CFP: ‘Liverpool – Music – Sea’, Liverpool John Moores University, April 2020

Liverpool Customs House, c.1849

Liverpool John Moores University’s Institute for Literature and Cultural History, in association with the Department of Drama, are hosting a one-day multidisciplinary symposium on Thursday 30th April 2020

Liverpool is one of the great port-cities of the world. Part of the city’s cultural inheritance concerns an extremely eclectic musical history, drawing on influences from a great number of national and international traditions. Liverpool-Sea-Music: these three agencies inter-penetrate in a volatile, beautiful dance – moving from a contested past through a rapidly changing present towards an uncertain future.

The intention of this symposium is to engage this tripartite relationship in ways that re-energise it in relation to a wide range of established, new and emerging audiences. The organisers anticipate a multi-disciplinary focus on history, literature and (popular) music studies, but papers are welcomed on topics that speak to any aspect of the event’s expansive theme.

The structure of the day will be decided in due course. In the meantime, possible themes include:

  • The port: growth, decline, growth
  • Liverpool in the (inter) national cultural imagination
  • Screen and theatrical representations
  • Black Atlantic / Irish Atlantic
  • The invention of ‘scouse’
  • The Cunard Yanks
  • Sailortown
  • James Hanley and the ‘Liverpool School’
  • Stan Hugill and the Liverpool shanty tradition
  • Music and the Liverpool Poets
  • Music Cities / Cities on the Edge
  • The Sound of the Sea

Please send abstracts for 20-minute papers to: Dr Andrew Sherlock – or Professor Gerry Smyth –

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