CFP: Popular Music Fandom and the Public Sphere – A One Day Symposium

Great topics

The Fan Studies Network

University of Chester, Friday, 10th April 2015

Keynote speaker: Dr Cornel Sandvoss, University of Surrey

In the mainstream media, postwar popular music fandom has traditionally been associated with collective displays of emotion. Yet fandom is actually about a range of things: shared tastes and personal convictions, individual subjectivity and wider community. Fandom does not exist entirely in private nor entirely in public, but is characterized a process of continual mediation between the two. Jürgen Habermas’s concept of the public sphere suggests that shared spaces of discussion have political consequences, making the crossing of the private/public boundary a political act. It is possible for fans to have relatively public experiences in private and private experiences in public. What new forms of public sphere does popular music fandom create? Edward Comentale suggested that Elvis Presley created a “public sphere within the public sphere.” Furthermore, both ‘the public’ and ‘the private’ are transforming…

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