The Reggae Research Network is an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project which is organising a series of events during 2017, bringing together work from projects in the AHRC’s Connected Communities programme and the Translating Cultures theme on musical transmission and translation, as well as research more widely around the subject of reggae.

Two symposia are taking place, at the University of East Anglia and the University of Liverpool, bringing together leading music scholars, musicians, journalists and producers in order to scope the field and share knowledge and experience around this important and neglected area of popular music. The ideas and exchanges from the symposia are then built upon in a final two-day conference in London in the autumn of 2017.

The network’s programme of activities interrogates questions of:

  • race & identity
  • poetics, orature & language
  • music & (post-)subculture
  • musicians’ experiences and careers
  • sound and recording techniques
  • the practice of dub, sound system culture
  • politics, Babylon
  • Rastafarianism, faith and religion in music
  • narcotic (musical) cultures
  • masculinity and gender; women in reggae
  • related musical forms, from ska and bluebeat to ragga, dancehall, grime
  • white reggae, white Rastas
  • Caribbean and diasporic sonicities
  • anglophone and francophone reggaes
  • transatlantic transmission, translation, reception and refiguration.

We are keen to include in the network all those interested in reggae music, and we have had space for further speakers and contributors. Want to be involved? Please get in touch.

Our first event was in Norwich, 25 January 2017, on the theme of Scoping the Field–read a report of the event here. Our second event, Expanding the Field, was in Liverpool on 18-19 May–see images of the event here. Our final pevent in London was a two-day set of activities under the heading Reggae Futures, 2-3 November, in collaboration with the AHRC-funded Bass Culture project, which included an evening of sound systems and reggae DJs.

Image credit: Notting Hill Carnival 2007. ‘Reggae Regae Flute’ by Stuart Boreham,  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0