IIPC Debate #39
Tue 6 Nov, 4 pm. Dr Catherine Strong (Monash University, Australia): Popular Music, Memory and Kurt Cobain
Place: Seminar room E325 (Media Studies), Minerva building, Kaivokatu 12, Turku.
Dr. Strong will be examining the ways in which Kurt Cobain is remembered differently in the mass media and among fans, but also how these accounts intersect and engage with each other. The different narratives of fans and journalists will be presented, with the accounts of fans being theorised as a form of collective memory, itself inherently shaped, but not dominated by, the media. Theories will also be put forward as to why these narratives developed the way they did and what functions they serve for these groups, examining how “both memory and media constitute intermediaries between individual and society, and between past and present” (van Dijck 2004, 263.). The empirical evidence she will be using as the basis for her arguments here is the result of interviews conducted with Australians who identified themselves as fans of grunge during the early 90s, along with analysis of the coverage of Kurt Cobain in the music paper New Musical Express, and ‘anniversary media’ from the years after Cobain’s death. In further contrast to this, she will also examine some other ways that Cobain has been remembered, commemorated, or subject to museumification, looking at how his hometown of Aberdeen and the EMP Museum in Seattle have used his memory in different ways again to journalists or fans.
Catherine Strong completed her PhD at the Australian National University in 2008. Her book Grunge: Music and Memory (Ashgate Press, 2011) explores the grunge genre as it is remembered by its original fans, navigating the nexus of music, memory, and fandom.