Forever Young: Popular Music and Youth Across the Ages
2020 MoPOP Pop Conference
April 23–26, 2020
Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle WA
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?
2020 Program Committee Members
Hanif Abdurraqib (writer and cultural critic), Raquel Gutiérrez (writer, performer), Gerrick Kennedy (Los Angeles Times), Summer Kim Lee (Dartmouth College), Iván Ramos (University of Maryland), Robert Rutherford (Museum of Pop Culture), Doreen St. Felix (The New Yorker), Karen Tongson (University of Southern California), J.D. Samson (musician, NYU Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music), RJ Smith (author), and Oliver Wang (CSU Long Beach).