Two doctoral students supervised by Dr Christopher Wiley presented papers at a major international conference, ‘Imagining Communities Musically: Putting Popular Music in its Place’, held by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) last week at the University of Salford.

Sini Timonen, who is in the closing stages of her PhD on women musicians’ contribution to popular music in England between 1962 and 1971, gave a paper entitled ‘The Girl Singer in 1960s London: the Position of Female Vocalists within the Pop Music Industry’. Drawing on original interviews conducted with lesser-known ‘Brit Girls’ active on the London pop scene in the sixties, Sini explored the major challenges they faced, the strategies by which they navigated them, and the implications of the essentially male-oriented contexts in which they worked.

Alexander Jeffery presented the paper Reconfiguring Prince: how online fan communities are taking back control of the album, in which he examined traditions amongst Prince fans active in online forums of proposing their own alternative track listings for landmark albums such as Purple Rain as well as abandoned album projects. Alex, who has recently entered his second year on the doctoral programme, is conducting research on manifestations of the long-form musical work in contemporary popular culture.

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