Made in Taiwan: Studies in Popular Music
(A volume in the Routledge Global Popular Music Series)
Editors: Eva Tsai, Tunghung Ho, Miaoju Jian
How does one begin to articulate the histories, cultures, aesthetics, and impacts of popular music in Taiwan? What are the defining features of this shifting category called “Taiwanese popular music?” Answers to these questions are important locally, but a call to focus on Taiwanese popular music also has broad transregional and transdisciplinary implications.
Popular music in Taiwan has been shaped by the nation’s unique engagement with migration, colonization, modernization, and capitalism. Local sounds, styles, and performance practices have emerged from these diverse influences and developed along distinctive paths. For several decades, Taiwan was the creative center of Mandarin popular music. At the moment, Taiwanese pop music still lives off this reputation, albeit in an increasingly flexible and precarious market. Particular concerns such as these used to be brushed off or lumped together into the category of World Music, a field dominated by the perspectives of British and North American music cultures.
Yet this is changing. Scholarship that prioritizes interpretations of popular music from “the rest of the world” has been published as part of the Routledge Global Popular Music Series. Books in the series such as Made in Italy, Made in Brazil, Made in Japan, and Made in Korea have begun to illuminate the histories, passions, and meanings of local popular music cultures. This publishing endeavor can be considered an effort to multiply the points of reference in popular music studies. Research on the particular legacies of Taiwanese popular music thus contributes to an important ongoing global movement.
We invite chapter proposals to Made in Taiwan: Studies in Popular Music. The volume is aimed at a wide international readership, consisting of undergraduates, graduates, and established scholars in popular music and related disciplines (musicology, ethnomusicology, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, media and communication, etc.). We are seeking local experts who can put their specialized knowledge of Taiwanese popular music in rich and meaningful contexts for a broad audience.
We envision the book to consist of the following four themes:
(1) Histories: What critical historical perspectives can help anchor and interrogate Taiwanese popular music? While the political and economic forces that shaped Taiwan into a modern state (e.g., migration, colonization, the Cold-War, global capitalism) may come into play, we want to encourage non-developmentalist and de-nationalizing approaches. Many local pop music scenes have specific histories to tell, touching upon, for instance, the social and cultural histories of audience, industries, and technologies.
(2) Genres: What are some representative local music genres in Taiwan? What stories about local music genres would offer insights into the complex interactions between music communities, society, industry conditions, and politics at a given conjuncture? Indie music, for example, is one rich development which we hope to highlight. It illuminates changing social practices, sensibilities, and modes of production and consumption. Discussions of other genres and styles (e.g., Mandarin pop music, Taiyu/Hokkien music) are also welcome.
(3) Issues: We welcome interpretive overviews on all issues relevant to popular music culture in Taiwan. Some possible issues are gender, ethnicities, languages, stardom, fandom, space, circulation, and policy. We especially welcome chapter proposals that address transformations and connections rather than one-off case studies.
(4) Impact and Interactions: How has contemporary Taiwanese popular music impacted and interacted with cultures and communities outside of Taiwan? How Taiwanese popular music has influenced China’s younger generations and other Chinese-speaking communities in Southeast Asia are important topics. Additionally, we welcome analyses of different scales, sites, and purposes of interaction.
At this stage, we would like to ask interested contributors to submit a title, a 1,000-word abstract, and a 100-word bio by May 20, 2017. The chapters are expected to be written in English for an international audience active in academic, music, or policy circuits. We expect most potential authors to come from these backgrounds. In certain rare cases, we would consider proposals to translate existing work from Chinese into English. After receiving the chapter proposals, the editors will give feedback by June 30, 2017.
In the next stage, the editors will draft a book proposal and submit a lineup of titles and abstracts to the Routledge Global Popular Music Series editors. We will then decide on the final content and publishing schedule. We expect the final manuscript for each chapter to be about 5,000 words.
Please address all inquiries and proposals to the editors: mit.musi...@gmail.comWe look forward to hearing from you.