Ageing and Contemporary Female Musicians

1st Edition

Abigail Gardner

July 1, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 176 Pages - 2 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138048065 - CAT# Y330184
Series: Interdisciplinary Research in Gender


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    Ageing and Contemporary Female Musicians focuses on ageing within contemporary popular music. It argues that context, genres, memoirs, racial politics and place all contribute to how women are 'aged'  in popular music.


Framing contemporary female musicians as canonical grandmothers, Rude Girls, neo-Afrofuturist and memoirists settling accounts, the book gives us some respite from a decline or denial narrative and introduces a dynamism into ageing. Female rock memoirs are age-appropriate survival stories that reframe the histories of punk and independent rock music. Old age has a functional and canonical ‘place’ in the work of Shirley Collins and Calypso Rose.


Janelle Monáe, Christine and the Queens and Anohni perform of ‘queer’ age, specifically a kind of ‘going beyond’ both corporeal and temporal borders. Genres age, and it introduces the idea of the time-crunch; an encounter between an embodied, represented age and a genre-age, which is, itself, produced through historicity and aesthetics. Lastly it goes behind the scenes to draw on interviews and questionnaires with twenty women involved in the contemporary British and American popular music industry; DIY and ex- musicians, producers, music publishers, music journalists and audio engineers. Interested in these ‘back line’ women, it offers a snapshot of how age and gender might matter (or not).


Ageing and Contemporary Female Musicians is a vital intergenerational feminist viewpoint for researchers and students in gender studies, popular music, popular culture, media studies, cultural studies and ageing studies.

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