IIPC Debate 2 December

IIPC debate: Wednesday 2.12., 16:15
Gender and Taste in 1970s Rock Criticism
Sarah Hill, Cardiff University                                                                        

Progressive rock is a genre primarily populated by men, whether as musicians, producers, or audience members. As a genre marketed less for bodily engagement than for cerebral pleasure, it is worth noting that the early years of prog rock coincided with both the rise of rock journalism – another field populated largely by men, who valorised the ‘authentic’ over the ‘pretentious’ – and the nascent Women’s Liberation Movement. In this paper I will explore these intersections in the reception of two canonical recordings from the mid-1970s, chronicle the critical language used to describe prog rock in the UK and US music press, and chart the ways in which women’s musical tastes were alternately defined and stereotyped in the early-1970s. I will then turn to reviews of prog rock written by women critics, with a view toward understanding the role of second-wave feminism in the expressions of women’s critical thoughts in mainstream music magazines, and the curation of taste in women’s magazines of the early 1970s. 

Dr Sarah Hill is currently Senior Lecturer in Music at Cardiff University and Co-ordinating Editor of the journal Popular Music. She has published on issues of popular music historiography, popular music and politics, and popular music and cultural identity, particularly as it relates to the Welsh language. Her most recent monograph was San Francisco and the Long 60s (Bloomsbury, 2016), and she is currently editing a collection of essays on one-hit wonders and, with Professor Allan Moore, the Oxford Handbook of Progressive Rock. In April she will take a new post as Associate Professor of Popular Music and Fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford.

Time: Dec 2, 2020 04:00 PM Helsinki

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