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From Elvis to climate change: Professor to play key role in supporting research around popular music

University of Gloucestershire’s Professor Abigail Gardner has been appointed to an influential role within a worldwide organisation banging the drum for topical research around popular music from the Rolling Stones to climate change, and Elvis Presley to lo-fi hip hop.

The Professor of Cultural Studies within the University’s School of Creative Industries has been named as the new editor of the official journal published by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM).

Founded in 1981, the IASPM looks to stimulate discussion and research in the area of popular music to help improve an understanding of the processes involved in how it’s listened to – with a multitude of platforms now available – and written and produced.

As part of an international network, the journal aims to publish research and analysis in the field of popular music studies at both global and local levels.

Recent issues of the IASPM Journal have included an analysis of how the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and issues around climate change have impacted popular music. 

Previous publications featured discussions about lo-fi hip hop – downtempo music that combines elements of hip hop and chill-out music – an interpretation of films about music icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and James Brown, and analysis of books about the Rolling Stones and the Beatles.

Professor Gardner said: “I am delighted to be appointed as editor of the IASPM journal. IASPM is a wonderful organisation whose members come from all over the world, and whose work investigates all manner of things ‘musical’. Our next special issues are on ‘Practice as Research in Music’ and ‘Ageing and Popular Music’.

“My role involves liaising with authors, copy editors and associate editors to bring research articles to publication.

“I would like to continue the work of the journal as a supportive space for new and established researchers across the spectrum of popular music studies. I will be aiming to increase our pool of reviewers and to encourage researchers to submit to us.

“I hope our students will also benefit from seeing a member of the University’s academic team being actively involved in the ongoing practice of writing, editing, and proofing, and working with music fans, producers, and academics all over the world.”