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August 26th, 2014

Reading List: 7 must-read books on music festivals and carnival culture

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Blog Admin

August 26th, 2014

Reading List: 7 must-read books on music festivals and carnival culture

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

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Notting Hill Carnival. Credit: S Pakhrin CC BY 2.0

With the Notting Hill Carnival and Reading and Leeds music festivals seeing out summer 2014 last weekend, these books offer analyses of the place and value of international music and celebration in culture today. 


Interested in music festivals and their international growth?

Music Festivals and Regional Development in Australia by Chris Gibson & John Connell
Throughout the world, the number of festivals has grown exponentially in the last two decades as people celebrate local and regional cultures, but perhaps more importantly as local councils and other groups seek to use festivals to promote tourism and to stimulate rural development. This book discusses broad issues affecting music festivals globally, especially in the context of rural revitalisation, drawing on research which traces the overall growth of festivals of various kinds. Paul Benneworth commends the authors for making their landmark contribution in an open, accessible, and ultimately intellectually satisfying way. Read the full review.

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Interested in pop music and identity?

Britishness, Popular Music and National Identity by Irene Morra
Irene Morra offers a major exploration of the social and cultural importance of popular music to contemporary celebrations of Britishness. This book represents a valuable contribution to the corpus of academic literature on both popular music and national identity, and would be a welcome addition to the reading lists of scholars and students of History, Music and English Literature, as well as Cultural and Media Studies, writes Ruth Adams. Read the full review.

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Interested in researching pop music culture?

Studying Popular Music Culture, Second Edition, by Tim Wall
Popular music entertains, inspires and even empowers, but where did it come from, how is it made, what does it mean, and how does it eventually reach our ears? Tim Wall seeks to guide students through the many ways we can analyse music and the music industries, highlighting crucial skills and useful research tips. Studying Popular Music Culture equips readers with useful analytical tools for understanding a subject that is embedded in almost everyone’s everyday life, writes Catherine Baker. Read the full review.

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Interested in the Sony Walkman in music culture?

Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman, Second Edition by Paul du Gay et al.
Why think about the Walkman in the 21st century? Can the Walkman help us understand today’s media and cultural practices? Through the notion of the ‘circuit of culture’, this book aims to teach students to critically examine what culture means, and how and why it is enmeshed with the media texts and objects in their lives. Those who read this book’s first edition must read this enriched second edition, writes Yves Laberge, as it remains timely and relevant for today, in its accurate understanding of how we, collectively, identify and consume culture. Read the full review.

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 Interested in concept of belonging in the city?

Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging: Emotion and Location by Hannah Jones and Emma Jackson
Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging brings together work from cutting-edge interdisciplinary scholars researching home, migration and belonging, using their original research to argue for greater attention to how feeling and emotion is deeply embedded in social structures and power relations. This collection of essays immerses the reader in the lives and voices of the fieldwork participants, and in doing so renders itself both a solid intellectual resource and a beautiful collection of insights into the emotional lives shaped by the cosmopolitan city, writes Sarah Burton. In short, this is a collection of essays which deserves to be read far more widely than urban studies; its methodological and theoretical richness is the kind that keeps on giving with every read. Read the full review.

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Interested in urban life in London?

City, Street and Citizen: the Measure of the Ordinary by Suzanne Hall
Though authorised surveys, media representations and the current political dogma around multiculturalism have tended to produce a portrayal that purports cultural containment and social division, the speed of change in the contemporary city has never been more accelerated, nor has its populations been more variegated. Based on two years of ethnographic research in London, Suzanne Hall offers a nuanced account of urban life, alongside the underlying economic and political structure of society. Ben Campkin admires the book’s ethnographic-architectural approach. Read the full review.

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Interested in the policy side of a city’s cultural buzz?

Cities, Cultural Policy and Governance Edited by Helmut Anheier and Yudhishthir Raj Isar
The preparation for the Olympic Games in London and its legacy have brought into question the efficacy of top-down marketing strategies and private ownership. Rebecca Litchfield finds the essays in Cities, Cultural Policy and Governance a salient reflection on issues common to London and other cities the world over experiencing a new “glocal” culture, which has come to dominate cultural policy decisions. However, she holds that many of the writings fail to invite deeper investigation making the book an excellent excellent introduction, but one that may isolate readers looking for deeper analysis. Read the full review.

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This work by LSE Review of Books is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales.