The 2021 Pop Convergence: A Virtual Pop Conference, April 22-25th
Artwork by Alex Nero; Design by The Art Dictator
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Saturday, April 24 • 4:00pm - 5:15pm
“Going, Going, Gone: The Future After Marvin’s Masterpiece” (Room A: Sky Church)

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“Going, Going, Gone: The Future After Marvin’s Masterpiece” (Room A: Sky Church)

Anniversaries are meant to mark the occasion of an opening: renewed life, new directions, committed love. In that, they inevitably carry with them something else, those things that are left behind or displaced on the day or season but inevitably linger, even through celebration. Loneliness, gloom, and vulnerability remain and yearly amass sharper and more expansive evidence of having been there. Music carries all of this and with each rotation reinvents the world, what we know and hoped to know. Marvin Gaye’s classic What’s Going On? (1971) responded to a terrifying, terrified, and fragile nation and asked a question with staying power. “Going, Going, Gone” assembles a panel of Black music scholars and musicians to offer multitextual and creative accountings of the future that Gaye queried. Prolonged listening in Washington, D.C. and Detroit, studies of technique in studio outtakes, and the poetics of his influence overlay a stunning record that, fifty years later, continues to shorten the distance between anniversary and memorial.

avatar for RJ Smith

RJ Smith

RJ Smith is the author most recently of American Witness: The Art and Life of Robert Frank (Da Capo Press, 2017). His The One: The Life and Music of James Brown (Gotham Books) was one of the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2012. The Great Black Way: L.A. in the 1940s and... Read More →


Natalie Hopkinson

Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies, Howard University
Natalie Hopkinson is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies at Howard University. She is the author of Go-Go Live: The Musical Life & Death of a Chocolate City(Duke University Press, 2012) and A Mouth is Always Muzzled: Six Dissidents, Five... Read More →

Lynnée Denise

DJ Lynnée Denise is an artist, scholar, and writer whose work reflects on underground cultural movements, the 1980s, migration studies, theories of escape, and electronic music of the African Diaspora. Her work on DJ scholarship has been featured at prestigious institutions and in... Read More →

Mark Anthony Neal

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor and Chair of African and African American Studies, Duke University
Mark Anthony Neal is the James B. Duke Distinguished Professor and Chair of African and African American Studies at Duke University. He is the author of several books including What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture (1999), Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture... Read More →

Guthrie P. Ramsey

Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music, University of Pennsylvania
A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. is a music historian, pianist, composer, and the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania. A widely-published writer, he’s the author of Race Music: Black... Read More →
avatar for Shana L. Redmond

Shana L. Redmond

Professor, Musicology, Global Jazz Studies, and African American Studies, UCLA
Shana L. Redmond (she|her) is a public-facing scholar of Black culture and politics and the author of Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora(NYU Press, 2014) and Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson(Duke UP, 2020), which was... Read More →

Saturday April 24, 2021 4:00pm - 5:15pm PDT
Room A: Sky Church