Explorations of Evil in Popular Music

Mark Graybill, my colleague and lead guitarist, and I are putting together a book collection tentatively entitled “Up Jumped the Devil: Explorations of Evil in Popular Music.” The project will be a collaborative study of the aesthetic, ethical, and philosophical dimensions of popular music since the beginning of the twentieth century, including such genres as blues, folk, country, rock, and rap, and focusing especially on the way popular music engages such issues as evil, violence, God, Satan, existentialism, terrorism, sensibility, and others. Theoretical approaches to popular music are welcomed, especially to rock-and-roll and to songwriters (e.g., Johnny Cash, Nick Cave, Bruce Springsteen, Morrissey, Ray Davies, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Elvis Costello) whose work engages literary themes or employs literary techniques.

The full call for papers appears here.