Book talk | Mary Beth Ray : "Essays on Music, Adolescence, and Identity: The Adolescentia Project"

Thu, August 1, 2024 6:00 P.M.
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Cost: FREE

Location: Room 108, First floor of Parkway Central Library

Date & Time: Thursday, August 01, 2024, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Registration: Registration is appreciated but not required. RSVP via our Google Form.  

Zoom simulcast:

Questions about this event? You can reach the Music Department via email at or by phone at (215) 686-5316. 

The Free Library of Philadelphia welcomes Dr. Mary Beth Ray (she/her/hers) for a book talk about her new release, Essays on Music, Adolescence, and Identity: The Adolescentia Project. Various essay contributors will share excerpts from their experiences. Join us in person or via Zoom (see link above) as we examine how the music we listened to as teens informs and shapes our identity! There will be an opportunity for audience questions at the end of the discussion.

This is a FREE event. While adolescence is the topic of the day, this event is intended for an adult audience. Registration is highly encouraged. Are you a local academic? We want to see you here! Get pumped up for the talk by listening to the Adolescentia playlist on Spotify!

 About the book: Essays on Music, Adolescence, and Identity: The Adolescentia Project explores music consumption, self-discovery, media culture, and memory through autoethnographic essays on albums we loved during adolescence covering three decades (1980-2010) as the music industry and socio-cultural identity landscapes in the United States significantly changed. The collection advances our understanding of music culture, identity, and adolescence in three ways. First, by expanding our knowledge of the shifting relationship between music and identity by using historical methods to examine changes in music culture and socio-cultural landscapes from 1980 to 2010. Second, by interrogating the role of musical memory and the act of cultural remembering by including autoethnographic reflective essays charting contributors' experiences of understanding and performing self through a particularly formative album of their adolescence. And third, by critiquing the act of music consumption in relation to identity construction and cultural remembering. By examining these influential albums, we can better understand the role of popular culture in identity construction and the long-term impact of these formative musical experiences. 


About the editor: Dr. Mary Beth Ray (she/her/hers) is an Associate Professor and Chair of Communication & Media Studies and Co-Chair of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Plymouth State University who writes about internet culture, gender, and popular music. She holds a Ph.D. from Temple University’s Mass Media and Communication Program and an M.A. in Media Studies from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication. Dr. Ray is a long-time co-chair for the Popular Culture Association’s Internet Culture Area, as well as co-chair of the Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association’s Music Area. Her first book Digital Connectivity and Music Culture – Artists & Accomplices (2017), was published by Palgrave MacMillan.


The views expressed by the authors and moderators are strictly their own and do not represent the opinions of the Free Library of Philadelphia or its employees.

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1901 Vine Street (between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)
Philadelphia, PA 19103