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Pop Conference 2018

What Difference Does it Make? Music and Gender

Popular music can voice or challenge gender assumptions, whether it’s drag queen crooners of the 1930s, Britney Spears as feminine ideal, or Muddy Waters and Bruce Springsteen as the workingman hero.

Pop music also often serves as a haven for gender-fluid groundbreakers like Annie Hindle, Little Richard, and, more recently, Anohni and Syd. Even musical virtuosity and technique can be gendered, from rock’s technophallic guitar heroics to disco's feminized vocals.

In 2018, diverse presenters explored music and gender across many eras and categories including feminism, queer pop, masculinity, black music, genres, futurism, instrumentation, and religion.