In an unprecedented collaboration between an academic journal and live music community, Phish.net, the Philosophy School of Phish, and the Public Philosophy Journal (PPJ) are soliciting abstracts for essays about the improvisational rock band Phish, its music, and fans. Selected papers that successfully complete the PPJ’s Formative Peer Review process will be published in a special issue of the Public Philosophy Journal, co-edited by Dr. Stephanie Jenkins (Oregon State University, assistant professor of Philosophy) and Charlie Dirksen (Mockingbird Foundation, Vice President and Associate Counsel).
Contributors may submit abstracts on any topic of philosophical significance related to the Phish phenomenon. Proposed essays should explore philosophical questions, problems, concepts, themes, or historical figures through connections to the music and fan culture of Phish. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
Aesthetics: beautiful; sublime; emotion
Music, performance, and lyrics: conceptual themes; Gamehendge mythology; improvisational ethos; live performance; music ontology; narrations; gags
Ethics: “phan” ethos; ticket trading and secondary market; tarping; environmental impacts of tour
Politics: fan counterculture; activism; issues of race, gender, sexuality, disability, class, and religion
Phenomenology: embodiment; lived experience of jams, “IT,” lighting, or concert space
Technology: recording; social media; RFID data and surveillance; live streaming; tape trading
This special issue is part of a PPJ pilot project that aims to reconfigure the relationship between the academy and the public. To this end, the editors seek proposals for essays that will be of interest to both audiences. You do not have to be a professional scholar or philosopher to submit.
Please submit abstracts of 250-500 words and a brief bio via this Google form. Your abstract should summarize your proposed essay, outline its argument, and identify its significance to both Phish fans and scholars new to the band.
Submissions should demonstrate the following PPJ style criteria:
Relevance: Responds to an issue of concern to the Phish community
Accessibility: Written clearly for a general audience, with technical terms and concepts unpacked. Does not assume previous knowledge of the band.
Intellectual coherence: Provides evidence to support arguments and identifies theoretical concepts that illuminate the philosophical problem, question, or idea under consideration
Scholarly engagement: Demonstrates awareness of ongoing dialogues within relevant scholarly and/or community conversations
Completed essays will be approximately 2000-4000 words. Formatting and citations should follow the guidelines set in the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition).
Abstracts due: January 18, 2019
Completed papers due: April 15, 2019
Questions can be addressed to:
Dr. Stephanie Jenkins
Oregon State University, School of History, Philosophy, and Religion