Call for Chapters for Edited Volume:
*Viva Las Vegas: Music and Myth in America’s City of Second Chances* 

*CFP deadline: January 1, 2021*

Editor: Jake Johnson (Oklahoma City University)

Las Vegas has been an important commercial hub for live and recorded music
for most of the twentieth century. It is also arguably the most American of
America's cities--as art critic Dave Hickey put it, at least in Vegas “the
payoffs are posted and the odds easily calculable.” Largely, however, the
critical attention toward place and music industry has privileged other
American commercial centers, namely Los Angeles and New York City. Despite
Las Vegas’s rich musical entanglements, in fact, a full study of the
musical and cultural values of the city has not yet emerged. *Viva Las
Vegas* sets out to examine the sonic place-making and musical mythologies
surrounding America’s City of Second Chances.

This book will investigate venues of fantasy and myth-making during this
critical moment when broader mythos of America have become political and
cultural lightning rods. Contributors to this volume will consider
collectively the values and perspectives of music-making in, around, and
through Las Vegas. This book places itself alongside vibrant studies of
popular music and place, including Stacy Wolf’s study of amateur and
community musical theater in America; Barry Shank’s investigation of
various music “scenes” in Austin, Texas; Fred Bartenstein and Curtis W.
Ellison’s illumination of bluegrass networks in southwestern Ohio; and my
own work on religious communities in the middle of America employing
popular music to slow the creep of modernity. It also joins robust
scholarly intrigue in media studies, sound studies, queer studies, and
critical geography, situated within and between a number of developing
transdisciplinary spaces. Making a book (and making book) on Las Vegas
seems a safe bet for a rapidly expanding American music studies: what
happens in Vegas should no longer stay in Vegas.

Performers and scholars from all disciplines are invited to consider
broadly the musical and sonic histories, intersections, and mythologies of
Las Vegas both on and off the Strip. Contributions should ideally aim to
engage undergraduate-level readers as well as craft important inroads in
understanding mythology, music/sound, and place in Las Vegas. The
University of Illinois Press has expressed strong interest in including
this volume in its celebrated Music in American Life book series.


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