In this ten-minute video, I read from the final section of my new book, Shakin’ all Over: Popular Music and Disability. It’s a brief conclusion, of sorts, section entitled ‘Shaking’s all over’.
… Well, I have volunteered myself to disability studies to contribute to this important task, from my existing research field in cultural and popular music studies. The fresh dialogue here and elsewhere between disability studies and popular music can only enrich both.
In A History of Disability, Henri-Jacques Stiker writes in passing of the idea of ‘social contagion’, that the love of difference (let us not even stretch love, but talk more modestly of simply the tolerance by the currently non-disabled of those with disabilities) could be socially contagious. What about cultural contagion? Stiker continues: ‘there is only one recourse beyond the ethical imperative, and that is to make it part of our culture’. Sheila Riddell and Nick Watson put it more straightforwardly: ‘[t]he struggle for social justice, then, involves a quest for cultural recognition as well as economic redistribution’.
One of the aims of Shakin’ All Over has been to map the sonic history and tracks of that quest for cultural recognition, to discover that cultural expressions and explorations of disability have been the already heard of pop since its foundations were both established and shaken on day and night one, whenever they were….
It is always an exciting and affirming moment for an author when the proofs of the next book arrive. This is the first time you actually see what the book more or less will look like on publication, page by page. In the old days, proofs used to arrive as a thick wedge of sheets, two pages on each, to be marked up for corrections and minor alterations, and then sent to the indexer for her work. Nowadays the proofs come as a PDF attachment to an email, but the excitement remains. This book, AHRC-funded, five years in the research and writing, drawing on a special issue of the journal Popular Music I edited on disability in 2009, appearing in the Corporealities: Discourses of Disability series, and with over thirty images, will be published in a very few months time…