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Forever Young: Popular Music and Youth Across the Ages

2020 MoPOP Pop Conference

 


ABOUT POP CONFERENCE

The annual MoPOP Pop Conference, first held in 2002, mixes together ambitious music discourse of every kind to bring academics, critics, musicians, and dedicated fans into a collective conversation.


There is no pop music without youth, and no youth without pop music.

Across multiple generations and eras, "the youth" have been regarded as a troublesome, paradigm-shifting force in both music and politics. Music has been the medium of youthful dissent: from traditionally anti-establishment genres like rock, punk, hip-hop, and metal, to the most “bubblegum” expressions of pop (whose value is often sneered at due to its appeal to broad constituencies of girls, queer people, and people of color). This year's Pop Conference is an exploration and celebration of youth across generations, locations, and disparate contexts; listening with intensity to what is behind the urgent call we’ve heard from multiple artists to remain “forever young.” Who gets to have youth? And whose music gets to represent youth, only to be wistfully remembered later, while other youthful sounds are deemed dangerous or stunted?

Panels, presentations, and programs will dive deep into the theme by asking:

  • How are musical expressions of innocence and experience assigned based on an artist’s race, gender, sexuality, class and nationality?
  • How are different musical genres adopted into anti-institutional, anti-nationalist soundtracks of youthful rebellion across the globe?
  • How are our youthful attachments to music limited to the concept of “going through a phase”?
  • How has technology enabled young people to make and distribute music in unexpected ways?
  • What are some of the locations, venues, and scenes in which youth cultures have been given room to flourish?
  • Why do musicians cling to the notion of youth in an effort to remain relevant?
Dua Lipa — photo by Hugo Comte

Dua Lipa — photo by Hugo Comte


Thursday, September 24, 2020
3pm PT / 6pm ET

NPR Music x Pop Conference in collaboration with The Museum of Pop Culture present

POP TALKS:
Closing Keynote Conversation with Dua Lipa

Join NPR Music and Pop Conference for hourlong, thoughtful conversations with today's most intriguing musicians.

“Forever Young: Popular Music and Youth Across the Ages” is this year’s first-ever virtual version of the 2020 Pop Conference. And to bring the conference to a close, we’re excited to present a surprise closing keynote conversation featuring pop music phenomenon Dua Lipa. Since the release of her first singles in 2015, Lipa has become one of the music world’s most dynamic and electrifying young artists. Her self-titled debut album, released on Warner Music Group, broke streaming records, riding high on several singles including break-out hit “New Rules.” In 2019, she received two Grammy awards, including Best New Artist. In 2020, she released her exhilarating second studio album Future Nostalgia featuring irresistible singles like “Don’t Start Now,” “Physical” and “Break My Heart;” and her just-released eclectic Club Future Nostalgia remix album, in collaboration with DJ The Blessed Madonna, features guest contributions from legends like Madonna and Missy Elliott.

Join Dua Lipa for a conversation with Jason King of New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music about the connections between pop music, youth, nostalgia and activism.

Presented in conjunction with NPR Music and keynote produced by Jason King. Visit NPR Music’s official YouTube channel for more information.


Dua Lipa

Global pop superstar Dua Lipa released Future Nostalgia, her #1 U.K. sophomore album, this year to worldwide acclaim. The album has over 3 billion streams to date, and Dua is the biggest female artist in the world on Spotify. Future Nostalgia has been called "A flawlessly executed second album" (The New York Times) and "Powerful pop perfection from a star unafraid to speak her mind" (NME), and has been shortlisted for the U.K.'s prestigious Mercury Prize.

Dua has toured internationally at headlining shows and festivals, has been nominated for dozens of awards since 2017 and has appeared on the covers of Vogue, ELLE, Billboard and more.

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Jason King

Jason King is a professor and the founding faculty member at New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, an innovative leadership training program for aspiring music entrepreneurs.

A journalist, musician, DJ, songwriter, curator and producer, Jason was the host and co-producer of NPR's Noteworthy, a series on the creative process of music superstars like Dua Lipa and Miguel, as well as the curator of NPR's 24/7 R&B radio channel.

He is currently working on a biography of Freddie Mercury, and producing and directing documentaries.

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Register for Week 3

Please select your preferred dates and register below:

Select all dates that you would like to register for.


Wednesday, September 23 (all times PST)

10:00-10:45am (Panel)

Their Bodies, Ourselves: Faith, Sex and Politics in Pop 

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. You Can’t Take My Youth Away: Pop Stars and Political Representation in the Trump Era, Allyson Gross, (U of Wisconsin, Madison)
  2. Can’t Have You: Christianity, Virginity, and the Purity Movement in ‘00s Youth, Maria Sherman (writer)
  3. Brown Sugar: Black Girls, Media Language and the Maturity Curve in Pop, Brittany Spanos (Rolling Stone)

 

10:45am-11:30 (Roundtable)

“The culture is lit and I had a ball”: Youth, Politics, & Culture in Lana Del Rey’s Discography (45 mins total time)

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. Christine Capetola
  2. Jenn Pelly
  3. Alyxandra Vesey
  4. Lindsay Zoladz

 

15 minute break

 

11:45 - 12:15pm (Live Discussion of Asynchronous Stream)

Archives of Youth 

FULL DESCRIPTION AND VIDEOS ▸

  • Stolen Youth: Orphan Songs and Abolition, Emily Gale (University College Cork)
  • Teenage Agency and Creative Power in World War II-Era Frank Sinatra Fan Clubs, Katie Beisel Hollenbach (U of Washington)
  • Reclaiming Venus: The Many Lives of Alvenia Bridges, Maya Smith (U of Washington)        
  • The Politics of Coming of Age: Nostalgia for Innocence in Youth Music, Rebecca Rinsema (Northern Arizona U) 
  • Mixtape 101, Olivia Jean Hernández (Yakima Valley College)
  •  Even in His Youth: Kurt Cobain's pre-Nirvana Journey to Pop Music Hell Via His Montage of Heck Mixtape, Michael Matewauk (writer)
  • The Middle: Memory and Arrested Development in Early-2000s Emo, Katie Moulton (writer)

 

30 minute break

 

12:45-1:30pm (Panel)

Sonic Geographies and Juvenescence 

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. “Come to My Garden”: The Pastoral, Juvenescence, and the Limits of Genre, Brittnay Proctor (UC Irvine) 
  2. Love Will Never Do (Without You): The Black and Brown Transfigurations of a Rhythm Nation 1814, Joshua Chambers-Letson (Northwestern U) 
  3. Youth and SZA’s Outdoor Retreat: Visualizing Millennial Sentimentalism and Black-Femme Figurations of Nature, Jared Richardson (independent scholar)

 

Thursday, September 24 (All Times PST)

10:00-11am (Panel)

Sad Girls & Sophisticates

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. “I was just 11 but at the time music was everything to me:” Musical Memories on “Sad YouTube,” Anastasia Howe-Bukowski (USC)
  2. Sentimental Radicals, Misinterpellation, and the Promise of Minor Sounds, Runchao Liu (U of Minnesota)
  3. I Was A Teenage Rockist: Revisiting Paramore’s *Riot!* Thirteen Years Later, Kate Grover (U of Texas, Austin)
  4. Songs of Experience: Sophisti-pop’s Sighs Against Youth, Mina Tavakoli (NPR)

 

11:00am - 11:30am (Live Discussion of Asynchronous Stream)

Youth, Sex & Boredom

FULL DESCRIPTION AND VIDEOS ▸

  • Bella Swan Listens to Muse: 2000s Girl Culture and the Amplification of Indie Rock, Morgan Bimm (York University)
  • Sex, Samples, Self: Girlhood from Donna Summer to TLC, Danielle Sofer (writer)
  • Altering One’s Aspect to the Sun’: Feminist Perspectives on Aging in the Industry, Paula Propst (producer)
  • “Take that, Tipper Gore”: Alanis Morissette, Suburban Youth, and the Politics of Consumer-Friendliness, H. Megumi Orita (UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Bored This Way: Adolescent Ennui in Punk Songwriting, Elizabeth Lindau (Cal State Long Beach)

 

30 minute break

 

Noon-1pm: SPOTLIGHT ROUNDTABLE (Live Presentations)

Growing Up Hip Hop:  Mary J Blige and The Making of a Queen 

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  • Morgan Rhodes
  • Fredara Mareva
  • Yvette Metoyer
  • Naima Cochrane 
  • Jocelyn Brown
  • Shana Redmond

 

15 minute break

 

1:15pm 2:15pm

PopCon Org / Conference Feedback Sessions / Breakout Rooms

Wednesday, September 16 (all times PST)

9:00am — WELCOME TO WEEK II

9:10 - 9:30am (Live Discussion of Asynchronous Panel)

Feeling Good as Hell: The Intergenerational Appeal of Lizzo’s Exuberance 

FULL DESCRIPTION AND VIDEOS ▸

  • 100% That Bitch: Women Empowerment and Body Positivity on Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You, Liselotte Podda (Utrecht U)
  • Lizzo’s Shine and Brown Jouissance, Amber Jamilla Musser (George Washington U)
  • If My Music is Going To Have a Message: Lizzo the Teacher, Chi Chi Thalken (Scratched Vinyl)
  • Working My Femininity: Instrumentalizing Lizzo as the Voice of Popular Feminism, Alyxandra Vesey, (U of Alabama)

 

9:30-10am (Live Discussion of Asynchronous Stream)

Mid-Century Rock & Olds 

FULL DESCRIPTION AND VIDEOS ▸

  • “Dogging ‘Doggie in the Window’: The Song Young Rockers Loved to Hate,” Eric Weisbard (U of Alabama)
  • Dear Bobby: Dylan's 1966 Fan Mail, Sean Latham (U of Tulsa) & Nathan Blue (U of Tulsa)
  • Peter Pan vs Captain Hook: Comparing the Performance of Age(ing) in Classic Rock via Neil Young’s “Old Man” (1972) and Alice Cooper’s “I’m Eighteen” (1970), Kelso Molloy (NYU)
  • A Musical Reunion with America's Girl Next Door: The Concept Albums of Annette Funicello, Eric Schuman (WXPN)
  • The Dorian Gray Effect, or Why Some Recordings Don’t Age While Others Do, J.D. Considine (writer)

 

10:00 - 10:45am (Panel)

Oh So Emo

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. Emo: The Genre That Can’t Grow Up, Emma Garland (VICE UK)
  2. Black Girl, Emo Phase? Reconsidering a Third-Wave Emo Bildungsroman at the Intersections of Race and Gender, Alexus Davis (U of Manchester)
  3. Look Up Kid: Emo Youth, Queer Vulnerability and Differential Consciousness in Princess Nokia’s A Girl Cried Red, Isaac Silber (NYU)

 

15 minute break

 

11:00am-11:45pm (Roundtable)

Black Speculative Musicalities 

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. Vijay Iyer
  2. Kwami Coleman
  3. Nina Sun Eidsheim

 

11:45-12:30pm (Panel)

Negotiating Race in Midcentury Music

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. Can I Get a Witness: Historicizing Mexican American contributions in Minnesota Rock n’ Roll and Youth Culture (1950-70), Rodolfo Aguilar (Kennesaw State U)
  2. With a Child’s Heart: The Restrictive Nature of Stevie Wonder’s Mediated Innocence, John Vilanova (Lehigh U)
  3. “Fine snoots is what we got!” On the road with Big Joe Williams and Michael Bloomfield, RJ Smith (writer)

 

30 minute break

 

1pm-2pm (Panel)

Speculative Selves: Gender, Race & Fantasy 

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. Many Men: The Appeal of Brockhampton, Diana Buendia (writer)
  2. On "Lemon Incest," the Creepy Provocation That Launched 12-Year-Old Charlotte Gainsbourg's Career, Kathy Fennessy (writer)
  3. Unpacking Caribbean music identities: exploring the sacred (mature) and profane (youth) in Trinidad’s Carnival music, Meagan Sylvester (U of the West Indies)
  4. Belcher Skelter: Bob's Burgers' Electric Youth, Margaret France (Yakima Valley College)

 

2:00 - 3:00pm (Panel)

Montages of Mourning

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. Death is a Star: An Intergenerational Dialogue on Punk’s Alleged Demise, Stefano Morello (The Graduate Center, CUNY) & Michelle Cruz Gonzales (Las Positas College, musician)
  2. The Ghost Of You: Young Fans, Mourning and Dead Bands, Hannah Ewens (VICE UK)
  3. Washed Cycles: Hip-Hop After Youth, Nate Patrin (writer)
  4. The CD-R Era: Reading The Secret Language Of Physical Media’s Dying Days, Daoud Tyler-Ameen (NPR)



Thursday, September 17 (All Times PST)

 

9:00am-10:00am

MENTORING WORKSHOP – Public Scholars (Summer Kim Lee, Jason King, Ivan Ramos, Karen Tongson, Oliver Wang)

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

Join members of this year's Pop Con ProgramCommittee, which includespodcast hosts, journalists, scholars, book authors, writers for NPR Music, Pitchfork, the L.A. Times, and more, fora workshop-style session for emerging professionals interested in learning more about pathways into public scholarship and writing about music. The members of the Pop Con Program Committee will share about their work and will be available to answer questions. All Pop Con attendees are welcome to participate, but priority for active workshopping will be given to youth/emerging professionals. 
 
These mentoring sessions are supported by Critical Minded, an initiative to invest in cultural critics of color cofounded by The Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
 
Featuring: 
Hanif Abdurraqib (writer and cultural critic)  Raquel Gutiérrez (writer, performer)  Gerrick Kennedy (writer and cultural critic)  Summer Kim Lee (UCLA)  Iván Ramos (University of Maryland)  Robert Rutherford (Museum of Pop Culture)  Karen Tongson (University of Southern California)  J.D. Samson (musician, NYU Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music)  RJ Smith (author)  Oliver Wang (CSU Long Beach)

10:00-11am

MENTORING WORKSHOP – Writers & Journalists (Hanif Abdurraqib, Raquel Gutierrez, Gerrick Kennedy, Ann Powers, JD Samson, RJ Smith)

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

Join members of this year's Pop Con ProgramCommittee, which includespodcast hosts, journalists, scholars, book authors, writers for NPR Music, Pitchfork, the L.A. Times, and more, fora workshop-style session for emerging professionals interested in learning more about pathways into public scholarship and writing about music. The members of the Pop Con Program Committee will share about their work and will be available to answer questions. All Pop Con attendees are welcome to participate, but priority for active workshopping will be given to youth/emerging professionals. 
 
These mentoring sessions are supported by Critical Minded, an initiative to invest in cultural critics of color cofounded by The Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
 
Featuring: 
Hanif Abdurraqib (writer and cultural critic)  Raquel Gutiérrez (writer, performer)  Gerrick Kennedy (writer and cultural critic)  Summer Kim Lee (UCLA)  Iván Ramos (University of Maryland)  Robert Rutherford (Museum of Pop Culture)  Karen Tongson (University of Southern California)  J.D. Samson (musician, NYU Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music)  RJ Smith (author)  Oliver Wang (CSU Long Beach)

30 minute break

 

11:30am-12:15pm (Panel)

Youth.EDU: Music Education 

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. School Day: Building a Popular Music History Curriculum for Public Schools, Richard Cobeen (Teacher)
  2. Youth on Record: How a Major Label Hip Hop Band and Local Musicians Have Empowered and Amplified the Voices of Underserved and At-Risk Youth In Their Community, Storm Gloor (U of Colorado, Denver) 
  3. High School, Musical, Gene Booth (Teacher)

 

15 minute break

 

12:30-1:30pm (Panel)

TikTok Ya Don’t Stop: Youth Activism & Creativity

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. “OK, Boomer”: TikTok, Climate Change, and Gen Z Musical Activism, Matthew DelCiampo (U of Puget Sound)
  2. Playtime: What indie youth in Athens, Georgia can teach us about changing the world, Grace Hale (U of Virginia)
  3. Brazil’s Musical Youth Vs. The Dictatorship: Three youthful, music movements that shaped Musica Popular Brasileira, Allen Thayer (writer)
  4. Only Wanna Sing?: Youth and Creativity in the Worship Music Economy, Clare O’Connor (USC)

 

1:30-2:00pm (Live Discussion of Asynchronous Stream)

Punk, Pop & New Wave from the 70s & 80s

FULL DESCRIPTION AND VIDEOS▸

  • FOOL AROUND: Rachel Sweet's Real Time Jail Bait Punk/Rock Rebellion, Holly Gleason (Hits, Pollstar)
  • “Memos from the Frontline”: British Punk Fanzines in the 1970s and 1980s, Eddie Watson (U of Texas, Austin)
  • A Party On Every Page: Covering New Pop at Star Hits Magazine 1983-85, Mark Coleman (writer)
  • “Weird Al” Yankovic, Youth, and the “Good Old Days,” Lily Hirsch (writer)
  • Zappin’ It To Ya: Debbie Gibson and The Connection Between The Once Teen Queen and Her Fans, Jackie Clary (writer & archivist)

 

2:00 - 3:00pm: SPOTLIGHT PANEL (Live Presentations)

Ladies of the Night: Resistant Youth Who Shaped Pop Culture & the Underground

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. Becoming Brujas: Latinx Youth Led by Ibeyi, Princess Nokia and La Bruja de Texcoco, Michelle Villegas Threadgould (writer) 
  2. Sirens of Social Change: Black Female Musicians of the Resistance, Lynn Brown (writer)
  3. My Band Was There: Young Women at the Forefront of the Post 9/11 Underground in NYC, Solvej Schou (writer, musician)  
  4. Defiant Youth: Womanhood, Femininity and Gender Justice in Caribbean Pop Music, Meagan Sylvester (writer, scholar)

 

Wednesday, September 9 (all times PST)

9:00am — WELCOME TO POPCON

9:15 - 10:00am (Roundtable)

Stanning Our Girlhoods: Black & Latina Girls, Pop Music & Embodied Knowledges

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  • Yessica Garcia Hernandez
  • Anya Wallace
  • Jillian Hernandez 
  • Blair Ebony Smith

10:00 - 10:30am (Live Discussion of Asynchronous Stream)

Cruising Youthtopias

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  • Falling Backwards Into the Future: Sir Babygirl, Queer Childhood, and the Making of Millenial Utopias, Patrick Denney (Yale)
  • Order, Joy, Youth: Parade Aesthetics in Popular Music, Alex Reed (Ithaca College)
  • Mask Off: Future, Trap Music, and Aesthetic Nihilism in Black Pop, Dallas Donnell (U of Maryland) 
  • Place Embodying Youth, Youth Embodying Place: Prince as “The Kid” through Minneapolis—First Avenue & Paisley Park, Dana Venerable (SUNY Buffalo)

10:30am - 11am (Live Discussion of Asynchronous Stream)

The Platforms of Youth: Meme-ing, Marketing & Streaming 

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  • Teens, Memeing, and Trolling: “Old Town Road” and the Disruptive Power of the Popular Song as a Meme, Ally Arrietta (USC) 
  • Music Machine: How Christian Kids’ Musicals Powered the Early CCM Industry, Josh Langhoff (writer, musician)
  • Altering One’s Aspect to the Sun’: Feminist Perspectives on Aging in the Industry, Paula Propst (Consciously Studio)
  • The Musical (Metadata) Hooks of TikTok, Paula Harper (Washington U)
  • “Hot Girl Summer,” VSCO Girl Playlists, and the Political Economy of Youth, Robin James (UNC Charlotte and Northeastern University)
  • The Streams of Youth, Glenn McDonald  (Spotify)

 

30 Minute Break

 

11:30am - Noon (Panel)

Rebel Girls & Grown Women

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. The Chicks’ll Cream: Solidarity, subversion, and self-discovery through the music of retro teen girl films, Evie Nagy (writer)
  2. Delta Dusk: Tanya Tucker, Aging and the Cult of Youth Steacy Easton (writer)
  3. Aging Children Come: Childhood Myths and Realities and the Ground of Creative Genius Among 1970s Pop Auteurs, Ann Powers (NPR)

Noon - 1pm (Panel)

Persistence of Memory: Revolution, Desire, and Transgenerational Nostalgia 

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. Popular Music, Transgenerational Nostalgia, and Asian American Stories, Julianna Chang (Santa Clara U)
  2. Forgive Me For Being Wild and Yearning To Be Free: A Song for Hong Kong’s Protests, Valerie Soe (SFSU)
  3. The Beautiful Things 아름다운 것들: A Korean Diasporic Mixtape, Anthony Yooshin Kim (Williams College)
  4. I’ve Been Tired: Teenage Soundscapes of Queer Filipino Desire and Disconnection, Thea Quiray Tagle (U of Massachusetts, Boston)

 

30 minute break 

 

1:30pm - 2pm (Live Discussion of Asynchronous Stream)

International Relations: Youth, Desire & Politics Beyond the U.S.

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  • Industrial Hip-hop against Hip-hop Industry: South Korea's Hip-hop Duo XXX, Pil Ho Kim (Ohio State U)   
  • Kwaito Bodies: Remastering Space and Subjectivity in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Xavier Livermon (U of Texas)    
  • What can Japanese idol lyrics tell us about youth in Japan?, Dorothy Finan (U of Sheffield)
  • Technologies of Funk Carioca: Sonic Experimentation in Rio de Janeiro, Alexandra Lippman (Pitzer College)
  • Menudo's Run, or, Come In Sweet Sixteen, Your Time Is Up: Vigilance As the Price of Eternal Youth, At The Cost of Identity in Latino Pop, Andrew Hamlin (writer)

 

2:00 - 3:00pm (Panel)

Country’s Benjamin Button Syndrome 

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. What Is Youth? Country Music’s Child Neglect, David Cantwell (The New Yorker)
  2. Baby, You a Song: The Arrival of Country-Pop's Young, Macho Accent, Jewly Hight (NPR Music)
  3. Suburban Struggle: Conflict Between Punks and Urban Cowboys in Early 1980s Costa Mesa, California, Amanda Marie Martinez (UCLA)
  4. G.I. Blues:The Military Roots of Country’s Teenage Rebellion, Joseph Thompson (Mississippi State U)



Thursday, September 10 (All Times PST)

To register for this conference already in progress, use the form at the top of this schedule.

9:00-10:00am (Roundtable)

“I’m an Adult Now”: Growing up with CanCon in Canada–A Focused Roundtable 

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. Erin MacLeod
  2. Del Cowie
  3. Steacy Easton
  4. Carl Wilson
  5. Emily Gale
  6. Andrea Warner  

 

10:00 - 10:20am (Live Discussion of Asynchronous Roundtable)

Age Related Myths in DIY: Towards a Limitless All Ages Ethos 

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  • Liz Pelly
  • Christopher Joseph Lee
  • NM Mashurov

 

10 Minute Break

 

10:30am - 11:15 (Panel)

¡Todas! Means All!: The past, present, and futures of Todas Las Edades/All-Ages spaces in Latinxs communities

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸ 

  1. “Ephemeral Forums Enduring Oppositional Communities, Jorge Leal (USC, The Rock Archivo LÁ)
  2. Community Engagement and Intergenerational Belonging in DIY ‘All-Ages’ Spaces, Susana Sepulveda (U of Arizona)
  3. Punk and Intergenerational Collaboration in Southeast L.A., Audrey Silvestre (UCLA)

 

Moderator: Michelle Habell-Pallán (U of Washington, Seattle)

 

15 minute break

 

11:30am - 12:15  (Panel)

No Place Like Homo: Queer Transformations in Youth

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. The Church of Man-Love: Gay Virginity and the Politics of Submission, Alfred Soto (Florida International U)
  2. There’s No Place Like Homo: Revisiting The Home In Queer Pop, Marissa Lorusso (NPR)
  3. Queer Punk, Trans Forms: Transgender Rock n’ Rage in the Necropolitical Age, Curran Nault (U of Texas, Austin)

 

12:15pm - 1:15 (Roundtable)

"Can't Nobody Tell Me Nothin’": An "Old Town Road" Roundtable 

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  1. Charles Hughes
  2. Jewly Hight
  3. Chris Molanphy
  4. Myles Johnson
  5. Taylor Crumpton

 

15 minute break

 

1:30pm - 2:15 (Live Discussion of Asynchronous Roundtable)

SPOTLIGHT ROUNDTABLE: Black Youth, Social Hacking and The Business of Digital Clout: Chicago’s Drill Rap Scene In Retrospect 

FULL DESCRIPTION ▸

  • Jabari Evans
  • Nancy Baym
  • Charne Graham
  • Idris “Peeda Pan” Abdul-Wahid
  • Darryl “Doe” Williams

 

2020 Program Committee Members

Special thanks goes to this year’s programming committee chair, Dr. Karen Tongson, and her programming committee for helping the Conference navigate such difficult circumstances. The programming committee for the 2020 Pop Conference includes:

Hanif Abdurraqib (writer and cultural critic)  Raquel Gutiérrez (writer, performer)  Gerrick Kennedy (writer and cultural critic)  Summer Kim Lee (UCLA)  Iván Ramos (University of Maryland)  Robert Rutherford (Museum of Pop Culture)  Karen Tongson (University of Southern California)  J.D. Samson (musician, NYU Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music)  RJ Smith (author)  Oliver Wang (CSU Long Beach).

This event is supported by Critical Minded, an initiative to invest in cultural critics of color cofounded by The Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

Critical Minded logo

Thursday, September 10, 2020
3pm PT / 6pm ET

NPR Music x Pop Conference in collaboration with The Museum of Pop Culture present

POP TALKS:
Alanis Morissette

YouTube—NPR Music

To kick off “Forever Young: Popular Music and Youth Across the Ages”—this year’s special virtual version of the 2020 Pop Conference, spanning three consecutive weeks—we’re excited to present a keynote conversation featuring seven-time GRAMMY® Award-winning singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette.

Join Alanis Morissette for a freewheeling and candid conversation with Ann Powers of NPR Music about the connections between music and nostalgia, youth, wisdom and freedom in a historic year marked by profound inequality and urgent activism. Presented in conjunction with NPR Music and keynote produced by Jason King. Visit NPR Music’s official YouTube channel for more information.

 

Photo by Shelby Duncan

Photo by Shelby Duncan

Alanis Morissette

Since 1995, Alanis Morissette's deeply expressive music and performances have earned vast critical praise and seven Grammy awards. Morissette’s 1995 debut, Jagged Little Pill, has been followed by nine more eclectic and acclaimed albums. Morissette has contributed musically to theatrical releases and acted on the big and small screen.

Outside of entertainment, she is an avid supporter of female empowerment, as well as spiritual, psychological and physical wellness. On December 5, 2019, Jagged Little Pill, the musical, made its Broadway debut at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City.

Most recently, Morissette released her ninth studio album, Such Pretty Forks In The Road.

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Ann Powers

Ann Powers is a critic and correspondent for NPR Music. She is the author of several books, most recently Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music (Dey Street, 2017).

She lives in Nashville and is currently working on a critical biography of Joni Mitchell.

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Twitter

Jehnny Beth — photo by Maxime La

Jehnny Beth — photo by Maxime La

Thursday, September 3, 2020
12pm PT / 3pm ET

NPR Music x Pop Conference in collaboration with The Museum of Pop Culture present

POP TALKS:
Jehnny Beth

Instagram Live @nprmusic

POP TALKS is a new pop-up conversation series on Instagram live.

Join NPR Music and Pop Conference for hourlong, thoughtful conversations with today's most intriguing musicians.

Critically acclaimed French singer-songwriter Jehnny Beth talks about her provocative work on September 3 in an interview with Ann Powers.

More info ▸

About Jehnny Beth

Jehnny Beth first emerged in public consciousness as the charismatic lead singer and co-writer of UK Mercury Prize nominated post-punk band Savages. As a solo artist she’s worked with artists like PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi, Gorillaz and The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas. She recorded the XY Chelsea documentary soundtrack with her longtime producer Johnny Hostile, with whom she runs the French Pop Noire record label; and she also hosts the Beats 1 radio program “Start Making Sense” and the Arte music TV series “Echoes with Jehnny Beth.” Her startling 2020 solo debut album To Love is to Live is a dark cinematic meditation on the strange business of being alive—the result of collaborating with producers like Atticus Ross and Flood, and songwriters like Romy Madley Croft of The xx.

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Ann Powers

Ann Powers

Ann Powers is a critic and correspondent for NPR Music. She is the author of several books, most recently Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music (Dey Street, 2017).

She lives in Nashville and is currently working on a critical biography of Joni Mitchell.

Instagram

Twitter

POP Talks: Holly Herndon

POP Talks: Holly Herndon

Friday, August 14, 2020
12pm PT / 3pm ET

NPR Music x Pop Conference in collaboration with The Museum of Pop Culture present

POP TALKS:
Holly Herndon

Instagram Live @nprmusic

POP TALKS is a new pop-up conversation series on Instagram live.

Join NPR Music and Pop Conference for hourlong, thoughtful conversations with today's most intriguing musicians.

Experimental electronic composer and performer Holly Herndon talks about her provocative work on Friday August 14th, in an interview with Jason King.

More info ▸

About Holly Herndon

Holly Herndon operates at the edges of electronic and avant-garde pop and emerges with a dynamic and disruptive canon of her own. On her most recent full-length album PROTO, Herndon fronts and conducts an electronic pop choir comprised of both human and A.I. voices over a musical palette that encompasses everything from synths to Sacred Harp stylings. The sounds synthesized on PROTO by Herndon, her A.I. “baby” Spawn, and the vocal ensemble combine elements from Herndon’s dynamic and idiosyncratic personal journey: the timeless folk traditions of her childhood experiences in church-going East Tennessee (particularly the prismatic layered practice of Sacred Harp singing), the avant-garde music she explored while at Mills College, and the radical club culture of Berlin, all enhanced by her recent PhD in composition studies at Stanford University, researching machine learning and music.

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hollyherndon.com

Jason King

Jason King

Jason King is a professor and the founding faculty member at New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, an innovative leadership training program for aspiring music entrepreneurs.

A journalist, musician, DJ, songwriter, curator and producer, Jason was the host and co-producer of NPR's Noteworthy, a series on the creative process of music superstars like Dua Lipa and Miguel, as well as the curator of NPR's 24/7 R&B radio channel.

He is currently working on a biography of Freddie Mercury, and producing and directing documentaries.

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POP TALKS: Victoria Monét

POP TALKS: Victoria Monét

Photo credit: Micaiah Carter

Friday, August 7, 2020
12pm PT / 3pm ET

NPR Music x Pop Conference in collaboration with The Museum of Pop Culture present

POP TALKS:
Victoria Monét

Instagram Live @nprmusic

POP TALKS is a new pop-up conversation series on Instagram live.

Join NPR Music and Pop Conference for hourlong, thoughtful conversations with today's most intriguing musicians.

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Victoria Monét talks about her creativity and her new solo project, JAGUAR, on Friday August 7th, in an interview with Jason King.

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About Victoria Monét

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Victoria Monét is a multi-dimensional, versatile singer, songwriter, and dancer whose forthcoming solo project, JAGUAR, is an unapologetic declaration of female empowerment and sexual freedom. As a queer woman of color working in a landscape that still actively pigeonholes artists with marginalized identities, Monét makes music and art that play with gender roles, and themes of femininity.

Monét leveraged her considerable songwriting skills writing some of the biggest hits in contemporary pop, hip-hop, and R&B for top 40 and critical darlings like Nas, T.I., Chloe x Halle, and Brandy. She earned four nominations at last year's Grammys for her work on Ariana Grande’s thank u, next. Monét’s unique ability to juxtapose the fresh and familiar, the sexual and substantial, and the feeling of nostalgia with modern and youthful aesthetics, sets her apart.

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Jason King

Jason King

Jason King is a professor and the founding faculty member at New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, an innovative leadership training program for aspiring music entrepreneurs.

A journalist, musician, DJ, songwriter, curator and producer, Jason was the host and co-producer of NPR's Noteworthy, a series on the creative process of music superstars like Dua Lipa and Miguel, as well as the curator of NPR's 24/7 R&B radio channel.

He is currently working on a biography of Freddie Mercury, and producing and directing documentaries.

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POP TALKS: Moses Sumney

POP TALKS: Moses Sumney

Thursday, July 23
6pm PT / 9pm ET

NPR Music x Pop Conference in collaboration with The Museum of Pop Culture present

POP TALKS:
Moses Sumney

Instagram Live @nprmusic

POP TALKS is a new pop-up conversation series on Instagram live.

Join NPR Music and Pop Conference for hourlong, thoughtful conversations with today's most intriguing musicians.

First up is Moses Sumney on Thursday, July 23, interviewed by Jason King.

Watch the full discussion ▸

Moses Sumney

Moses Sumney

Moses Sumney evades definition as an act of duty: technicolor videos and monochrome clothes; Art Rock and Black Classical; blowing into Fashion Week from a small town in North Carolina; seemingly infinite collaborators, but only one staggering voice. A young life spent betwixt Southern California and Accra, Ghana - not so much rootless as an epyphite, an air plant. The scale is cinematic but the moves are precise deeds of art and stewardship. Sumney's new, generous double album, græ, is an assertion that the undefinable still exists and dwelling in it is an act of resistance.

There's probably a biblical analogy to be made about a person who just happens to be named Moses, who flees the binary, splits a massive body into two pieces, and leads us through the in-between - holy and wholly rebellious. By breaking up græ into two multifaceted, dynamic pieces, Sumney is quite literally creating a "grey" in-between space for listeners to absorb and consider the art. Not strictly singles, not strictly albums, never altogether songs or spoken word segments on their own. It's neither here nor there. "Neither/Nor," if you will.

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Jason King

Jason King

Jason King is a professor and the founding faculty member at New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, an innovative leadership training program for aspiring music entrepreneurs.

A journalist, musician, DJ, songwriter, curator and producer, Jason was the host and co-producer of NPR's Noteworthy, a series on the creative process of music superstars like Dua Lipa and Miguel, as well as the curator of NPR's 24/7 R&B radio channel.

He is currently working on a biography of Freddie Mercury, and producing and directing documentaries.

Instagram

Twitter

   

Thursday, July 16
4pm PT / 7pm ET

Pop Con 2020 in conjunction with The Apollo Theater Education Program Presents

Deconstructing Little Richard

A Free Online Teach-In Event About the Originator, Emancipator and Architect of Rock ‘n Roll

Watch the full discussion ▸

Little Richard, who passed away in May, helped pioneer rock music in the 1950s, riding high on gospel-influenced musicianship and black queer fabulosity. Throughout his seven-decade career, he confronted industry exploitation and racism, and he transformed gender expression in popular culture. Join musicians, scholars, DJs and writers for a free online discussion event about the self-appointed originator, emancipator, and architect of Rock ‘n Roll.

With

Ian Isiah, recording artist

Nona Hendryx, singer, songwriter, producer

Alisha Lola Jones, assistant professor, Indiana University Bloomington

Jason King, professor, musician, New York University

Uri McMillan, associate professor, UCLA

Madison Moore, artist-scholar, assistant professor, Virginia Commonwealth University

Tavia Nyong’o, professor, Yale University

Zandria Robinson, associate professor, Georgetown University


Deconstructing Little Richard panelists

Deconstructing Little Richard panelists

Pop Con 2020 Presents

 

Listening To Our Youth 

With Music by

JD Samson & Eli Escobar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen To Event Playlist ▸

MoPOP | The Residency

TICKETS