Blues in the 21st Century:
Myth, Social Expression and Transculturalism

November 23-24 2018
Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Catania
    A rare opportunity to meet up with researchers approaching the BLUES from a variety of angles
  2. MUSIC
    Bring your instrument and play with other conference participants - get creative!
    Deepen contacts with conference participants through shared experiences in the music


Since its beginnings in the late 19th century, the Blues has been more than a music style with a seminal impact on 20th century popular music. As a medium of social expression, it articulated the tribulations of an entire black culture, male and female.

Discourses about race were as much an integral part of the evolution of the blues as were those of class, when young white kids - in America and European countries, especially the UK - adopted the music for their political and social ends. Idealising/romanticising black models of living, their interpretations verged on myths on the one hand, but on the other brought out transcultural features of the blues in their performative acts.

Other realms of performing arts, such as literature, films, etc., speak of the flexibility of the blues. Its commercialisation by white and black record companies, or annual festivals, is another proof of its durability. Bearing this in mind, any doubt about the survival of the blues in the 21st century is rendered obsolete. 

This multi-disciplinary conference aims to trace the socio-political, historical, economic, transcultural, linguistic and musicological dimensions of the blues, and to emphasise the viability of this artistic and social medium.


Rossana Sampugnaro
Uwe Zagratski
Douglas Ponton
Rosario D'Agata
Vincenzo Asero
Iain Halliday
Peter Mantello
Alessandro Lutri
Tino Vittorio

​Tatiana Larina
Malgorzata Sokol
Winfried Siebers
​Mara Benadusi