The Jukebox Musical
Americas: A Hemispheric Music Journal
Deadline: 
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Review Begins: 
Tuesday, August 1, 2023

CFP | Americas: A Hemispheric Music Journal 

Themed Issue on THE JUKEBOX MUSICAL 

Issue editors: Matthew Jones and Jake Johnson

The jukebox musical is having a moment. A mish-mash of existing popular songs often hooped around a thin storyline, the jukebox musical  fits comfortably in the postmodern assemblage culture of the last few decades while also comfily jettisoning American musical theater to the pre-Golden Age world when cohesive plot lines took backseat to entertainment. The moniker itself feels charged—the jukebox emerges as a machine capable of connecting listeners to all sorts of music on demand, itself named for the subversive juke joints so frequently occupied by the marginalized and culturally forsaken. At the same time, it evokes bygone eras, outmoded musical technologies, and nostalgic songs. And of course the musical, an emblem of live and unmediated entertainment, feels a little clumsy when discussed in relation to a machine of replication. Or does it? In the twenty-five years since the debut of Mama Mia!, the popularity of jukebox musicals has only increased both on and off Broadway. Today, there are shows about distinct eras (Rock of Ages, Disco Inferno), shows with messages (Moulin Rouge!, Once Upon a One More Time), and bio-musicals about specific celebrities like Donna Summer, Tina Turner, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Michael Jackson, and Spice Girls. The jukebox musical offers something for everyone, it seems. Or, to put it another way: whatever makes a jukebox musical work is also, somehow, whatever is holding America together. 

This year, Americas: A Hemispheric Music Journal invites article submissions for a themed issue on the jukebox musical. In the spirit of the jukebox musical’s preference for mish-mash, this issue seeks to model collaborative and cooperative scholarly practice by encouraging co-authored essays pulling from various pockets of academic and professional thought. We invite single-authored and co-authored submissions as well as submissions from authors who would be interested in pairing with another scholar around a theme or specific musical. This issue, we hope, will demonstrate the best of what happens when unalike disciplinary perspectives cohere around such an unruly yet provocative concept. Topics may include:

  • Disability discourses
  • Issues of identity such as race, gender, sexuality, and social class
  • The dynamics of voice, impersonation, or mimicry 
  • Media and liveness 
  • The borders and edges of disciplines and cultural practices that the jukebox musical occupies, upholds, or subverts
  • Fandom and iconicity 
  • Nostalgia, affect, and memory 
  • Guilty pleasures 
  • Dramaturgy, production, choreography
  • The jukebox musical as history/biography
  •  

Articles of up to 6,000-8,000 words in length can be sent to americas@colorado.edu. Submissions should include text, all necessary figures, a 100-200 word abstract, and a short professional bio. In addition, authors may also submit shorter essays of 2,000-3,000 words as part of the journal’s “Listening In” feature. "Listening In" offers a more immediate exploration of musical scenes and the spaces and places that music is made, offering authors and readers an opportunity to explore performances, protests, and local soundscapes through a closer lens than traditional formats often allow. We also solicit contributions to our "Dialogues" section, which features interviews with composers, musicians, and others in the musical field whose direct perspective will be of interest to readers. We encourage the submission of edited interview transcripts of 1,500-2,000 words (including a short introduction). While it is encouraged that the interviews fit with the issue theme, it is not required that they do so. Both “Listening In” and “Dialogues” submissions should also include any supplemental figures, a 100-200 word abstract, and a short professional bio.

The publication timeline is as follows:

Abstracts due August 1, 2023 (with invitations sent by August 5th)
First draft due October 1, 2023
Final draft due January 15, 2024

About: Americas: A Hemispheric Journal is a peer-reviewed journal published by the University of Nebraska Press. Americas presents a broad view of American music, one that encompasses the diverse soundscapes within the United States as well as the wider Americas, including the Caribbean. Each annual issue focuses on one central theme. Recurring special sections highlight the spaces and places where music is made and the people who compose, perform, and otherwise support that music. 

Submission guidelines: Authors should use endnotes, not footnotes or parenthetical reference; and conform styles to the Chicago Manual of Style. Authors whose articles are accepted will be asked to provide camera-ready, publication-quality musical examples. High resolution images are requested. Authors are responsible for obtaining and providing necessary copyright permissions. Inquiries about this issue or general inquiries about the journal should be sent to Issue Editors Matthew Jones (matthew.jones@okcu.edu ) and Jake Johnson (jacob.v.johnson-1@ou.edu) or Editor-in-Chief Susan Thomas (Susan.thomas@austin.utexas.edu).

 

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