The term “popular music” is used in public discourse on a daily basis, hence its multiple meanings both on a global and on a local level. It is the term’s polysemic nature that has inspired this conference in an effort to explore popular music from the perspective of different disciplines with the research focus on the Balkans.
Given the interaction of diverse cultural contents, practices and identities, popular music emerges as a productive field of research for different social and humanities disciplines and sub- disciplines with their specific research traditions and perspectives. The Balkans, for its part, emerges as a particularly challenging region to research. On the one hand, the attribute “Balkan” refers to a geographical area whose boundaries are not always clearly defined. On the other hand, the Balkans, although highly diversified culturally, is often perceived, internally as well as externally, as a bearer of “authenticity”, a bearer of an authentic culture, an authentic sound included.
This international interdisciplinary conference is conceived as a platform for re- examining the importance and place of popular music in the context of the Balkan countries, for re-examining the interrelatedness between globality and locality using popular music as a lens, and also, for establishing whether, and which elements of, the popular music produced in the Balkans can be characterized as “authentic”. Given different understandings of the Balkans – a geographical area with often unclear and fluid boundaries but also a symbolic construct – the conference should also seek to examine whether and in what ways Balkan boundaries are being (re)defined by popular music.
There is no conference registration fee. The organizers do not cover travel, accommodation, food and insurance expenses.