Towards a Musicological Perspective

a one-day symposium

definitions, traditions, regions, style, genre, intertextuality, gender, sexuality, class

Department of Music
University of Leeds

in association with

Critical Musicology Journal

Wednesday 9th April 1997, 10:00am Onwards

Clothworker's Centenary Hall,
The University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, England.

This is the first conference dedicated to the academic study of the Britpop phenomenon. Arguably, Britpop as we understood it in the heady summer of 1995 no longer exists, particularly in the aftermath of the 1997 Brit Awards, where its apparent death was gleefully announced by the Spice Girls' rallying-cry, "now we know that pop is back!" Has Britpop been ousted for good? Equally, Blur's sudden professed alignment with certain American trends forces a number of questions to be asked of Britpop's national and stylistic investments within its own terms. Has Britpop rejected its own aesthetic basis, or is it in a further phase of eclectic expansion?

Given these (and other) contexts, the conference puts forward arguments both pro and contra Britpop on several fronts in an attempt (perhaps after the event?) to assess its pasts, presents, and potential futures within the fields of British culture and the contemporary music scene in general. Vive le Britpop?



Andy Bennett (Lecturer in Sociology, Durham):

"Representations of `Britishness' in Britpop"

Stan Hawkins (Associate Professor of Music, Oslo):

"Anti-Rebel, Lonesome Boy - Morrisey in Crisis?"

Keith Jeffrey (Director, Kirklees Media Centre):

"Britpop - Proof Positive that Rock is Dead"

Derek Scott (Head of Music, Salford):

"Oasis - What's the Copy (Pop Gone Sloppy)?"

Steve Sweeney-Turner (Research Fellow in Music, Leeds):

"`Our Cellophane Sounds': Suede and the Concept of Trash"

Rachel Swindells (Ph.D. in Music, Leeds):

"`Something Changed': Britpop and the Transformation of Cultural Roles in Popular Music"

Rupert Till (Lecturer in Composition, Bretton Hall):

"Look Back in Anger: the Historical Development of Britpop"

Simon Warner (Senior Lecturer in Popular Music, Bretton Hall):

"Britprint: Liking and Loathing on the News-stand"


Papers will be a maximum of 20 min.'s in length and will be followed by 10 min.'s for open questions. Registration is £40 (£25 speakers & conc.'s) and will take place from 10:00am-10:30am. The registration fee includes lunch and afternoon tea & scones. Papers will start at 10:30am and it is anticipated that the final, open forum session will end around 5:00pm, followed by dinner and an excursion into Leeds' club-land, the costs of which are individually negotiable according to consumption. Accommodation will be available in local B&B hotels for around £25-30 per person per night.

The latest conference information can be found on our web-page at the following url: or can be obtained from:

Steve Sweeney-Turner,
Department of Music,
University of Leeds,
Leeds LS2 9JT, England.