November 2017 Conference

PoP turns 10: Celebrating the Popular, Practicing the Urban

Saturday, 18th November 2017
University of East London, Stratford, London, U.K

The PoP [Performances of the Popular] Moves committee, in partnership with the CPAD research group at the University of East London, is now inviting submissions for the 2017 conference

Call for Papers

Ten years after the UK’s first popular performance conference, PoP MOVES, the international research group for performances of the popular, continues to advance the field through cross-institution sharing whilst creating space for rich discussions between scholars, students, performers and practitioners.

Also celebrating its 10th year, the University of East London’s BA (Hons) Dance: Urban Practice degree continues to break the mould of traditional dance degrees. Inspired by the cultural vibrancy and diversity of East London, the programme offers students the opportunity to practice, perform, and theorise hip-hop, club, social and popular styles, contemporary techniques from across Europe and the African and Asian diasporas, and classical and martial movement traditions.

To celebrate these decennial milestones, this conference asks scholars, practitioners and artists to engage with the intersections between popular practices and the Urban: the city as a space where culture is created, represented and disputed.

Some key areas and questions to consider include:

The Urban Landscape

  • What are the risks and opportunities that Urban environments provide for the emergence, spread and survival of popular practices?
  • How do the designs of city spaces converge or diverge with popular performance? How do practices gain currency through this relationship?

The Urban Jungle

  • How do different migrations and communities who have helped shape urban identity engage with popular practices?
  • What are the ways in which the urban intersects with race and class, and how does this shape and evolve popular practices?
  • How do notions of hybridity and cultural exchange operate between the Urban and the popular?
  • How might popular practices operate with the political in occasions of mass protest and Urban activism?

Urban Regeneration

  • How do popular practices operate historically within Urban environments?
  • How might Urban environments create opportunities for the revival of popular practices?
  • How does cultural memory intersect with popular practice in city environments?

Urban Gentrification

  • How do popular performance practices legitimize and negate Urban gentrification?
  • Who is priced out of popular dance and music practices, and to what effect?
  • What are the cultural effects of digital technologies upon popular performance in Urban contexts?
  • What are the representations of city and bodies on screen?

Urban Decay

  • How do notions of deprivation and decline impact upon popular practices?
  • To what extent does the vibrancy of moving bodies rupture ideas of deprivation and degeneration?
  • What are the risks and possibilities of clubbing in the wake of nightclub closures?

How to apply

Please send the following information by Friday 14th July 2017 to Laura Robinson to

  • Document 1: title, abstract and bibliography (see Proposals below)
  • Document 2: title, presenter’s name, affiliated Institution, email address, space and time requirements (if relevant) and AVS needs (see Technical Requirements and Resources below)


  • An abstract of 300 words is required, outlining the research area and key issues within a clearly articulated methodology
  • An indicative bibliography of 4-5 keys texts should be included
  • The name of the speaker should not appear in document 1, as the abstracts will be blind reviewed. Please include the speaker’s name in document 2 only

Technical Requirements and Resources

  • Presentations may take the form of a paper, lecture-demonstration or workshop
  • Paper presentations should be 20 minutes in length
  • Lecture-demonstrations and workshops can be 45 or 60 minutes in length
  • If speakers intend to present a lecture-demonstration or workshop, please indicate what your time and space requirements might be for this
  • Please identify any AVS equipment that you might need for the presentation: DVD playback, data projector, or internet access, for example

Publication Opportunity

PoP MOVES is currently in discussions with Palgrave MacMillan regarding an anthology publication resulting from the conference. Selected presenters may have the opportunity to rework their paper into an anthology chapter.

Conference Location:

University of East London, University Square Stratford, 1 Salway Road, London E15 1NF, United Kingdom

Nearest station: Stratford (Tube, DLR and Mainline train services)


There are several hotels within short travelling distance of University of East London: Stratford Hotels

Programming Committee

Dr Laura Robinson (2017 Conference Main Organiser), Dr Clare Parfitt, Dr Melissa Blanco Borelli, Dr Ann R. David, Dr Jo Hall, Ms Celena Monteiro and Dr. Anamaria Tamayo Duque.

For further information on PoP Moves please see PoP Moves website or visit the PoP Moves Facebook page

Centre for Performing Arts Development (CPAD)

The Centre for Performing Arts Development (CPAD) at the University of East London (UEL) is focused on developing original and innovative research in Performing Arts including Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies, Music, Dance and Creative Writing with a particular emphasis on socially engaged practices, performance philosophy and cultures, practice-based research, digital and interdisciplinary research.

Click here for a PDF version of the CFP