International Workshop: A Music So Popular That No Curtain Could Contain: Popular Music and Cultural Transfers during the Cold War

Oancea Constantin's picture
Call for Papers
December 5, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Eastern Europe History / Studies, European History / Studies, Music and Music History, Popular Culture Studies, Modern European History / Studies

The purpose of the workshop “Popular Music and Cultural Transfers during the Cold War” is to investigate the means through which popular music developed in the Eastern Bloc and circulated across  borders and the Iron Curtain (on either side). In particular, we are interested in exploring how popular music was influenced by cultural, technological, and informal transfers, by the larger processes of modernization and development of leisure life, as well as by institutional cooperation between various states, either within the Socialist Bloc, or beyond it.

We seek to provide answers (as well as new research questions) to topics such as:

  • the circulation of records, audio tapes, VHS tapes, instruments, music magazines, with socialist states as exporters, or importers of such goods (either officially, or informally);
  • the development of transnational popular music scenes, as influenced by cultural ties, trans-border, and institutional cooperation;
  • East-West institutional and cultural cooperation and how it influenced the development of local popular music scenes;
  • cultural relations between socialist states and the Global South and the impact they had on both sides;
  • the development of tourism and transport routes and their impact on local popular music scenes;
  • classical music and classical music institutions and their influence on popular music, in the context of international collaborations;
  • the appropriation of Western based music genres, such as jazz or rock music in local scenes from the Socialist Bloc;
  • national record industries and their development within the framework of Cold War transfers.

Further topics which revolve around the main idea of the workshop are also welcome.

Those interested in taking part are kindly asked to submit a 300 word paper proposal and a 100 word short bio to the following address:

Deadline for submission: November 10, 2022.

We intend to publish the papers, in extended and revised form, in an edited volume. When submitting your paper proposal, please mention whether you are also interested in contributing to this volume.

The workshop will be held in a hybrid form. We invite presentations to be held online, or on site, at New Europe College, in Bucharest, Romania.

Working language: English.

Organizers: Claudiu Oancea (Project Director, New Europe College); New Europe College.

This workshop is organized within the framework of the project “Rocking under the Hammer and the Sickle: Popular Music in Socialist Romania between Ideology and Entertainment (1948-1989)”, supported by a grant of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitization, CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2021-0244 within PNCDI III.

Contact Info: 

Claudiu Oancea (Project Director, New Europe College, Bucharest, Romania)