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Remembering Popular Music’s Past

Remembering Popular Music’s Past


Edited by Lauren Istvandity
Sarah Baker
Zelmarie Cantillon

‘Remembering Popular Music’s Past’ focuses on the transformation of popular music into heritage, and the role of history and memory in this process. The book interrogates diverse examples of the way popular music’s past is remembered, with particular emphasis on precarity in the construction, curation, display, negotiation, and perception of popular music’s past.

Hardback, 254 Pages


June 2019

£80.00, $125.00

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  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents

About This Book

‘Remembering Popular Music’s Past’ capitalises on the growing interest, globally, in the preservation of popular music’s material past and on scholarly explorations of the ways in which popular music, as heritage, is produced, legitimised and conferred cultural and historical significance. The chapters in this collection consider the spaces, practices and representations that constitute popular music heritage in order to elucidate how popular music’s past is lived in the present. Thus the focus is on the transformation of popular music into heritage, and the role of history and memory in this transformation. The collection is particularly interested in the ways in which popular music’s past becomes enacted in the present.

The chapters discuss a diverse array of topics but are unified by inquiry into the construction, curation, display, negotiation and perception of popular music’s past. The collection presents a critical perspective on academics’ involvement in ‘historian’s’ work of ‘reconstruction’ of the past through archival and analytical research. The cultural studies framework adopted in the collection encompasses unique approaches to popular music historiography, sociology, film analysis, and archival and museal work. Broadly ‘Remembering Popular Music’s Past’ deals with issues of precarity in popular music heritage, history and memory. The collection is a timely addition to a subfield of popular music studies and critical heritage studies that has grown exponentially in the past ten years.


‘This collection enriches our understanding of the diverse ways in which popular music’s past is preserved. It offers a critical perspective on the role of popular music in discourses of heritage, history and memory. Through its rich case studies, the collection convincingly explains the complexities of remembering popular music.’
—Arno van der Hoeven, Assistant Professor in Media and Communication, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

‘State of the art in its subject area, with chapters that run from screening Memphis to canonizing K-pop, this wide-ranging, international scholarly collection considers how making popular music heritage is a contested and provisional activity. It demonstrates that memory, history and heritage overlap in interesting ways when it comes to inventing and appreciating popular music’s past.’
—Mark Duffett, Reader, Department of Media, University of Chester, UK, and Author of Understanding Fandom

Author Information

Lauren Istvandity is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre at Griffith University, Australia. Her most recent research spans jazz music heritage, archives and museums, and personal memory. Istvandity is the author of The Lifetime Soundtrack: Music and Autobiographical Memory (2019), co-author of Curating Pop: Exhibiting Popular Music in the Museum (2019), and co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage (2018).

Sarah Baker is professor of cultural sociology at Griffith University, Australia. Her current research explores the community heritage sector and the preservation and curation of popular music in museums, archives and halls of fame. Baker is the author of Community Custodians of Popular Music’s Past: A DIY Approach to Heritage (2017); co-author of Curating Pop: Exhibiting Popular Music in the Museum (2019) and Creative Labour: Media Work in Three Cultural Industries (2011); editor of Popular Music Heritage: Do-It-Yourself, Do-It-Together (2015); and co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage (2018), Youth Cultures and Subcultures: Australian Perspectives (2015) and Redefining Mainstream Popular Music (2013). 

Zelmarie Cantillon is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research at Griffith University, Australia. Her current research focuses on the intersections between urban identity, heritage and popular culture. Cantillon is the author of Resort Spatiality: Reimagining Sites of Mass Tourism (2019) and co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage (2018).


No series for this title.

Table of Contents

List of Figures; Acknowledgements; 1. The Precarity of Memory, Heritage and History in Remembering Popular Music’s Past, Lauren Istvandity and Zelmarie Cantillon; MEMORY; 2. Consuming Popular Music Heritage, Paul Long; 3. ‘Back in the Day’: Experiencing and Retelling the Past as a Claim to Belong in the Current Northern Soul Scene, Sarah Raine; 4. Resilience and Change: Popular Folk Songs in a Cultural Landscape, Ashton Sinamai and John Schofield; 5. Remembering the Independent Record Shop: The Ordinary Affects of Leedin Records, Adele Pavlidis; 6. ‘Mean Streets’ as Heritage Object: Music, Nostalgia and the Museumification of Martin Scorsese, Amanda Howell; HERITAGE; 7. Mark II: Re-working the Heritage B(r)and, Shane Homan; 8. The Continually Precarious State of the Musical Object, Charles Fairchild; 9. Showing Off: Taking Popular Music Research into the Museum, Peter Doyle; 10. Preserving Icelandic Popular Music Heritage: Issues of Collection, Access and Representation, Zelmarie Cantillon, Bob Buttigieg and Sarah Baker; 11. Questioning the Future of Popular Music Heritage in the Age of Platform Capitalism, Raphaël Nowak; HISTORY; 12. Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Mystery Train’ (1989): Representing the Memphis Music Legacy on Film, Adriano Tedde and David Baker; 13. Phenomenology of the Surf Ballroom’s Winter Dance Party: Affect and Community at a Popular Music Heritage Tourism Event, Sheryl Davis, Sherry Davis and Zelmarie Cantillon; 14. Disappearing History: Two Case Studies on the Precarity of Music Writing, Ian Rogers; 15. Great Albums, Greedy Collectors and Gritty Sounds? A View from ‘Snobbish Connoisseurs’ on the Canonization and Archivalism of Korean Pop-Rock, Hyunjoon Shin and Keewoong Lee; 16. Towards a Feminist History of Popular Music: Re-examining Writing on Musicians and Domestic Violence in the Wake of #metoo, Catherine Strong; List of Contributors; Index.

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