Public debate: Elvis has finally left the building?

On 5 November 2014 we organized the public symposium “Elvis has finally left? Bridging ethno-racial boundaries in popular music in Rotterdam and beyond”. This was the teaser for the symposium:

Is your taste in music racist? Unless you spend your days listening to Nazi punk while strapping the white laces of your Dr. Martins, you probably don’t think so! Music brings people together, as the common saying goes. In reality however, our taste in music is actually less innocent than we would expect at first glance. While attending a rock show for instance, you might notice that the audiences there (and the bands as well) are predominantly white (and male). Rap concerts on the other hand seem to attract a crowd which is more multicultural and diverse. Unlike some of our racial physical aspects, our taste isn’t given to us by birth, so what exactly makes music and race-ethnicity stick together in such a way? And since Elvis Presley “whitewashed” rock music in the 1950s, what has changed? Is there still much inequality in music scenes or is Elvis finally leaving the building?

The department of Arts and Culture Studies, SG Erasmus and WORM Rotterdam organize an interactive debate-evening regarding this relevant and interesting theme. A panel will discuss – together with you as participants – the issue of race/ethnicity in pop music, using visual and audio fragments. We invite experts from the fields: Patrick “Rudeboy” Tilon (ex-Urban Dance Squad, ex-Junkie XL, Battles of 1977 and many more), Conchitta Bottse (Rotterdam Beats), Ilias Boudellah (Marock&Roll) and Miriam Leah Brenner (Kokako Music). International scholars: Prof.dr. Karl Spracklen (Leeds Beckett University), Dr. Jo Haynes (University of Bristol) and Linde Murugan, MA (Northwestern University). The event will be moderated by Julian Schaap, MSc (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Dr. Pauwke Berkers (Erasmus University Rotterdam). At the end, we will have live music by Tabanka, a Rotterdam based group that plays Cape Verdean funaná style music and will make you dance like nobody’s watching.


Watch the entire event here:

Find more publicity on De Volkskrant, We Own Rotterdam, WORM, RotterdamInfo and Rotterdam Magazine.

Radio interview: Playing God in World of Warcraft

On the symposium: “Playing God: Religion & Video Games”, organized by the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands I presented research that I am conducting with Stef Aupers on religion and the popular video game World of Warcraft. After the talk, RKK Kruispunt invited me for a radio interview. Click here for the interview (from 49 mins, Dutch)