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Falco to Gangnam Style up for discussion

12 April 2013

Rachel Atkinson

Conference to showcase cultural translation in popular music

What exactly does the recent hit ‘Gangnam Style’ tell us about modern musical culture? Are geographical boundaries becoming increasingly meaningless as native inhabitants translate popular music for a local and global audience?

These are some of the questions being addressed at a major international conference at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). The ‘Cultural Translation in Popular Music’ conference takes place on 12 and 13 April 2013 and will discuss world-leading research on the role of cultural translation in the production, dissemination and reception of popular music.

By its very nature, lots of popular music – from jazz to RnB or punk- is known for its hybrid and transcultural character. It feeds on earlier styles, cultural artefacts and different art forms and travels from country to country.

“We are delighted to host this conference, which welcomes researchers from around the world in order to participate in discussions about different facets of cultural translation in popular music."

The conference, which is supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Research Fund of the School of Journalism and Digital Communication at UCLan, will bring together cultural historians, film scholars, as well as specialists in popular music and translation studies from countries including UK, Poland, Austria, Estonia, Romania and Kenya.

In total there will be over 20 papers delivered over two days, four of which will be dedicated to Falco, singer of "Rock Me Amadeus" and successful Austrian pop star who was recognised as one of the most transnational and transcultural musicians in the world. Other papers will cover the history of music videos, multilingualism, the history of punk and rap, gender studies, psychoanalysis as well as film studies and tourism.

One paper, presented by UCLan academic Ewa Mazierska, will examine Falco’s songs and music videos in depth. Another paper by UCLan researcher Pete Atkinson will look to explore the way popular music is translated into popular TV formats and analyses the role of TV in the construction of British popular music history.

“With the support of the Austrian Cultural Forum, new cutting edge research will be presented during the event.”

Ewa Mazierska, Professor of Contemporary Cinema at UCLan:
“We are delighted to host this conference, which welcomes researchers from around the world in order to participate in discussions about different facets of cultural translation in popular music.

“With the support of the Austrian Cultural Forum, new cutting edge research will be presented during the event”, some focusing on music in general, politics and urban sounds, Led Zeppelin and ethnomusicology. I am especially excited to discuss fragments of Falco’s world, which I have conducted a lot of research on already. In particular I am keen to discuss the new idiom of Falco’s pop songs as well as how he demonstrated music videos as an autonomous form of art.”

Plenary speakers at the event include:

• Ewa Mazierska (Professor of Contemporary Cinema)
• Georgina Gregory (Senior Lecturer in Film and Media Studies)
• Sarah Maitland (Lecturer in Translation, University of Hull)
• Paul Dale (Senior Lecturer, Oxford Brookes University)
• Allyson Fiddler (Professor of German and Austrian Studies, Lancaster University)
• Mike Dines (Senior Lecturer in Music Studies, the University of Chichester)
• Eva Näripea (Senior Research Fellow, Estonian Academy of Arts)