I teach popular music studies to predominantly undergraduate students from the Irish World Academy (along with some other UL and visiting students). I particularly love working with first year as it provides a great opportunity to engage with concepts and ideas dealing with identity, performativity, cultural capital, the music industry, and, of course, the politics of taste. We cover everything from Adorno to Nic Hornby, The Monkees and Spice Girls to Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, drawing upon critical and cultural theory, performance studies and fandom studies. Here I am ruminating on why music matters in the world and why you might like to come study with us at UL.
Currently, along with my two colleagues in the Popular Music Popular Culture research cluster in UL (Eoin Devereux and Martin Power), we are developing a new project ’Musically Mapping Limerick’ or L-Pop for short. As well as documenting and curating memorabilia and interviewing musicians, fans, venue owners, promoters, etc, about the local music scene past and present in the city, we are also going to track national and international solo/band visits to Limerick and find ways to mark all of these sites across the cityscape, physically and virtually. We intend to create a map that could be used by tourists and locals alike, and eventually, find a dedicated, interactive space where the rich music heritage of Limerick now and into the future may be celebrated on a permanent basis.