Reggae Research

After decades of neglect from research funders we are pleased to learn that 2017 promises a several events – in which some the SSO crew are taking part

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Reggae Research Network Symposium
This Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded network is a joint initiative between the Translating Cultures theme and the Connected Communities programme, and is open to researchers and partners funded under those areas, as well as to the wider academic and music communities. The network’s programme of activities explores the neglected important popular music, political, religious culture of reggae.
Three events are being held over the next 12 months:
25 January 2017 – an initial symposium at University of East Anglia, Norwich, scoping the field.
19 May 2017 (tbc) – a symposium at Liverpool University, in association with the Institute of Popular Music.
Autumn 2017 – an industry, musicians and researchers conference in London…

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SSO presentations at Reggae Research Network Symposium, 25th January:

Global Reggae & Dub Plate Stories
Prof Julian Henriques (Goldsmiths, University of London),
Mandeep Samra (Sound System Culture)

This presentation describes two versions of such reggae-inspired media. One is the Sound System Outernational 1 and 2 symposia that took place at Goldsmiths in 2016. These were practice-as-research events with equal participation from researchers and sound system practitioners exploring themes such as intergenerationality, women owned and run sound systems and international connections. The other is a vinyl oral history from the local UK Sound system scene where a big part of sound system culture is the experience of gathering to see, hear and feel a rare dubplate play through an authentic sound system. A dubplate is an acetate or test pressing of a vinyl record, typically one featuring a dub version of a reggae song that is not yet on general release. The dubplates played in this presentation were produced as part of my Sound System Culture project. They include oral histories and reminiscences from soundmen from Huddersfield, Bristol and Birmingham interwoven around reggae and dub. This live phonographic soundtrack is accompanied with a series of projected images illustrating these local reggae scenes.

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