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Annual General Members’ Meeting and Panel: Mental Health and The Emotional Work of the Gig Economy

14th December 2018 @ 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm

3.30-5pm: Panel on Mental Health and The Emotional Work of the Gig Economy


Sally-Anne Gross and Dr George Musgrave (University of Westminster): Can Music Make You Sick?

In recent years there has been a growing body of research that has begun to examine the dark side of our relationship to music. The media understandably concentrate on the more sensational aspects of rock and roll; membership of ‘27 Club’, or the recent public declaration of critically acclaimed dubstep producer Benga as suffering from schizophrenia (Hutchinson, 2015). There is then a tension emerging between the notion that artistry is positive both for the economy and for well-being, and a growing awareness that a musical career is a risky business.
‘Can Music Make You Sick?’ surveyed over 2,200 musicians working in the United Kingdom, and interviewed more than 25 musicians and industry professionals, to explore how they are emotionally experiencing working in the music industry in the United Kingdom. This paper presents findings from this project, which seeks to ask challenging questions of music, and specifically musical ambition and aspirations, in the current climate of precarious labour and hyper competition. Is it possible that musical aspirations are potentially making artists sick?

Jack Newsinger (University of Nottingham): Resilience in austerity cultural policy and practice

Resilience is a key theme in austerity Britain, prominent across government policy, popular discourses, business and management thinking and academia. This paper is about the deployment of the concept of resilience in cultural policy and practice. It is based on an extensive engagement with literature, an analysis of cultural policy discourse, and qualitative data drawn from 23 in-depth interviews with freelance cultural practitioners. I adapt Robin James’s (2015) concept of resilience to show how arts leaders and practitioners generate performative narratives that seek to publicly represent their capacity to adapt to austerity, and we explore the different versions of resilience thinking that these narratives mobilise. I argue that resilience in cultural policy and practice draws upon psychological conceptions of resilience which unwittingly produces a discursive surplus which becomes reinvested in institutions, providing subsequent justification for the processes of post-crisis austerity itself.

5-6pm: Annual General Meeting (for APS members)

6pm: Drinks (open to all)


Free registration:



University of Westminster, Boardroom
309 Regent Street
London, W1B 2HW United Kingdom
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