Call for Papers:Cultures of Struggle

Cultures of Struggle:

Song, Art and Performance in Popular


29-31 May 2015


To see this CFP in PDF format, click the following: Cultures of Struggle CfP.

Song and artistic performance have long been dominant discourses in

liberation struggles across the globe. Southern Africa, the United States of

America, Ireland, and Latin America are just a few examples of where lyrics of

freedom, used as a means of unification and resistance, have entered popular

culture and the political imaginary during times of struggle. And, though many

of these liberation battles have now been won, the influence of these

performances has not declined.

The Centre for Anthropological Research (CfAR) at the University of

Johannesburg hopes to encourage a new and emerging transnational

conversation amongst these separate but related liberation struggles. The

conference will explore questions including, but not limited to:

• What is the relationship between aesthetics and popular movements?

• Can song be considered as an official/serious political form?

• How did song and performance constitute a space of


• How have performances of liberation been translated into an

expressive tool of those now in power?

• What are the transnational connections between these discourses?

• How has song/performance adjusted to the opening and/or closing of

space (temporal, geographical, psychological, symbolic)? What is their


• How has song/performance been informed by the movement of

peoples and demographics?

• How have these discourses been adapted and used by other cultural

forums (i.e. sport, media etc.)?

• What is their relationship with nationalism?

Interested researchers should email a 200 word abstract proposal along with

five keywords to Tom Penfold (;

by 19 January 2015.

The conference will be held at the University of Johannesburg’s Auckland

Park (Bunting Road) Campus on 29-31 May 2015. Non-speakers are also

cordially invited.