Rave and resistance. Politicizing the dancefloor

Dr. Anita Jóri
Rave and resistance. Politicizing the dancefloor

Seminar, English/Deutsch, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Wednesdays,10-14 h, 7 dates: 26.10., 9.11., 23.11., 7.12.2022, 4.1., 18.1., 1.2.2023, plus Exkursion tba
Grunewaldstr. 2-5, room 110 (Aula); at 26.10.2022 room 208

Registration starts 17.10.2022 via Moodle: https://moodle.udk-berlin.de/moodle/course/view.php?id=1663
Moodle Einschreibeschlüssel / Moodle Enrollment Key: dancefloor

Despite the commitment of some current activist movements, Electronic Dance Music Cultures (EDMCs) are often considered apolitical or politically neutral. But this has not always been the case. The early scenes, such as the Detroit techno, Chicago and New York house, and British acid house, were everything but apolitical. For example, the early British acid house scene, built up by the working-class youth, was dangerous for the neoliberal Thatcherian era because of the members’ silent agreement on refusing governmental acts. 

This seminar asks the question whether the current club and/or rave culture is politically active or not, and if so, how? Is dancing all night long itself political, an act of resistance against social norms? Are clubs as safe spaces for marginalized groups political by their nature? To find answers, we will take a closer look at the political roots of EDMCs and compare them with current developments, especially in Berlin.

Furthermore, basic definitions and notions such as scene, subculture, club culture and political activism in music cultures will be discussed with the help of different readings from cultural studies, popular music studies and sociology.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credits: The participants are asked to read texts for each seminar session and to hold a presentation or write a short essay.

Anita Jóri is a post-doc research associate at the Vilém Flusser Archive, Berlin University of the Arts (Universität der Künste Berlin, UdK). Jóri's research and publications focus on the discursive and terminological aspects of electronic dance music culture. She is also the first chairperson of the German Association for Music Business and Music Culture Research (GMM) and one of the curators of CTM Festival's Discourse programme. She is also the author of the monograph The Discourse Community of Electronic Dance Music (transcript, 2022) and one of the editors of The New Age of Electronic Dance Music and Club Culture (Springer, 2020), Musik & Empowerment (Springer, 2020) and Musik & Marken (Springer, 2022).