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Pop Conference 2020: Sonic Geographies and Juvenescence


I am very excited to be presenting alongside my colleagues Jared Richardson and Joshua Chambers-Letson, especially when COVID has made it so much harder to convene together with folk.

Listed below is a description of the panel that can be also found on the Pop Conference Website (

Wednesday, September 23, 12:45 PM - 1:30 PM PST (Panel)

Sonic Geographies and Juvenescence 

  • “Come to My Garden”: The Pastoral, Juvenescence, and the Limits of Genre, Brittnay Proctor (UC Irvine) 

  • Love Will Never Do (Without You): The Black and Brown Transfigurations of a Rhythm Nation 1814, Joshua Chambers-Letson (Northwestern U) 

  • Youth and SZA’s Outdoor Retreat: Visualizing Millennial Sentimentalism and Black-Femme Figurations of Nature, Jared Richardson (independent scholar)

Panel Description

The following three-person (45 minute) panel considers the relationship between popular music, geography and notions of juvenescence (growing young, the state of being youthful). Specifically, the panelists analyze what Katherine McKittrick calls “the poetics of landscape” through the lens of popular music. We ask: How do popular sounds build geographic sites of youthfulness? What is sonic placeness of growing young? In what ways have notions of juvenescence been used to disavow the making of space via sound?

Working through the work of a host of artists (Minnie Riperton, SZA, and Amerigo Gazeway’s remix of Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill), the papers on this panel chart various sonic landscapes and geographies engendered by the work of popular artists, we question the juvenilization of sound, especially as it relates to popular music, and its inability to be thought alongside geography. Most importantly, the panel centers the racial and gender implications in theorizing sonic geographies alongside notions of juvenescence.

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