Saturday, January 08, 2005

PROFESSOR SHEILA, TAKE A BOW: And you thought The Smiths were the ultimate student band... it seems there hasn't been anything like enough chin-scratchy consideration of their work - something the new Manchester University is out to put right:

Conference call for papers:
The Smiths (UK)

Why Pamper Life's Complexities?
A Symposium on The Smiths
Manchester Institute of Popular Culture
Manchester Metropolitan University
April 8th and 9th 2005


Professor Sheila Whiteley (author of Women and Popular Music: Sexuality, Identity and Subjectivity)
John Harris (author of The Last Party: Britpop, Blair and the Demise of English Rock)
Simon Goddard (author of The Smiths: The Songs That Saved Your Life)

The Smiths have had a singular impact on popular culture. They looked like nobody else and sounded like nobody else. The music of The Smiths contained an emotional depth and a technical virtuosity that moved people in a way that almost no other band has managed before or since.

In spite of their enormous cultural significance and personal resonance, The Smiths have yet to receive sustained academic attention. To date, there have been remarkably few serious examinations of the band. The purpose of this symposium is to put that right. The event seeks to draw together academics and others who wish to critically examine what The Smiths meant and continue to mean almost two decades after their untimely demise. Among the themes that we hope to address are gender and sexuality, race and nationality, a sense of place, the imagination of class, the significance of Manchester in popular music, the aesthetics of the band, fan cultures and musical innovation.

Abstracts for proposed conference papers should be no longer than 200 words and should be sent (via email) no later than January 10th 2005 to Dr Fergus Campbell, School of Historical Studies, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne,; Dr Sean Campbell, Department of Communication and Media Studies, APU, Cambridge,, and Dr Colin Coulter, Department of Sociology National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland,

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