The Journal


Riffs emerged from a writing group at Birmingham City University, established in 2015 by Nick Gebhardt and supported by the Birmingham School of Media. As popular music scholars, many of the original ‘Write Clubbers’ straddled disciplines: music; sociology; media studies; anthropology; dance. Some felt adrift, on thin ice.

‘Write Club’ offered an opportunity of 2,000 words and the space of a table and eight chairs to explore what it meant to research popular music, to write about it, to construct an argument, a description, a song, a line. Once nerves were finally quashed and it became comfortable to watch another read your work, the writing became better and better until it seemed a crime to keep them under wraps, hidden away from curious eyes on a private blog.

In Riffs, we offer up some of our thoughts and writing in the hope that we will be able to read yours, and that each of us will in some small way change the ways in which we think and write about popular music. Consider this your official invitation to Write Club.

Ad Inquiries  

Riffs: Experimental writing on popular music, is an emerging and exciting postgraduate journal at Birmingham City University. We are keen to offer advertising space and to develop an ongoing relationship with interested parties.

The editorial board at Riffs is developing a creative and experimental space for writing and thinking about popular music, and will offer an online forum for the publication and hosting of high calibre postgraduate research in the area of popular music studies. By the end of February, the first issue of Riffs will have been launched and disseminated across a wide range of international research platforms, hosted on a journal website that will also provide space for a wide range of contributions.

As one of the largest centres for popular music research, Birmingham City University offers a wealth of global networks and potential readership. Our editorial team and further researcher community expand our reach further, with active participation in a range of international research networks to include IASPM, MeCCSA, the the Jazz Research Network, and the AHRC. Through these connections, we aim to develop an international and active readership of postgraduate researchers and academics at all stages of their career.

For further details on organizing advertising space in Riffs, please contact Bethany Kane Bethany.kane@mail.bcu.ac.uk