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Steve Waksman Wins 2010 Woody Guthrie Book Award

This Ain’t the Summer of Love cover imageSteve Waksman has been named the winner of the 2010 Woody Guthrie Award for This Ain’t the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk by the U.S. branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. The Woody Guthrie Book Award committee, which was comprised of Anahid Kassabian (University of Liverpool), David Brackett (McGill University) and David Shumway (Carnegie Mellon University), considered 22 books for the award that recognizes the most distinguished English language monograph in popular music studies published during 2009.

“The committee voted unanimously for this book, praising its combination of rich historical research and insightful critical analysis of music and performance,” said David Shumway, chair of the committee. “Waksman successfully makes connections between two genres usually understood to have little to do with each other, and in so doing significantly revises the history of recent popular music.”

Waksman is associate professor of music and American studies at Smith College in Northampton, Mass. His research and teaching interests are in the history of U.S. popular music and popular culture during the 19th and 20th centuries, with particular focus on music technology, the musical production of identity, and live music performance in the public sphere. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Waksman is also the author Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience (Harvard University Press, 1999). Waksman’s essays on the guitar have appeared in the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World and The Cambridge Companion to the Guitar, among other publications, and in 2008 he was the keynote speaker at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s American Music Masters conference honoring the legacy of Les Paul. In 1998, his dissertation on the electric guitar won the Ralph Henry Gabriel Prize awarded by the American Studies Association.

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