Department of Communication Arts
University of Wisconsin -- Madison
This bibliography began in the fall of 1988 as a project Gil undertook as a graduate research assistant to Larry Grossberg at the University of Illinois. It was updated on a fairly regular basis through August 1993, when the process of "bibliographing" was forced to take a backseat to serious "dissertating." Outside of some minor typographical corrections in a handful of entries and the "HTML-ifying" of the whole list, the bibliography as a whole remained untouched until early 1998, when Norma Coates was fooli------er, kind enough to offer her services as a co-conspirator (or, to use Mark Percival's description of us, a co-obsessive) for helping to bring the bibliography up to date and then helping to keep it up to date for the rest of her natural-born days.
There are a few eccentricities and caveats about the bibliography that should be noted here:
Its subtitle notwithstanding, many of the works listed here are not, strictly speaking, examples of "academic" work. Similarly, many of the entries stray somewhat from the subject of "rock and pop music" into "neighboring" genres: most notably to rap, soul, and rhythm 'n' blues; somewhat less frequently to country, jazz, and blues. The rule of thumb we've tried to use in deciding whether particular works should be listed favored inclusion over exclusion, as it ultimately seemed more useful to describe a wider terrain (with admittedly fuzzy borders) than to limit the scope of works included too sharply. Still, we're forced to draw lines somewhere.
Certain classes of items have generally been omitted from the list. Unpublished manuscripts, conference papers, theses, and dissertations aren't listed here, regardless of their academic rigor or direct bearing upon the topic of "rock and pop music," due to their great number and the relative difficulty involved in tracking them down (both for ourselves and for others).
Earlier versions of subsequently revised works are generally omitted (e.g., the 1975, 1982, and 1990 editions of Greil Marcus's Mystery train have not been included, but the 1997 edition has) -- with the notable exception of edited collections that have gone through substantial line-up changes in subsequent editions (e.g., the two editions of James Lull's Popular music and communication contain different sets of essays, and references to both volumes can be found here).
Individual essays contained within edited collections are cited separately from (and in addition to) their source volumes, except for those instances in which the anthologized essay is merely a reprinted version of a previously published (and already listed) piece.
Unfortunately, this bibliography is biased completely in favor of English language publications: this is an unavoidable side effect of our lack of ready access to appropriate literature in other languages and (more tellingly) our own monolinguistic failings.
The publication details for books on this list tend to be based on the edition of a work that was available to us at the time it was first added to the list. While we've tried to update some of this information -- particularly for older titles that have been reprinted by different publishers -- we haven't been terribly fanatical about it.
In compiling and maintaining this bibliography, we've tried very hard to stick to a simple principle: don't add anything to the list if we haven't held it in our hands and verified the pertinent bibliographic information ourselves. Other people's reference lists and bibliographies have been of immeasureable use in putting this particular list together, but experience has taught us that even the most reputable of authors, journals, and presses can (and do) make citation mistakes -- sometimes serious ones. While this bibliography is by no means perfect, we've tried to make our own mistakes instead of simply repeating other people's.
For a while, at least, there will be some inconsistencies in the citation style used here. The pre-Norma version of this list was formatted according to Gil's own warped version of APA style; the current version attempts to adhere more closely to Turabian style. Besides some shifts in parentheses and capitalization, the most visible difference here involves putting the full names of all the authors back into the mix: a laborious procedure that is only partially completed. Until that task is finished, however, the list will continue to show remnants of the old style in some of its entries.
This is, unavoidably, an unfinished and ongoing project. Not only does the publication of new work guarantee that this list is perpetually incomplete, but we're constantly "discovering" existing works that had previously escaped our attention. This bibliography, then, is only the current edition of a list that will be updated on a semi-regular basis (hopefully far more regularly, now that Norma's part of the team).
Gil would like to thank Linda Baughman, B. Lee Cooper, Michael Eidenmuller, Mark Fenster, Susan McClary, Chuck Payne, Greg Seigworth, Barry Shank, and Rob Walser for their helpful comments, suggestions, and bibliographic leads during the first phase of this project's life. Most especially, though, thanks go to Larry Grossberg, who not only supplied the original inspiration for this project, but was kind (and patient) enough to allow Gil to rummage through his files for many, many hours during the initial compilation process.