Writing is an important part of my scholarly work. I believe these first three books chart a course through my ethnographic work. The first book on music festivals came out of my dissertation and postdoc work at the University of Alberta. The hiphop book came out of a multiyear community-engaged project corresponding to me starting at MacEwan University. The third book Finding Phish, currently in press, is my first book as an editor and continues my work on subcultures.
I have always used a video camera as a fieldwork tool. I have come to realize that my ethnographic work is best communicated in digital cinema. My writing is now entirely focused on the meta-analysis of my film work where I am working to develop Ben Harbert’s (2018) notion of a ‘critical cinema of music’. I am working on two projects, one theoretical work called ‘Cinemusicking’ and another called ‘Cinéma Musicalité: a Deleuzian encounter with the music films of Les Blank’.
about the book
Playing for Change – performing for money and for social justice – introduces a critical pedagogy of arts-based community learning and development (A-CLD), a new discipline wherein artists learn to become educators, social workers, and community economic development agents. Challenging the assumption that acculturation into a ruling ideology of state development is necessary, this book presents a version of CLD that locates development in the production of subjectivities. The author argues that A-CLD is as concerned with the autonomous collective and the individual as it is with establishing community infrastructure. As a result, a radical new theory is proposed to explain aesthetics within arts movements, beginning not by normalizing music cultures within global capitalism, but by identifying the creation of experimental assemblages as locations of cultural resistance. This book offers a new vocabulary of cultural production to provide a critical language for a theory of anti-capitalist subjectivity and for a new type of cultural worker involved with A-CLD. Drawing from a four-year study of thirteen music festivals, Playing for Change forwards A-CLD as a locally situated, joyful, and creative resistance to the globalizing forces of neoliberalism.
About the book
Many hiphoppas labour to sustain Hiphop Kulture in their communities far from the big stages, world tours, and hit singles enjoyed by a shockingly few American hiphoppas. The creative labour of these few mega stars is calculated in billions of dollars. But for most hiphoppas, their creative labour may never get expressed in economic terms. Instead it is expressed in social capital, the production of collective and individual subjectivities, the bonds of love that build and hold communities together, and the healing of broken hearts, broken homes, and broken neighborhoods in broken cities. Hiphop Kulture is NOT a music genre, it is MUCH more, and exploring how the sharing of aesthetic resources builds community, and how situated learning plays a necessary role in cultural sustainability draws out questions that may lead to a model of community located cultural education, and a starting point for a critical pedagogy of music.
Started by our colleague Dennis L. Carlson (Miami University), entrusted before his death in 2015 to Shirley Steinberg (UofC) to have completed, Robert Lake (Georgia Southern University), Shirley, and I have worked to realize Dennis’ vision. Finding PHISH, an exciting book length study of the role PHISH has played in communicating lessons from the American musical underground to new generations of youth.