Announcing our 2020 lecture series

Announcing our 2020 Lecture SeriesThe Arnold Shaw Popular Music Center at UNLV is pleased to announce its 2020 lecture series. From February through April, five scholars will visit Las Vegas to discuss the history and future of pop, rock, punk, jazz, blues, and contemporary Christian music. In the early 1980s, the music executive, composer/arranger, and writer/historian Arnold Shaw founded UNLV’s Popular Music Center. Shaw believed that Las Vegas rested its fame—and indeed its very existence—upon two main pillars: gaming and popular entertainment. He envisioned the Popular Music Center as a foundation that would stand alongside the UNLV Center for Gaming Research as uniquely opportune sites for study, archival work, and exchange in the cultural milieu of our city. It is in this spirit that we now invite an exciting mixture of junior and senior scholars from diverse disciplines (English, Philosophy, Musicology, and Religious Studies) to share their expertise with the university and the Las Vegas public about the varied traditions of popular music making throughout history. These scholars will raise questions about the definition of popular music, the methods for understanding popular music and culture, and the political ramifications of this activity.

All of these events are free and open to the public, and will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Ham Fine Arts Building, Room 147.

• ELIZABETH LINDAU (California State University, Long Beach) – February 24, 2020 “Boring Things”: Drone and Repetition in Andy Warhol’s The Velvet Underground [Andy Warhol’s The Velvet Underground]

• KIMBERLY MACK (The University of Toledo) – March 11, 2020 “Big Mama and Amy: Autobiographical Fictions and Addictions” [Big Mama Thornton and Amy Winehouse]

• ROBIN JAMES (University of North Carolina, Charlotte) – March 24, 2020 “‘Bad Guy’ and Chill Moods: Resilience and Post-Probablist Neoliberalisms in Pop Music” [Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, KMFDM, Panic! At the Disco, and Lil Nas X]

• MATT SAKAKEENY (Tulane University, New Orleans) – April 6, 2020 “Making Music the New Orleans Way: From the Streets to the Classroom” [Beyoncé, marching band culture, New Orleans jazz traditions]

• JASON ROBERTS (University of Texas at Austin) – April 27, 2020 “A Blemished Offering: Popular Music as ‘The Unclean’ in Evangelical “Worship War” Polemics” [Contemporary Christian Music]

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