You may have picked up on this already, but the theme/question for this year's EMP Pop Conference - in my opinion probably the best thing to happen in the field of music writing and journalism - were announced earlier this week under the heading "Shake, Rattle: Music, Conflict, and Change". Visit EMP's home page for more info on that.
I've always been a sucker music with a sociopolitical edge if it's smart and done right (as opposed to e.g. us vs. them-thinking and petty "fuck Bush" slogan-ism), I'm very excited about what the contributors will come up with. (In fact, the theme/question is so interesting I might end up posting a "paper" on the blog myself, though I should probably have kept that to myself since I rarely deliver what I promise on this blog).
I have to agree with Carl Wilson that the choice of the words "conflict and change" in the question is better than "politics and protest" which seems to me a more archaic way of looking at the subject, and this way the papers will hopefully take up other topics than the traditional discussions of politics in 60's folk and punk rock, though this is not to say that some insightful thoughts on those topics are totally unwelcome.