Special Issue – Riffs ft. IASPM Canada – March 2022

This zine was developed over 48 hours by contributors in Canada, Ireland, Japan, and the UK, and built on the theme of the IASPM-Canada 2021/2022 virtual speaker series – Popular Music Futures. Ideas were explored during a one-day virtual writing workshop, drawing upon the research interests and personal fascinations of the attendees.

Reflecting upon the past two years of global pandemics, national restrictions to key practices, places, and people of the music industries, and an increasingly urgent focus on the climate crisis, we look to the potential futures of popular music. As with other zine special issues of Riffs, we conceived of this as a playful space within which to explore ideas and think through some of the current issues facing those producing and consuming music. As a fast publication emerging from a workshop, these ideas are not fully formed but may hold within them interesting ideas or approaches.

On a more human level, this workshop and the zine that was produced from it, offered a group of popular music researchers an opportunity to (re)connect, to share ideas, to think critically about how we write, and to imagine, too, what popular music studies should be in the post-pandemic period. The teams at both Riffs and IASPM-Canada are aware of the isolation that has been experienced, particularly by PhD students and Early Career Researchers during the past two years. Hopefully we can be mindful of these losses as we begin to rebuild our scholarly networks and practices.

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