Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


PhD student Ellis Jones wins the 2016/17 Andrew Goodwin Memorial Prize

May 3rd, 2017

PhD student Ellis Jones has won an award of £500 for his essay on pop music and aspirational labour, entitled: ‘I do it for the love’.

Decided by a panel of four judges from the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), the Andrew Goodwin Memorial Prize was awarded to Ellis for the best postgraduate student essay in popular music research.

In his essay, Ellis identifies that three recent pop songs by Sam Smith, Lorde, and Jessie J, all disavow materialism in order to position their performers as authentic artists. Whilst this reflects a long-standing tension between art and commerce, in the contemporary context this approach is also in keeping with a discourse of aspirational labour in which each individual is expected to be an entrepreneur, and underpayment for work is the norm. The essay argues that these songs serve to justify and legitimate this discourse within pop music culture, and assist in its expansion beyond the creative industries and into the emerging “gig economy”.

About Ellis Jones

Ellis Jones is a PhD student in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds, where he is supervised by Prof. David Hesmondhalgh and Dr. Leslie Meier.

His thesis examines the political status of “DIY” music in the present day, focussing on the impact of social media, and he has adapted this doctoral research into a series of zines and an upcoming podcast (both called Autocomplet).

Ellis is also an active musician, as the singer and songwriter of the indie rock band Trust Fund.


About the Andrew Goodwin Prize

Andrew Goodwin was a key figure in the development of popular music studies. After his untimely death in September 2013, the Andrew Goodwin Memorial Prize was established as a fitting tribute to his generosity to younger scholars. The aim of the award is to promote popular music research and to support new scholars. It is awarded annually through the IASPM UK-I website.

About The International Association for the Study of Popular Music

The International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) is an international organisation established to promote inquiry, scholarship and analysis in the area of Popular Music. Founded in 1981, IASPM has grown into an international network of almost 600 members world-wide. The organisation’s activities include conferences, publications, and research projects designed to advance an understanding of Popular Music and the processes involved in its production and consumption. To build a large and diverse body of knowledge of Popular Music, IASPM is interprofessional and interdisciplinary. It welcomes as members anyone involved with Popular Music. To preserve its autonomy, the association remains independent of all commercial and governmental interests.

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