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Challenge and Change in Popular Music

University of Liverpool


31 August – 2 September 2022

Hosted by the University of Liverpool, the theme of this IASPM UK/Ireland Biennial Conference is Challenge and Change in Popular Music.

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting social and economic crises, proposals were invited for papers that respond to contemporary global challenges and opportunities. Whether informed by the experiences of individuals, cities, nations or global communities, papers will respond but will not be limited to:

  • Social Inequalities – musical reactions to political oppression, displacement and exile, and to social and political movements such as Black Lives Matter and #Me Too.
  • Global Pandemics – their consequences for, and responses from, popular music and the music industries, and their implications for musical innovation and liveness, music heritage and tourism.
  • Environmental Changes – environmental themes in popular music, the impact of environmental change on musical cultures and identities, and musical expressions of crisis and resilience.
  • Structural Changes to the Music Industry – exploring responses from the global music industries, whether Bollywood, K-Pop or Western classical music industries, and from governing bodies or social media.
  • Structural Changes in Higher Education – their impact on disciplinarity and cultural diversity in popular music studies, and responses from popular music studies to employability and efforts to decolonise the curriculum.

Papers will be either:

  • Part of panel session (a collection of 3 or 4 papers on a specific subject featuring presenters invited by the proposer)
  • A 20-minute paper (followed by ten minutes of questions)

All presenters will need to be members of IASPM.



The conference will take place in Liverpool, a UNESCO City of Music. The city’s new landmark venue, the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre, will act as the main conference venue and meeting point, with panel sessions taking place in the neighbouring Management School. Both venues are part of the University of Liverpool campus in Liverpool city centre, and just a short walk from the city’s central Lime Street Station.

Accommodation will be available in student halls of residence close to the conference venues and is available to book under each conference fee option. Local hotels and B’n’Bs are also available. For further information please visit www.visitliverpool.com


Organising committee

IASPM UK/Ireland: Simon Zagorski-Thomas

University of Liverpool: Catherine Tackley, Sara Cohen, Kenneth Smith, Freya Jarman, Simran Singh


The conference has been supported by:

The Department of Music, University of Liverpool
The Institute of Popular Music, University of Liverpool

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