Public Lecture on Popular Music

Join us as esteemed NPR pop music critic Ann Powers and leading pop music scholar Eric Weisbard deliver the inaugural Public Lecture of the 2023-24 UCPH Musicology Fagligt Forum.

Ann Powers will discuss her forthcoming book Traveling: On the Path of Joni Mitchell (HarperCollins 2024), a biography that grapples with the singer-songwriter’s complex cultural mythology and transformative impact on popular music, while reflecting on the unique relationship between biographer and celebrity. Eric Weisbard will discuss his latest book Hound Dog (Duke University Press 2023), wherein he unpacks the fraught racial and commercial legacy of a chart-topping single synonymous with rock n’ roll “king” Elvis Presley, though originally recorded and popularized by R&B singer Big Mama Thornton. 


Prior to her appointment as NPR Music’s critic and correspondent, Ann Powers worked as chief pop music critic for the Los Angeles Times. She also previously worked as a pop critic at the New York Times, and as a senior editor at the Village Voice. Powers has authored numerous books and widely celebrated essays on some of the foremost women pop musicians of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries including Roberta Flack, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Taylor Swift, and Lana Del Rey, among others. 

Dr. Eric Weisbard is Professor of American Studies at the University of Alabama, and the current Fulbright Chair in American Studies at Uppsala University (2023-24). He has written numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and has edited and authored numerous books on popular music, including his most recent monographs Hound Dog (Duke University Press 2023), Songbooks: The Literature of American Popular Music (Duke University Press 2021), and Top 40 Democracy: The Rival Mainstreams of American Music (University of Chicago Press 2014).