[Msa-discuss] CFP Special Issue of NANO - "This Is What Makes Us Girls": Gender, Genre, and Popular Music

Ryan Tracy rtracy at gradcenter.cuny.edu
Tue Mar 3 10:14:18 EST 2020

I'm happy to share this CFP for a special issue of NANO (published by City Tech) that I am co-guest-editing with Erin Kappeler (Tulane). We're seeking 4,000-word multi-modal essays that address how pop musicians theorize gender and genre while thinking about how these categories are imbricated by multiple articulations of difference. The deadline for complete essays is July 31. I've copied the full CFP below. Meanwhile, here's a link: https://nanocrit.com/Submissions

Come on and hit us with your best shot.

Ryan Tracy
CUNY Graduate Center


“This is What Makes Us Girls,” the last track of Lana Del Rey’s 2011 debut album Born to Die, offers a theory about the nature of coming-of-age femininity. The song imagines teenage sisterhood as a torsion between loyalty and betrayal; a modality of friendship in which an ethos of “putting love first” undoes the bonds of support that sustain young women through the trials of youth. Del Rey’s flippant yet comforting refrain, “Don’t cry about it. It’s all gonna happen,” might be perceived as a betrayal of more sanguine discourses on “girl power” and feminist sisterhood. Yet Del Rey’s provocation also opens up space for affirming feminine (and perhaps feminist) agency while keeping peer-to-peer conflict and romantic passion closer to the center of the definition of “real life” for girls.

Taking its cue from Del Rey’s bad girls pop anthem, this special issue of NANO: New American Notes Online will explore pop artists who, like Del Rey, theorize gender, deploying and redeploying the normative and transformative functions of genre. What can the genre of pop music—and the genres within pop music—teach us about genres of femininity and masculinity in our current moment? How might artists like Del Rey, Janelle Monáe, Mitski, King Princess, Dolly Parton, or RuPaul help us to think through Andrea Long Chu’s recent provocation that “everyone is female, and everyone hates it”? Is popular music a utopian site for embracing what philosopher and novelist Sylvia Wynter has called “our collective agency and authorship of our genres of human being”?  Or does the music industry’s mode of racialized and patriarchal appropriation, commodification, and capitalization continue to threaten popular music’s potential to generate images of femininity that are socially equitable and just? Furthermore, what happens to representations of gender in American popular music when they spill over the borders of place, nation, and era? In what ways do pop artists function as arbiters of gender? And how might competing definitions of femininity betray each other across the genre of pop music?

This issue welcomes multimodal essays up to 4,000 words (excluding works cited) exploring topics relating to gender, genre, and pop music, including but not limited to the following:

• affect studies and pop music

• the politics of desire

• influence, citation, affiliation, intertextuality

• sentiment

• race and racialization

• transgender studies

• masculinity studies

• queer theory

• cultural appropriation

• disavowals of and reinvestments in feminism

• new media/social media

• nationalism and patriotism

• disability studies/crip theory

• #MeToo and the recording industry

• class and classism

• performers as commodities

• postcolonial and decolonial theory

• convention and originality

• iterability, citationality, performativity

• disidentifications

Please direct questions to the special issue editors: Erin Kappeler, Tulane University [ekappeler at tulane.edu] and Ryan Tracy, CUNY Graduate Center [rtracy at gradcenter.cuny.edu].

NANO is a multimodal journal. Therefore, we encourage submissions that include images, sound, video, data sets, or digital tools in support of a written argument. The multimodal components of the essay must be owned or licensed by the author, come from the public domain, or fall within reasonable fair use (see Stanford University Libraries’ Copyright & Fair Use site, http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/ and the U.S. Copyright Office’s Fair Use site, http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html for more information). NANO’s Copyright and Permissions information is on the top left of this page.

For questions about video, audio, or image usage, please contact: editornano at citytech.cuny.edu.

NANO uses modified 8th Edition MLA (Modern Language Association) formatting and style. See: https://nanocrit.com/Submissions/Submission-Guidelines

Please use the Submission Form<https://nanocrit.com/Submissions/Submission-Form> on top left of this page.

Keywords and abstract: Each author is asked to submit 5 keywords and a 150-word abstract to accompany their submission.

Deadlines concerning the special issue to be published in NANO:

• Submission deadline: 31 July 2020

• Publication: Winter 2020

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

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