Archive for July 2015

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[ecrea] CfP Cinergie n. 9 - Reviewing Disco Music

Thu Jul 16 16:42:32 GMT 2015

Total Entertainment: Reviewing Disco Music.
Call for papers for Cinergie n. 9, expected release date: March 2016,<>
Edited by Claudio Bisoni, Paolo Noto, and Guglielmo Pescatore

In a famous article from 1979, Richard Dyer writes that disco music was not just a musical style, but also “kinds of dancing, club, fashion, film – in a word, a certain sensibility, manifest in music, clubs, and so forth, historically and culturally specific, economically, technologically, ideologically, and aesthetically determined”. Critical work in the area has read disco music from the perspective of its cultural or subcultural importance, therefore considering, for example, its value within specific communities defined by taste, or its escapist and restorative character during moments of social and political tension. The explosion of disco music has been read, in Italy too, in relation to a crisis of social engagement and the growth of political disaffection. The aim of this issue of Cinergie is to reconsider disco music from the point of view of entertainment, therefore considering – in addition to its cultural and countercultural function – its “intrinsic value” in terms of individual and collective pleasure, gratification, and fun, and consequently its efficiency in regard to costume and shared behaviours. The field of analysis will not be limited to film and television: articles will also be accepted that relate to photography, fashion, costume and generally teose areas of cultural consumption that allow us to construct a global image of the phenomenon. Proposals therefore might reflect on (though not necessarily be limited to) the following questions:

* Models of entertainment: disco was born in the context of music, but it quickly extended into other fields (for example, clubbing is an activity that is not defined only by music). In what way can disco be read historically as a form of entertainment that had immediate transmedia elements? More generally, what was the role of disco music and its imagery in the development of the entertainment cultures? Does disco stand for a historically innovative moment, or a marginal phenomenon when it comes to models of entertainment?

* Disco music and the media: in what ways was disco music diffused, promoted and authenticated through cinema and television? How can disco contribute to redefinitions of the ever-complex and problematic relationship between musical and visual culture? To what extend has it become the object of exploitation in film and tv shows? How do trends of disco and club music intertwine with broader processes of music visualization that stabilize in the 1970s and ’80s?

* Periodicity and permanence: disco appears to be firmly linked to the ’70s, yet in the following decades it returned, and regularly influenced the media and social trends. What are the temporal limits of the phenomenon? What kinds of practices have extended its duration? In what way have references to disco music catalysed the politics of nostalgia?

* Technology and consumption: how does the affirmation (and rapid decline) of disco music connect to the diversification of the market of young people? What was the role, in this regard, of home entertainment systems like video and cassette recorders, or services such as thematic cable tv channels?

* Local and global: is it still possible to explain the diffusion of disco music in terms of a global/local dialectic, as per other music genres? To what extent does the remediation of disco music in film and television, for example in music videos, absolve the need for the genre to be adapted locally or nationally? In what way do elements of musical creativity such as lyrics, arrangements and production, vary according to that dialectic?

Deadlines and information:
Abstracts, either in Italian or in English, max 300 words, should be sent to (paolo.noto2 /at/ by September 15th 2015. The contributors will receive notice of acceptance by September 26th 2015. If accepted, articles of 4000-5000 words must be submitted by December 15th 2015 for anonymous peer-review. The issue is expected to be published in March 2016.


Paolo Noto<>
Dipartimento delle Arti - visive, performative, mediali
Via Barberia 4 - 40123 Bologna
tel. (+39) - fax (+39)
skype: paolo_noto

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