The Electric Guitar in Popular Culture conference issues call for papers


The Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University will host the The Electric Guitar in Popular Culture conference on March 27-28, 2015. The conference will examine the study of electric guitar and its effects on popular culture, but also look at how it has changed music itself.

Matt Donahue, conference organizer, issued the following statement: “The Electric Guitar in Popular Culture aims to examine the roles of the electric guitar in cultures throughout the world. It is intended to serve as a space for academics, professionals, hobbyists and fans to engage in dialogue about topics related to the electric guitar and its cultural influence.”

The conference organizers also suggested topics that might be of interest and solicited papers on these topics. Interested parties should send a 300 word abstract describing your individual presentation to with “The Electric Guitar in Popular Culture” in the subject line. Questions for analysis include:

  • How has the electric guitar altered music and the lives of musicians throughout its history?
  • How has the electric guitar impacted local music scenes in northwest Ohio and those throughout the world?
  • Have changing representations of the guitar in popular culture impacted aspiring musicians?
  • How have advances in technology impacted the production of electric guitars for both producers and consumers?
  • How have various cultures and perspectives surrounding the electric guitar shifted over time?

Additional topics for consideration include:

  • Representations in Popular Culture
  • Globalization of the Electric Guitar
  • Current Trends & Artists
  • Ohio Guitar Shows
  • Guitar Collecting
  • Album Artwork
  • Guitar Magazines & Publications
  • Guitar Manufacturing
  • The Guitar and Education
  • Race/Ethnicity and the Electric Guitar
  • Gender/Sexuality and the Guitar
  • Fender vs. Gibson
  • Guitar As Icon
  • The Guitar in Video Games and Toys
  • Genres & Associated Artists

Deadline for submissions is Sunday, December 21, 2014.​

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9 thoughts on “The Electric Guitar in Popular Culture conference issues call for papers”

  1. The people on this website need to get off their high horse and admit that metal doesn’t belong to white people. And what better example to illustrate this fact than the guitar.
    The guitar originated in the Middle East and was brought to Europe by the Moors when they conquered Spain ( and gave whitey got a taste of his own medicine!). The next few hundred years of the guitar is unremarkable, as the Europeans, while they had advanced techniques, lacked the spirit that enlivens the music of most other cultures. This is because of their privilege which allows them to live a life disconnected from reality, thusly bankrupting them of any experience that could inspire music that is actually good. But I digress.

    The history of the guitar becomes interesting again when discovered by African Americans, who forged the blues from their legendary struggle against bigotry and oppression. The blues was basically the blueprint for all popular guitar music to come, including metal! Seriously, listen to Black Sabbath’s first album, it’s practically all blues! The metal artists that try to ‘escape’ the blues usually end up dull and lifeless, much like the classical guitar of Europe’s past.

    1. Balls McSuck says:

      How do you feel about Jazz, another genre whose progenitors were predominantly African American? Do you feel as though the spirit which permeates the blues extends unadulterated to Jazz?

      You comment on how the privilege of Europeans leaves them disconnected from reality and, as a result, lacking in spirit and musical creativity. This idea strikes me as Hegelian–straight out of Phenomenology of Spirit–where it is written that the downtrodden (given in dichotomous terms of slave vs. master) is able to realize herself through her work: she shapes the world through her work and thus comes to find in herself power, the seed of possibility and, ultimately, liberation. It seems you seek this style of Hegelian liberation in some of your amorous physical relationships that you’ve cited in other comments. Do you feel being sexually submissive to other men might be the best path we have to discover authenticity, power, and be truly connected to the world?

    2. Brave ironic hipsters flirt with being republican, forget that the ‘pubs are bitches to the wwhore industry money lobby. You talk a good game but cross the street when you see a cop, feminist or negro

    3. Richard Head says:

      “African-Americans” didn’t invent the “blues” scale, it was just a simple scale that had been around for a long time and is easy to pick up because it uses the minimum number of notes to form a scale (five). The actual method of constructing songs that were easy to learn, play, and sing along with on a portable string instrument came from folk musicians all over Europe, way before American music.

      Your comment about classical guitarists and metal musicians trying to escape blues is plainly retarded. Did you pick all of this info up from some social studies class or do you just know nothing about European musical technique and history generally?

      1. “African-Americans” didn’t invent the “blues” scale, it was just a simple scale that had been around for a long time and is easy to pick up because it uses the minimum number of notes to form a scale (five).

        Also lack of major/minor and ease of key transition. This is why “rhythm and blues” was originally referred to as rhythm music; it took the harmony and melodic aspects out of popular music, in the view of those back then.

        I find the Indian (subcontinental) use of pentatonics most interesting. They use a different tuning, so there’s a lot more complexity, but they apply multiple pentatonic-ish patterns to create a sense of contrast, using the limited mathematics of the pentatonic scale and expanding upon it.

        Almost everything in music was invented in Indian and Western Classical long before rock, jazz, blues, etc. came along.

        1. Richard Head says:

          All agreeable points.

          Have you seen that guitar with adjustable frets for playing microtonal Asian/Indian classical style? Pretty cool stuff.

          I’ve been playing guitar for 10 years and have always found blues-based music to be really dull. I blame it on my dad and his derisive description of much guitar musiac as “pentatonic blather”. He’s a damn solid guitarist (mostly Van Halen and Rhoads stuff being his favorite to play) so that comment was easy to take to heart at a young age. Truthfully though there is so much soul lost in music when you take out over half the useable notes.

      2. Balls McSuck says:

        Doesn’t the blues scale have 6 notes though? There’s the normal pentatonic and they add that “sassy” note that makes the blues so sexy and hip-thrustable. But you don’t just “play” the blue note; you have bend into it while hip-thrusting and screaming “Baby!, Baby!, Baby!”, a la Robert Plant.

        So, yes, the Euros (and Indios) made the boring pentatonic scales, in addition to those other forgettable, bland scales, but it was the noble African who took the lowly pentatonic scale and made it sexy, sassy, and swag-a-licious.

        So, Mr. Head, you really should curb your hatin’ and show some respect for the glorious musical legacy of the African. ; )

        1. Richard Head says:

          Please, Mr. Head is my father. You can call me Dick. 1/10 troll, made me reply.

  2. Lord Mosher says:

    Speaking about good electric guitars… Mike Scaccia´s Rigor Mortis bassist Casey Orr Discusses ‘Slaves To The Grave’, GWAR & 2 Decade Long Hiatus (2014) .

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