The Popular Music theme continued in the weekly research seminars with three colleagues speaking about their research.
First was Iain Taylor, who talked about the cassette as an artefact; arguing that it now represents a form of hybridity between the analogue and digital, in light of the popularity of cassettes with digital download codes. Iain argued that while people’s relationship with the cassette tape used to be solely material and pragmatic, now that relationship is symbolic, and its use value is transplanted to digital technologies from within the cassette tape.
Next was Stephanie Fremaux, who is currently looking at the ways DIY heritage gives communities a voice, using The Beatles as an example. She presented several case studies, including the Liverpool Mural Project, where fans have created their own sites of heritage for The Beatles. Stephanie is also looking at how The Beatles are still part of the tourist agendas of Liverpool and Hamburg, and exploring the tensions between this and the creativity of local artists. She also presented some examples of this DIY heritage online, including exclusive Beatles concerts being streamed on fan-made sites, sometimes with a fee for tickets. Stephanie highlighted how this presents concerns around online archiving practices.
Finally Matt Grimes talked about his research on anarcho-punk ‘zines as sites of resistance. Matt has carried out a discourse analysis on fanzines produced between 1980-1984, particularly looking at the editorial discourse and what this says about the leadership roles of the editors. Matt argued that these ‘zines were key in how the anarcho-punk movement was made meaningful through the discursive practices of the editors. Matt argued that these editors mediated their shift into such roles and presented themselves as ‘organic intellectuals’, using the ‘zines to reinforce their own ideologies.
Matt has a conference on Punk called Punk Now! Taking place on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 October.
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