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Due South: Roots, Songlines, Musical Geographies
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4/18/2013 to 4/21/2013
When: 4/18/2013
Where: Tulane University
New Orleans, Louisiana 
United States

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Due South: Roots, Songlines, Musical Geographies
2013 EMP Pop Conference at Tulane University
April 18-21, 2013
New Orleans, LA

Jointly sponsored by the EMP Museum and The New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University

"The South" has a hold on the cultural imagination as tangled as its musical geography: it represents tradition even as its musical pasts are repurposed for tourism and new genres emerge from cross-pollinations. John
Hiatt sings to an imaginary rider, "so when you're feelin' down and out / Come on, baby, drive South," as if the entire region is a balm for modernity. Where is this romanticized South? It depends on who's asking and who's driving. Are they headed to the Upper, Mid-, Deep or Gulf South, to Appalachia or the Delta? Are musics still aligned with geography or specific sites? Along Southern roads lie the elusive roots of many American genres and a host of sonic signatures: Nashville and Memphis, Macon and Athens and the A-T-L, Lafayette and New Orleans, Muscle Shoals and North Mississippi. Yet "the South" still signifies as roots Americana to some outsiders or backwards and bigoted to some others. We'll do the South by driving straight into its tensions: tradition vs. modernity, faith vs. transgression, racial nostalgia vs. new immigrant populations, authenticity vs. performance.

Join us at the bottom of the South in New Orleans for discussions on the following themes and panels:

-modernity vs. tradition
-Hip hop, bounce and rap: Dirty South aesthetics of country and city
-DJ culture
-Studio sounds and record labels
-Noise ordinances and city streets
-blues highways
-Southern dancefloors
-cultural creolization
-Americana roots music
-country musics
-Selling the South: Nashville, country, and the business of Southern music
-jazz and blues as world musics
-jazz and blues diasporas
-Cajun music
-regionalism vs. nationalism
-Appalachia and its roots
-African/Cuban/Caribbean roots
-New Orleans and brass band funk
-Memphis and rock'n'roll

For more information:

The EMP Pop Conference, launched in 2002, joins academics, critics, performers, and dedicated fans in a rare common discussion. This year, there are five regional conferences meeting on the same weekend as repercussions of a decade's worth of musical exchange. The Southern Regional is jointly sponsored by the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University and by the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.This year’s program committee members are: Joel Dinerstein (Tulane), Alison Fensterstock (New Orleans Times-Picayune), Melissa Weber (WWOZ-FM, Tulane, "DJ Soul Sister"), T.R. Johnson (Tulane, WWOZ-FM), Gwen Thompkins (WWNO-FM, New Orleans), Ben Sandmel (author, Ernie
K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans), Holly Hobbs (Tulane), Karen Celestan (Music Rising @ Tulane), Nick Spitzer (American Routes, Tulane), Matt Sakakeeny (Tulane, Los Po-Boy-Citos), David Kunian (WWOZ-FM), Alex Rawls (

Please send abstracts of individual papers, with 50 word bios, to Joel Dinerstein or Karen Celestan (Tulane University) at,, or Deadline for proposals is January 31st, 2013. Panel proposals (90 minutes) or special types of panels (roundtable, performance) should include overview, individual papers or presentations, and bios. We welcome unorthodox proposals aimed explicitly at a general interest audience. Registration is free for presenters and the public. For more information, go to

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