Twisting My Memory – past events

“Twisting my memory, man” – music, memory and memoir

13th & 14th July 2018 – York St John University Campus

We are hosting an innovative two day event examining the ways that popular music is remembered and memorialised both as sonic experience and as cultural activity. Our event combines academic analysis and critical discussion with creative endeavour, performance and informal reminiscence.

If you are a music fan, a reader of music books, or someone that likes to share memories and discuss musical histories. then this event is for you. We welcome all visitors and look forward to meeting you for an exciting and friendly couple of days.

Contributions can incorporate anything from a traditional academic paper to a Q&A or creative text (or a combination of all of these). We are open to ideas!

Scholars in literature, creative writing, musicology and cultural history are collaborating in a growing interdisciplinary field. Research is developing new critical models and methodologies for analysis while practitioners are shaping performance and composition through knowing references to cultural memory.

We are looking for contributions from interested scholars, from those working in the music industry or from those who simply enjoy discussing their formative music histories. We are interested in diverse modes of discussion which can include original memoir, other written responses and/or performance alongside academic papers. We are particularly interested in contributions which address any of the diverse genres of the last fifty years.

Academic Papers:

Contributions can be emailed to us at the address below and should be no more than 300 words. We would welcome contributions on:

• Contemporary music memoirs
• Cultural memory and music
• Celebrity and stardom
• Alternative and underground communities
• Fanzines and fan culture
• Music documentary and film
• Music genres, sub-genres and scenes
• Music, memory and selfhood
• Songwriting and the creative process

We are looking for a range of innovative ideas so please get in touch with any other proposals or topics or creative responses.


If you have an experience you would like to contribute to the event further then email us with a brief outline of your idea. The following are suggestions but we are interested in a wide variety of ideas:

• Memories of specific gigs
• Experiences of working in the music industry
• Meeting a musical hero
• Forming a band
• Working in a record shop
• Working in a venue
• Collecting and memorabilia
• Festival experiences
• Record shops
• Radio
• Clubbing
• Fanzines/Magazines
• Touring experiences
• Songwriting and the creative process

Email us at:
Follow us on Twitter @musicmemoirysju

Keynote speakers:

On Friday we have Tom Hingley (author of Carpet Burns: Life with Inspiral Carpets) booked as our first keynote speaker. Tom was lead singer of Inspiral Carpets, one of the big three bands of the Manchester movement, along with The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. Tom’s memoir details what it is like to be the centre of a musical movement and details the dynamics of the band.  Tom will be discussing the process of writing Carpet Burns, his ongoing musical career and the relationship between music and writing. He will be giving a reading, performing a couple of songs and engaging in Q&A. We also have space in a local venue for some live music and DJs so that we can carry on the conversations and discussions into the evening.

Our Saturday keynote speaker is Lucy O’Brien.  Music memoir is now less about flashy celebrity biogs and grand narratives, more about the ‘other stories’, the stories less covered. Women have traditionally been left out of the official rock canon, but now their memoirs are revitalising the genre. Frank, funny and inspiring, many women are reflecting on their life and musical creativity.  Currently working on her own memoir about punk and feminism, Lucy talks about the female music memoir as an emerging form and a new direction for music writing.

The deadline for abstracts is: 6th June 2018

This event is hosted by The York Centre for Writing in the School of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy at York St John University.



You can download our programme below:

Programme You’re Twisting My Memory Man Music Memory and Memoir 13th and 14th July 2018