IIPC Debate 12 November

IIPC Debate #59
Wed 12 November, 2-4 pm, Seminar Room 223 (Minerva Building, Kaivokatu 12, Turku)
Dr. Markus Heide (Uppsala University, Sweden):
Border Film and the US-Canada Divide

Arranged together with The John Morton Center for North American Studies (JMC Current Issues Seminar # 4).

Dr. Markus Heide is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of English, Swedish Institute for North American Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden. Besides Uppsala, he has worked and been a fellow at Harvard University, USA, Ludwig Maximilians Universität Munich, Humboldt University Berlin and McMaster University, Canada. His research interests include e.g. postcolonial literature and culture theory, film history, cultural history of various ethnic groups in USA and Canada, and early American novel. His publications include Kanadischer Film: Geschichte, Themen, Tendenzen. Konstanz: Universitätsverlag Konstanz (UVK), 2006. [with Claudia Kotte], Grenzüberschreibungen: Chicano/a-Erzählliteratur und die Inszenierung von Kulturkontakt. Heidelberg: Winter, 2004. The Americas in the Nineteenth Century: Inter-American Perspectives on U.S. Literature, American Studies/Amerikastudien, special issue 53.1 (2008). [ed., with Gabriele Pisarz-Ramírez], Eating Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Food. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2003. [ed., with Tobias Döring and Susanne Mühleisen], and Postcolonial Passages: Migration and Its Metaphors, ZAA – Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, special issue 3 (2001). [ed., with Mita Banerjee und Mark Stein].

IIPC Debate 6 November

IIPC Debate #58
Thu 6 November, 4-6 pm Janus Hall (Kaivokatu 12, Turku)
Professor Andrew Herman (Wilfrid Lauriel University, Canada & Aarhus University, Denmark):
Media Materialities, Affective Labour and the Moral Economy of Cultures of Innovation in Digital Capitalism

This paper will report on my on-going research project into comparative cultures of innovation of “high-tech” start up sectors within national formations of digital capitalism. This research project examines the spatial registers and digitally mediated work practices of the cultures of productions of regional tech sectors in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Israel. The overall research project is an on-going, multi-modal ethnography of the performativities of digitally mediated labour in the tech sector, an assemblage of material and imaginary elements that I felicitously term “Blackberry™ capitalism”. The research project is animated by an analytical framework that is located at located at the interstices of the epistemological concerns of radical empiricism and new media materialism, one the hand, and the ontological concerns of theories of digital capitalism and immaterial labour on the other. For my talk in Turku, I will discuss one phase of the (much) larger ethnographic project. This phase is focused on a digital media business “accelerator” in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada called “the Communitech Hub”. Prior to its transformation into a “node in the national network” of Canadian informational capital, the building that houses the Hub was home to the Lang Tannery, which, in its heyday, was the largest tannery operation in the British Empire. Where animal skins were once turned into materials for worker’s clothing, work is now transmogrified into play as “big ideas are turned into big companies” within the friendly confines of the Hub’s metaphorical sandbox. I will explore how the imaginary of technological innovation and entrepreneurship of the Hub is organized around and through the socio-technical affordances of mobile media forms. Such media forms, I argue, are essential to the successful propagation of “project” based networks that are the primary vehicles (literally and figuratively) for the accumulation and movement of informational capital. Yet part and parcel of the creation and sustenance of such projective networks is an affective bearing of people in the project towards their work and its goal that is thoroughly mediated by the materialities of mobile media they work with and on. This, in turn, creates differential mobilities of power within the Communitech Hub between funders, project leaders, and designers. Thus, contrary to many contemporary analyses of affective labor in digital capitalism that emphasize its “immaterality”, such labour is always-already material in fundamental ways.

Andrew Herman is an associate professor of Communication Studies in the Faculty of Arts on the Waterloo campus. He received his BA in Government from Georgetown University and his PhD in Sociology from Boston College. Before joining Laurier in 2004, he taught at Drake University, Boston College, College of the Holy Cross, and York University. He has been chair of the Communication Studies department and Director of the MA Program in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory. He has written widely in the field of social theory, media and culture and his appeared in scholarly journals such as Cultural Studies, Critical Studies in Media Communication, South Atlantic Quarterly, and Anthropological Quarterly. Among his many publications are The “Better Angel” of Capitalism: Rhetoric, Narrative and Moral Identity Among Men of the American Upper Class (Westview, 1999) and his edited collections, Mapping the Beat: Popular Music and Contemporary Cultural Theory (Blackwell, 1997), The World Wide Web and Contemporary Cultural Theory (Routledge, 2000) and Theories of the Mobile Internet: Materialities and Imaginaries (Routledge, 2014).

IIPC Debate 16 October

IIPC Debate #57
Thu 16 October, 4-6 pm Janus Hall (Kaivokatu 12, Turku)
Professor Tricia Rose (Brown University):
Commercial US Hip Hop and Racial Storytelling in the Age of Obama

This talk will examine the complicated impact of the commercialization of US hip hop on the ideas and images disseminated globally as well as the links between hip hop commerce, radicalized fan desires and US racial discourse in a so-called “post-race” era.

Tricia Rose (Ph.D, Brown University, American Civilization, 1993) is Professor of Africana Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. She specializes in 20th century African-American culture and politics, social history, popular culture, gender and sexuality. In addition to her scholarly interest in black cultural production, the role of new technologies and ideologies about race in U.S. life, and the politics of intimacy and social justice, a central facet of her work reflects a deep interest in examining the current legacies of racial and other forms of structural relations and exploring the creative and visionary strategies developed by artists, communities and movements to build a more just society.

Books by Professor Rose:
• The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop and Why It Matters, Basic Civitas, 2008.
• Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk About Sexuality and Intimacy, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003.
• Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America, Wesleyan University Press, 1994.
• Microphone Fiends: Youth Music and Culture, edited by Andrew Ross and Tricia Rose, Routledge, 1994.

Critical Hip-Hop Studies Symposium

Critical Hip-Hop Studies Symposium
16 October 12:00-18:00 & 17 October 10:00-16:30
Janus Hall, Sirkkala, University of Turku

The Department of Musicology at the University of Turku, IIPC (International Institute for Popular Culture), and The Finnish Doctoral Programme for Music Research are pleased to announce an international and interdisciplinary Critical Hip-Hop Studies symposium. The symposium features hip-hop researchers from the Nordic countries and renowned keynote speakers from Norway, Britain and the US. Please see the attachment for more detailed info.

Keynote speakers:
– Tricia Rose (Brown University, USA)
– Justin Williams (University of Bristol, UK),
– Thomas Solomon (Bergen University, Norway).

The symposium is open to all University of Turku students and others who register in advance (inmara@utu.fi). Students can gain 2 ECTS by writing a lecture diary (see attachment for more info).

IIPC Debate 17 September

IIPC Debate #56
Wed 17 September 2-4 pm, Janus Hall (Kaivokatu 12, Turku)
Professor Mark Katz (University of North Carolina):
Hip-hop diplomacy

The lecture relates to Mark Katz’s recent work as a director of a new program funded by the U.S. State Department that sends American hip-hop artists to use music and dance as a means to foster cultural exchange and conflict resolution to underserved communities around the world.

Mark Katz is professor at the Department of Music, Adjunct Professor of Communication Studies, and Director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (US). He has written many seminal publications on music, technology and culture. He is the author of Capturing Sound: How Technology has Changed Music (2004/2010), The Violin: A Research and Information Guide (2006), and Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ (2012). He co-edited (with Timothy Taylor and Tony Grajeda) the collection Music, Sound, and Technology in America (2012). He is the editor of Journal of the Society for American Music, a senior editor of Oxford Handbooks Online, and a member of the National Recording Preservation Board.

In 2013, Katz was awarded a grant of nearly a million dollars from the U.S. Department of State to create and run Next Level, a program that sends American hip-hop artists abroad to foster cultural exchange, conflict resolution, and entrepreneurship. In 2014¬15 the program will travel to Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Montenegro, Senegal, Serbia, and Zimbabwe. (Follow Next Level’s global activities at https://www.facebook.com/NextLevelUSA )


The School of History, Culture and Arts Studies of the University of Turku is pleased to launch the Popular Culture Studies Master’s Degree Pathway, a collaboration between the Departments of Cultural History, Media Studies and Musicology, with a day-long seminar on Tuesday, the 9th of September in the Janus Lecture Hall in Sirkkala Campus, Kaivokatu 12.
The Popular Culture Studies Master’s Degree Pathway (http://popstudies.utu.fi/) is a two-year programme taught entirely in English, offering several theoretical and historical perspectives into the study of popular culture and its various genres. The seminar, This is Popular!, celebrates and launches the pathway’s inaugural year and is a joint effort between the participating departments and the International Institute of Popular Culture (IIPC, http://iipcblog.wordpress.com/), a multi-disciplinary research unit within the School of History, Culture and Arts Studies, focusing on research into popular culture, urban subcultures, cultural industries and fandom.
The seminar will be opened at 12.15 by Professor Susanna Paasonen of the Department of Media Studies, followed by three keynote speakers, each invited by one of the collaborating Departments. Each speaker will give a 45-minute talk about their chosen subject in popular culture, followed by open discussion:

The Department of Cultural History welcomes its keynote speaker Dr Marilyn Motz. Dr Motz is a PhD in American Culture and the Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Popular Culture Studies of the College of Arts and Sciences in Bowling Green State University, Ohio. Among her research projects are the cultural meaning and history of the Barbie doll, humour in the early 20th Century, the status of women in American homes in the 19th Century, women’s folk culture and the folk culture of the Great Lakes area. The title of Dr Motz’s talk is “Imagining Montevallo: Interpreting the Personal Writing of a Couple Caught in the Guerrilla Fighting of the American Civil War”, a part of a book-length research project of the correspondence of a Missouri husband and wife in the 1860s.

The Department of Media Studies welcomes its keynote speaker Dr Sharif Mowlabocus. Dr Mowlabocus earned his PhD in Media Studies and works as Senior Lecturer of Media Studies / Digitalmedia in the University of Sussex. He has published extensively in digital culture, porn research, queer theory and gender and sexuality and acts as a Committee Member on the International Academic Advisory Board and as an Editorial Board Member on the Journal of Porn Studies. The title of Dr Mowlabocus’ talk is“Indifferent Cats and Friendly Fire: The Cultural Politics of Curating Pornography”.

The Department of Musicology welcomes its keynote speaker Dr Claudia Gorbman (Professor of Film Studies at the University of Washington Tacoma). She is arguably the most prominent scholar in the field of film music studies. Her Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music (1987) largely created the foundations for the academic study of film music, and it remains the most widely referenced book when discussing film music studies. In addition to her many seminal publications on film music, she has written, for instance, on audiovisuality, women in film, and French and American cinema. Gorbman has also translated to English several of Michel Chion’s best known books on film music and sound. Her recent activities include co-editing The Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics (2013, Oxford University Press) together with John Richardson and Carol Vernallis and work on a new edition of Unheard Melodies. The title of Professor Gorbman’s talk is “Movie Songs”.

Any questions about the Seminar or the Popular Culture Studies Master’s Degree Pathway can be directed to the study coordinator, Teo Välimäki (teheva@utu.fi).

Modern Heavy Metal -conference (Helsinki, June 8-12, 2015) cfp-deadline approaching

Markets, Practices and Cultures

International Academic Research Conference
June 8-12, 2015

Hosted by:
Aalto University School of Business

Co-hosted by:
University of Helsinki; IIPC / University of Turku; Sibelius Academy / University of the Arts Helsinki; Åbo Akademi University in Turku; Finnish Jazz & Pop Archive


Since its birth over 40 year ago, the music genre of heavy metal and hard rock has become not only a significant sub-culture but also an acknowledged subject for academic studies in various fields, even an interdisciplinary field of study in its own right. In the last few years, we have witnessed an increasing amount of events and publications in the metal academia, addressing the multiplicity of metal cultures, practices, and markets. The “International Society for Metal Music Studies” (ISMMS) and Metal Music Studies journal have also been established. In April 2013, the members of metal academia gathered in the “Heavy Metal and Popular Culture Conference”, hosted by the Bowling Green State University, in Ohio U.S. A decision was made there to bring the next main conference to Helsinki, Finland, the renowned metal capital of the Northern hemisphere.

Metal music has suffused to multiple directions, different markets and cultural layers – remaining marginal in some while enjoying mainstream success others. It has taken many forms, created a countless number of subgenres and representations, flirted and connected with other music genres and cultural products. Global and transnational communities have come into being simultaneously with the birth and development of local scenes. Moreover, the evolution of metal, as any other music genre, is impacted by the technological and economic revolution that has radically reshaped the forms of music production, delivery, consumption and culture – let alone the role of social media in communication, community building and fandom. Altogether, metal is embracing new fans and markets, creating new practices, forming new cultures, while treasuring the strong and polymorphous legacy of the genre. This brings along plenty of new challenges and opportunities for metal music studies in different genres.

The “Modern Heavy Metal” (MHM) conference will review, explore and discuss the current standing of metal; the plethora of its forms, cultures, practices, and markets. The conference will consist of research presentations, keynote speeches, industry/artist/media panels and other metal-laden program. In addition to the academic contents, the plan is to create close connections to the metal practice: the artists, their managers and other stakeholders, media, as well as the general metal audience. The event week will most likely include other metal entertainment spread over the evenings and the weekends.