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“Sex, Music, Pleasure, and Politics”: A Presentation by David Hesmondhalgh, 5/1/2009

May 1, 2009IASEvents0

Hesmondhalgh examines popular music’s relationship to sex as part of the broader issue of music’s relationship with transgression. In capitalist modernity music is often seen as having a particular democratizing or liberating force in its resistance to some overriding power or authority. Hesmondhalgh explores this in relation to a number of claims made about various musical genres. He intends to argue that we need a notion of musical pleasure that does not celebrate transgression for its own sake, and that does not resort to bourgeois niceties in overly harsh readings of popular or everyday enjoyment.

David Hesmondhalgh is a professor of Media and Music Industries and Director of The Media Industries Research Centre (MIRC) at the University of Leeds. His broad interests in the media encompass everything from the creation and alteration of the recording industry, the reasons that popular music becomes popular and the intersection of cultural policy, social theory and the politics of power in the creation of music. Prof. Hesmondhalgh’s recent publications include “Digital Sampling and Cultural Inequality” (2006), “Audiences and Everyday Aesthetics: Talking About Good and Bad Music” (2007), “The Cultural Industries” (2002, 2007), and “The Media and Social Theory” (Edited with Jason Toynbee, 2008).

Finally, in answer to a question he’s often asked, it’s pronounced ‘Hes-mun-dalch’ with the stress on the first syllable. But nearly everyone gets it wrong, and he really doesn’t mind. The name and Prof. Hesmondhalgh both come from East Lancashire. Cosponsored by The Department of Communication Studies and The School of Music.

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