Fountain at dusk

IUSB Forum "The New Market Affair: On Media, Pranks, and Pedagogy"

Speaker Kembrew McLeodThe Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts welcomes Associate Professor of Communication Studies Kembrew McLeod of the University of Iowa for the spring IUSB Forum. McLeod will present an in-depth discussion titled, “The New Market Affair: On Media, Pranks, and Pedagogy” on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:30pm at Recital Hall in Northside Hall. McLeod will discuss media pranks, specifically one he did in Seattle in the 1990s, as well as the academic and political potential of pranks.

“The New Market Affair: On Media, Pranks and Pedagogy” will review and reflect on the 1993 SPIN magazine article published as an April Fools hoax about how New Market, Virginia was going to be America's next big music town. McLeod was living in nearby Harrisonburg, and watched as record companies descended on this remote rural area, looking for new bands to sign.  This set off a chain of events that involved hoaxed publications like The New York Times and The Baffler, the phrase "swingin' on the flippety flop," a well-known group from Charlottesville, Virginia named The Dave Matthews Band, a lesser known group from the same town called The Karl Rove, an abrasive record mogul nicknamed "the poison dwarf," and an ever-shifting line between truth and deception.  This small-scale major label feeding frenzy was a sign of the times—an illustration of the 1990s boom-bust cycle—and it also provided plenty of opportunities for mischief, not to mention a few good life lessons. 

In addition to teaching, McLeod is an author and independent documentary filmmaker. His books and films focus on both popular music and the cultural impact of intellectual property law. McLeod’s book, Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property, received the American Library Association’s Oboler book award for “best scholarship in the area of intellectual freedom” in 2006. He is co-author of  Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling with Northwestern Law Professor Peter DiCola , as well as  co-editor of  the anthology, Cutting Across Media: Interventionist Collage, Appropriation Art, and Copyright Law, with Rudolf Kuenzli. Both books were published by Duke University Press in early2011.

McLeod co-produced the documentary Copyright Criminals, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and aired on PBS’s Emmy Award-winning documentary series, Independent Lens. McLeod’s music and cultural criticism have appeared in Rolling Stone, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wilson Quarterly, Village Voice, MOJO, SPIN, and the New Rolling Stone Album Guide.

// IUSB Forum by Kembrew McLeod

// 7:30 pm Wednesday, March 21

// Recital Hall, Northside

// Tickets $5-$9 | Free to children and students with valid I.D.