CfP: Special Issue of Rock Music Studies

After All This Time: Legacy Acts, Fandom, and Collective Identity

Guest-edited by Andy Bennett and Devpriya Chakravarty (Griffith University, Australia)

Submissions are invited for a special issue of Rock Music Studies on the topic of Legacy Acts, Fandom, and Collective Identity. Popular music is now increasingly acknowledged as a key aspect of contemporary history and heritage. The marketing of popular music as a form of youth-based leisure and consumption from the mid-1950s onward has had significant implications for its cultural meaning as a collective soundtrack and a means through which successive generations of youth have sought to distinguish themselves from the parent culture. This aspect of the relationship between popular music and youth became more pointed during the 1960s and into the 1970s with a new political sensibility among youth, and was also reflected in much of the popular music of the time, which gave rise to a global counter-cultural movement. This sensibility continued to reverberate in subsequent musical genres such as punk, post-punk and new wave.

Throughout this period, many commentators considered such collective bonding between artists and their audiences to be an ephemeral aspect of youth culture. By the early 1980s, however, it became clear that such an interpretation was inaccurate as bands such as the Grateful Dead continued to tour and to perform to audiences comprised largely of people who had been followers of the band since its early years and had continued to loyally support them, often following the band on tour and attending multiple shows. The Grateful Dead, though perhaps among the most notorious of bands to attract such a dedicated and cult following, are by no means the only act to achieve such a status. When Canadian rock band Rush played their final shows in 2015, many fans reflected on the special relationship they experienced with the band and how they felt their lives had been palpably shaped by listening to the music of Rush and seeing the band perform live on numerous occasions over a period of 40 years. Indeed, over the last 20 years it has become clear that a range of artists, spanning different genres and from different parts of the world, have attracted and retained an audience for whom fandom is signified by the inscription of a deep biographical meaning in the artist-fan relationship. Examples of the legacy act phenomenon in a more global context include BAP (Germany), UHF (Portugal), Diaframma (Italy), Aquarium (Russia), New Model Army (UK), Molotov (Mexico), Os Paralamas do Sucesso (Brazil), Bow Wow (Japan), and Radio Birdman (Australia). This special edition of Rock Music Studies will feature papers that explore aspects of the legacy band phenomenon in a global context.

We invite papers with themes that may include but are not limited to:

  • Politics and lifestyle
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Music and lyrics
  • Rituals of performance (among both band and audience)
  • Cultural memory
  • Peak music experiences
  • Fanzines and others forms of fan writing
  • Memorabilia
  • Iconography

Send proposals of up to 500 words by 30 June 2022 to guest editor Andy Bennett at Indicate the name under which you would wish to be published, your professional/academic affiliations, a postal address, and preferred e-mail contact. Proposals will be reviewed for potential inclusion in the journal, with authors of selected papers being informed by 15 August 2022.

Authors to be included in the volume should expect to have their full, final manuscripts prepared by 1 August 2023. These submissions should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words (inclusive of everything) and should use MLA style. All affiliations, e-mails, and snail-mail contact information should be supplied in the first submission; however, for purposes of blind peer-review, your name or the names of your co-authors should not appear in the body of the manuscript. All papers will be peer-reviewed by at least two peers as well as the two guest editors of the special issue. We are happy to receive inquiries about prospective submissions. Please send all queries to It is expected that the special issue will be published in hard copy in October 2024 (with electronic publication occurring earlier). For more information and step-by-step publishing guidance, visit the journal’s Author Services Support page. For further information on the journal, please visit