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Pop Conference

A melting pot for fans, musicians, scholars, and journalists.

  1. Pop Conference presenters Emily Lordi (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and Aimee Cox (Fordham University) participate in a discussion focused on Beyoncé’s career and impact on contemporary female musicians in “Queen Bey and Her Court: A Critical Roundtable.” Other feminist cultural critics participated in the discussion, including Rachel Kaadzi Gansah, Daphne Brooks, Ann Powers, and facilitator Salamishah Tillet.

    Photo courtesy EMP staff.

  2. NPR Music critic and correspondent Ann Powers (pictured right) moderates the 2014 Pop Conference keynote discussion, “You Gotta Move: Artists Talk About Life on the Road and Music in Motion.” Held in EMP’s Sky Church, the conversation featured (L to R) Mike McCready, one of the founding members of Pearl Jam; Alynda Lee Segarra, front woman of Hurray For The Riff Raff; bassist and prolific songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello; and soul singer Sharon Jones.

    Photo courtesy EMP staff.

  3. 2014 EMP Pop Conference attendees fill the seats of EMP’s JBL Theater to experience one of the weekend’s over 35 sessions. The annual conference returned to Seattle in 2014 after three years roaming, with the conference taking place at UCLA (Los Angeles, CA) in 2011; NYU (New York, NY) in 2012; and five different venues in 2013, including EMP Museum, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (Cleveland, OH); USC (Los Angeles, CA), Tulane University (New Orleans, LA), and NYU.

    Photo courtesy EMP staff. 

The annual EMP Pop Conference, first held in 2002, mixes together ambitious music writing of every kind, in an attempt to bring academics, critics, musicians, and dedicated fans into a collective conversation.

The conference was held at EMP from 2002–2010, then traveled to UCLA in 2011; NYU in 2012; and simultaneously at USC, NYU, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Tulane University, and EMP in 2013; before returning to EMP as the sole venue in 2014. Three books of conference writing have been published: This Is Pop, Listen Again, and Pop When the World Falls Apart.

Save the Date
2015 Pop Conference
April 16–19, 2015, EMP Museum

Questions? Please email PopConference@EMPmuseum.org.

Support for the conference is provided by the University of Alabama College of Arts & Sciences, on behalf of the Department of American Studies.