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REF NO.: 340

SUBJECT: International conference at Memorial University to examine popular music in Canada and Australia

DATE: June 9

Memorial University is hosting a major international conference from June 24-27. The conference is titled Post-Colonial Distances: the Study of Popular Music in Canada and Australia and gets underway in the School of Music, starting at 1 p.m. on June 24. Registration for the event is $80 or $20 per day with reduced rates for seniors. Thanks to support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, students will be admitted free. All events are open to the public.

Among the more than 50 presenters are many of the leading scholars of popular music. They include:

  • Andy Bennett, director of the Youth, Culture, and New Media program at Surrey University and author of many books on youth culture and cultural tourism

  • Philip Hayward, director, Department of Contemporary Music Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney and author of books on contemporary Indigenous music, Australian country music, and music in science fiction cinema

  • Margaret Peters, senior lecturer, University of South Australia, and part of the ARC Discovery Project on music in the lives of marginalized youth

  • Peter Narvaez, Memorial University, performer and internationally renowned scholar of blues as well as other North American repertoires

  • Tony Mitchell, senior lecturer, Performance Studies, University of Technology, Sydney, and author of publications on world music and hip hop
  • Catherine Moore, director, Music Business Program, New York University and experienced marketing expert

  • Robin Elliott, director, Institute for Canadian Music, University of Toronto and author of numerous publications on Canadian music

  • Neil Rosenberg, Memorial University, performer and internationally renowned scholar of bluegrass as well as country and traditional music

Presentations will deal with a wide array of topics including specific genres, globalization, gender and sexuality, indigenous popular music, broadcasting and marketing. A number of individual papers as well as a final panel will focus on popular music in Newfoundland and Labrador. Some participants will perform at an open mic at Bitters Pub on Saturday, June 25. The highlight of the conference will be a concert of indigenous popular music at the Cook Recital Hall on Sunday, June 26, at 8 p.m. Concert tickets ($20/10) are available at the door.

Because of their colonial past, Australia and Canada have often been compared from political, economic and social perspectives. Little has been written, however, relating or contrasting the popular music of the two nations. This conference will both reflect and stimulate scholarly interest in the comparative study of the industries, cultures, traditions and forms of popular music in Australia and Canada. The event will promote a broader understanding of the problems and possibilities for popular music in small countries, and will lay the groundwork for collaborative research in the future.

For program details and further information, visit the conference Web site at .

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For more information, please contact Dr. Beverley Diamond, Department of Folklore and School of Music, at 737-3701or, or conference assistant, Kelly Best at


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