send via email to both Brandon Forbes and George Reisch (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com). Proposals accepted by March 1, 2008.
2) First drafts for selected papers due June 15, 2008
3) Final drafts for selected papers due Sept. 13, 2008.
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