The Arnold Shaw Popular Music Center at UNLV is pleased to announce its 2020 lecture series. From February through April, six scholars will visit Las Vegas to discuss the history and future of pop, rock, punk, jazz, blues, and contemporary Christian music.
In the early 1980s, the music executive, composer/arranger, and writer/historian Arnold Shaw founded UNLV’s Popular Music Center. Shaw believed that Las Vegas rested its fame—and indeed its very existence—upon two main pillars: gaming and popular entertainment. He envisioned the Popular Music Center as a foundation that would stand alongside the UNLV Center for Gaming Research as uniquely opportune sites for study, archival work, and exchange in the cultural milieu of our city.
It is in this spirit that we now invite an exciting mixture of junior and senior scholars from diverse disciplines (English, Philosophy, Musicology, and Religious Studies) to share their expertise with the university and the Las Vegas public about the varied traditions of popular music making throughout history. These scholars will raise questions about the definition of popular music, the methods for understanding popular music and culture, and the political ramifications of this activity.
All of these events are free and open to the public.
- ROBERT WALSER (Case Western Reserve University)
The Legacy of Prince and the Future of Musicking
[Mainstream American pop]
Professor Walser has published extensively on jazz and other popular musics, including his books Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music, and Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History. His Las Vegas lecture will draw on the concepts of musicologist Christopher Small in exploring how music gets made today, in the shadow of the popular music heyday of the late-twentieth century and the fragmented media landscape of the early twenty-first.