Issue One CALL OUT
Navigating and Narrating the Beatles: A Research Agenda for the 21st Century
The prodigious interest in the Beatles and continued industry devoted to the group is exemplified by the forthcoming release of Peter Jackson’s Get Back, a revision of 1970’s Let It Be. To be screened by Disney in late 2021, the size and scope of the project is signalled by an emphasis on Jackson’s three years of labour and access to 60 hours of archive footage not seen for half a century. The perceived public appetite is measured in the results of this work which reworks Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s lean 80 minutes into six hours of documentary to be revealed over three days in a global televisual event.
Jackson asserts how this is not a nostalgic exercise, but a new contribution to a necessary understanding of the band: ‘it’s raw, honest, and human. Over six hours, you’ll get to know The Beatles with an intimacy that you never thought possible.’ Alongside such officially sanctioned exercises, a myriad of other activities that express similar objectives and a fascination with every aspect of the group continue to emerge. These include films like Meeting the Beatles in India (2020, Dir. Paul Saltzman); The Beatles in India, (2021, Dir. Ajoy Bose and Pete Compton), exhibitions and heritage events, podcasts, musical performances, memoirs and popular studies and creative speculations (Daniel Rachel’s Like Some Forgotten Dream: What if the Beatles hadn't split up? (2021); Yesterday, (2019, Dir. Danny Boyle). Likewise, a breadth of scholarly research is devoted to the group and its myriad meanings, spanning disciplines and contributing to an ever-expanding field of activity.
The Journal of Beatles Studies aims to bring together research and conceptions of the group, to place into dialogue scholars across fields in the arts, humanities, social sciences and beyond, including popular music studies, sociology, cultural history, musicology, heritage studies and museology, archive studies and cultural policy.
This inaugural issue underlines the intention of the journal to navigate the historical and contemporary attention to the Beatles. It seeks to assess the variety of ways in which the meanings of the group are investigated and narrated, of the scholarly frameworks brought to bear on the band and the purposes to which they have been enlisted.
We invite original contributions of 6-8,000 words that set out empirically informed ideas for a future-facing agenda for the study of the Beatles, identifying existing paradigms and suggesting new directions, agendas and methodologies for research.
Proposals for papers are invited that concern (but are not limited to):
The Beatles as academic object
The historical moment of The Beatles
The music of the Beatles, including issues of composition, recording, performance, reception and interpretation
Beatles fandom and communities
Social identities and The Beatles
The legacy of The Beatles
Cultural value and The Beatles
The Beatles as heritage object
The global Beatles
Mediation of The Beatles
Economics of The Beatles
Archiving and collecting The Beatles
Sustaining The Beatles
Abstracts of 500 words inclusive of an indicative bibliography and short biography should be submitted to the editors by SEPTEMBER 30 2021 via Holly Tessler and Paul Long.
Notification of invitation to authors to submit to the inaugural edition will be sent by OCTOBER 31 2021
Deadline for submission of papers: February 2022
Notification of revisions: April 2022
Deadline for completion of revisions: June 2022
Publication: SEPTEMBER 2022