Blues in the 21st Century

Blues in the 21st Century: Myth, Social Expression and Transculturalism
Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Catania (23-24 November 2018)

Since its beginnings in the late 19th century, the Blues has been more than a music style with a seminal impact on 20th century popular music. As a medium of social expression, it articulated the tribulations of an entire black culture, male and female. Discourses about race were as much an integral part of the evolution of the blues as were those of class, when young white kids - in America and European countries, especially the UK - adopted the music for their political and social ends. Idealising/romanticising black models of living, their interpretations verged on myths on the one hand, but on the other brought out transcultural features of the blues in their performative acts. Other realms of performing arts, such as literature, films, etc., speak of the flexibility of the blues. Its commercialisation by white and black record companies, or annual festivals, is another proof of its durability. Bearing this in mind, any doubt about the survival of the blues in the 21st century is rendered obsolete. 

This multi-disciplinary conference aims to trace the socio-political, historical, economic, transcultural, linguistic and musicological dimensions of the blues, and to emphasise the viability of this artistic and social medium.

Application Deadline: 30 June 2018
Notification of acceptance: 15 July 2018
Registration deadline: 30 June 2018