During the 1950s, pop cultures became a phenomenon on a global scale. From the beginning, ecstatic states of the body – caused by the use of substances, by experimenting with different sorts of sexuality, by immersing into music and dancing, by reaching out to religion and spirituality – played an important part in pop cultures. Pop cultures and ecstatic bodies often depended on and referred to each other. States of ecstasy and trance, on the one hand, constituted driving forces in the shaping and the development of pop cultures. On the other hand, pop cultures created and spread new types of ecstasies and new practices of getting ecstatic.
Relying on concepts of ‘doing ecstasy,’ ‘controlling ecstasy,’ and ‘representing ecstasy,’ the conference examines important aspects of the entanglement between pop cultures and ecstatic bodies. Case studies include, e.g., punk music, Hollywood films, and marijuana usage, and they range geographically from Europe and North America to India or Nigeria, together exploring the role of gender, race, age, spaces, travelling, and various other aspects related to the corporeal dimensions of ‘getting high.’
The conference organizers are Dr. Kristoff Kerl (Feodor Lynen Fellow, University of Copenhagen), Prof. Dr. Detlef Siegfried (University of Copenhagen), Prof. Dr. Robert Stephens (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) and Prof. Dr. Olaf Stieglitz (Leipzig University). The conference is funded by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, the University of Copenhagen und the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
If you are interested in joining the conference, please register by writing an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, 30 September 2021
13:00 Opening of the conference by the organizers
13:30 Panel 1: Framing Ecstasy
Chair: Detlef Siegfried (University of Copenhagen)
- Kristoff Kerl (Feodor Lynen-Fellow/Universität Kopenhagen): Pop Ecstasies. Reflections on Ecstatic States of the Body in the History of Pop Cultures.
- Commentary by Bodo Mrozek (Berlin Center for Cold War Studies) and discussion
15:30 Panel 2: Doing Ecstasy 1: Gender
Chair: Carl-Henrik Bjerstrom (University of Copenhagen)
- Vojin Sasa Vukadinovic (Freie Universität Berlin): No Future Whatsoever. Punk as Negative Ecstasy at the End of the 1970s.
- Tom Cubbin (HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design): Swords, Sandals and Houdini. Mass Culture Influences on the Design and Aesthetics of Gay BDSM in the 1970s.
- Peder Clark (University of Liverpool): Big Fun. Ecstasy, Rave and Gendered Pleasure in Britain, 1988 to 1996.
- Commentary by Joana-Isabel Duyster Borreda (University of Copenhagen) and discussion
18:00 First Keynote
Chair: Robert Stephens (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
- Julia Sneeringer (City University New York): From Bare Bulbs to Liquid Light Shows. Music Club Environments in Hamburg-St. Pauli across the 1960s.
Friday, 1 October 2021
09:00 Panel 3: Doing Ecstasy 2: Spaces
Chair: Kristoff Kerl (University of Copenhagen)
- Ralph Höger/Sebastian Knoll-Jung (Universität Heidelberg): Ecstatic Violence. Pogo Culture and the Body Turn in Gig Practices from Protopunk to Hardcore.
- Nikolai Okunew (Leibniz-Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam): Ecstatic Escapism. Heavy Metal Concerts in East Germany.
- Bob Beach (University at Albany, SUNY): „My whole body’s sent, I feel like a millionaire.“ Ecstasies (and Agonies) of Cannabis Intoxication in Jazz-era Tea Pads, 1930-1950.
- Commentary by Holger Schulze (University of Copenhagen) and discussion
11:30 Panel 4: Doing Ecstasy 3: Travel
Chair: Daniel Steinbach (University of Copenhagen)
- Joshua Hill (University of St. Andrews): Spanish ‚Jippies‘, Marijuana, and the Creation of a Moral Panic under Franco’s National Catholicism.
- Isabel Richter (University of Berkeley): ‘Drifting into Uncertainty‘. World Music, 1960-1980.
- Avishek Ray (National Institute of Technology Silchar): The Mobile Body. Ecstasy and the Beats‘ Obsession with India.
- Commentary by Michael Alexander Langkjaer (University of Copenhagen) and discussion
13:30 Lunch break
15:00 Panel 5: Controlling Ecstasy
Chair: Ana Antic (University of Copenhagen)
- Lucky Igohosa Ugbudian (Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike): Pop Cultures and Ecstatic States of the Body. The Nigerian Experience.
- Jake P. Smith (Colorado College): Archeological Ecstasies. Music, Memory, and the Built Environment in the Punk and New Wave Movements.
- Ondrej Daniel (Charles University): Hooligan Frenzy. Ecstatic Violence and Late State Socialist East European Football.
- Commentary by Florian Schleking (University of Cologne) and discussion
17:30 Second Keynote
Chair: Olaf Stieglitz (University of Leipzig)
- Juliane Fürst (Leibniz-Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam): Ecstacy as Prayer and Salvation. Soviet Hippies and their Kaif.
Saturday, 2 October 2021
10:00 Panel 6: Representing Ecstasy in the Media
Chair: Tobias Wung-Sung (University of Copenhagen)
- Karl Siebengartner (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München): Unruly Bodies. Punks, Ecstasy and Pop Culture in Western Germany.
- Robert P. Stephens (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University): The Ecstasy and the Agony. Hollywood and the Construction of Mental Maps of Addiction.
- Olaf Stieglitz (Universität Leipzig): A Tunnel at the End of the Light. The New Hollywood, White Masculinity, and the Limits of Ecstasy.
Commentary by Ana Vera (University of Copenhagen) and discussion
12:30 Closing discussion