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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for Arts in Society

Music Matters - TIMO KOREN (University of Amsterdam): 'The whiteness of Dutch electronic dance music'

When:Th 21-03-2024 17:00 - 18:30
Where:Heymanszaal, Academy building
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Music Matters presents 'The Whiteness of Dutch Electronic Dance Music: How Space Shapes Music Genres’ Social Formations,' a guest lecture by Dr Timo Koren, University of Amsterdam.


Music genres articulate relationships to social groups. As these genres travel, disperse and change form, the social formations of the collective music worlds they develop change. This lecture investigates genre trajectories by highlighting the work of Amsterdam-based nightclub promoters in the cultural production of club nights through genre-based orientations, conventions and ideals. The first part explores how promoters attune their curatorial practices to urban processes through genre-based commercial and cultural imperatives. The spatial vocabulary through which they understand their practices produces localised understandings of global music genres tied to the specific affective atmopsheres of neighbourhoods and dancefloors and tied to specific conceptions of clubbing audiences. The second part delves deeper into the social formations around music genres through a case study of the whiteness of Dutch electronic dance music. It seeks to understand not only how the production and consumption of electronic dance music has ‘become’ white in the Dutch capital, but also how this whiteness is sustained, how whiteness produces localised Others by connecting place, genre, and race, and how whiteness limits economic and creative opportunities for promoters of colour. The lecture is based on qualitative interviews with 36 Amsterdam-based promoters, short-term ethnographies at nightclubs and industry events and archival research.

About the speaker

Timo Koren is Assistant Professor in Cultural Economy in the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Before joining this department in September 2023, he worked as a lecturer in the Department of Arts and Culture Studies at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Southampton (UK). Connecting cultural industries research to urban studies, his research focuses on the night-time economy, in particular cultural production, social inequalities, music genres, and regulation.