Clara de Massol: Winner of the MSA Excellent Paper Award

Last year’s winner of the Memory Study Association Excellent Paper Award is Clara de Massol de Rebetz, with her article ‘Remembrance Day for Lost Species. Remembering and Mourning Extinction in the Anthropocene’. Clara is a PhD candidate at King’s College London in the CMCI department, supervised by Dr Jessica Rapson.

Her article was published last September 2020 in the latest issue of Memory Studies Journal, which you can read here. Clara explores memory and the future memory of extinction through the analysis of a local Remembrance Day for Lost Species, an international initiative encouraging people to globally gather in funeral ceremonies to mourn extinct species. She draws on Ursula Heise’s concept of ‘eco-cosmopolitanism’ (2008, 2016) and Michael Rothberg’s ‘multidirectional memory’ (2009) as well as fieldwork notes and interviews conducted during Lost Species Day 2018 in Brighton, UK to unpack the conditions of future memory at a time of ecological loss. As such, she considers what is lost and remembered at a time of mass extinction; identifying the Anthropocene – the geological epoch in which the incremental and disruptive impact of the human species has become the main planetary force – as an epoch of mourning.


AHRC Award for Experiential Translation Network

We are pleased to announce that Dr Ricarda Vidal (CMCI, KCL) and Dr Madeleine Campbell (Edinburgh University) have been awarded an AHRC Network grant.

The network comprises academics, artists and translators from the UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hong Kong, Hungary and Poland and explores translation between languages (interlingual) and between media (intersemiotic) as a method of creation and communication, as a method for learning and teaching, collaboration and participation within multilingual, multicultural and multimodal settings. This includes understanding the many modes and modalities that contribute to meaning-making in cross-cultural communication (online & offline), language education and translation, and embracing the role of individual imagination and artistic creation in education and arts institutions (e.g. libraries, galleries, museums). We will employ arts-based and collaborative research methods including creative public workshops at libraries, museums, galleries, schools and universities.

The Network will commence in March 2021 and run until September 2022 – watch this space for announcements of workshops and a final exhibition and international conference in June 2022.

There will also be a dedicated website – link to be published here soon.

Network Leaders:

Dr Ricarda Vidal, PI, King’s College London,  and Dr Madeleine Campbell, Co-I, University of Edinburgh,

Network participants:

Dr Karen Bennett, Nova University Lisbon;  Dr Heather Connelly, University of Lincoln; Harriet Carter, Birmingham City University; Dr Gaia Del Negro, University of Milan; Cinzia Delorenzi, independent; Dr Tomasz Dobrogoszcz, University of Lodz; Dr Noèlia Díaz Vicedo, Queen Mary University of London; Anna Dot, independent; Dobrochna Futro, University of Glasgow; Birthe Jørgensen, independent; Dr Karl Katschthaler, Debrecen University; Dr Tong King Lee, University of Hong-Kong; Dr Joanna Kosmalska, University of Lodz; Prof John London, Queen Mary University of London; Dr Silvia Luraschi, University of Milan; Dr Rosario Martín Ruano, University of Salamanca; Dr Manuela Perteghella, Open University; Dr Anikó Sohár, Pázmány Péter Catholic University Budapest; Prof África Vidal Claramonte, University of Salamanca; Tomasz Wochna, independent   

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NEW BOOK by Anna Woodham on “unloved” museum collections

We’re pleased to announce that CMCI lecturer Dr Anna Woodham’s new edited book has just been published: Exploring Emotion, Care and Enthusiasm in “Unloved” Museum Collections. Edited with Dr Rianedd Smith and Dr Alison Hess, the book focuses on the millions of items that are held in museum collections around the world but which are not currently or never will be put on display. These stored objects are certainly not neglected by their professional custodians, and they are loved with a great intensity by some curators and enthusiasts. However, for all but a tiny proportion of the population they have little or no personal meaning. The book goes beyond strategic discussions of access to museum stores, information enhancement, or collections rationalization and focuses on the emotional potential of these objects. The authors explore how “care” for objects has varied over time and consider who cares for objects that are generally considered to be unsuitable for display and why they care. The authors also consider how inter-generational and inter-disciplinary dialogue can enhance or engender engagement with “unloved” collections and offer strategies and reflection on interpreting stored collections.

This book will be essential reading for scholars, students, and professionals in museums, especially those concerned with curation and collections. The volume contains contributions from both academics and museum practitioners including Dr Sheila Watson, Dr Alexandra Woodall and Mark Carnall (Oxford University Museum of Natural History) among others.


Roger Fry, Bloomsbury, Transfer Lithography and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa collection

Roger Fry, “St Jacques, Dieppes”, 1927

Richard Howells, CMCI’s Professor of Cultural Sociology has a new research article published on Roger Fry, Bloomsbury, and transfer lithography.  Here, he has filled a gap in the existing literature, locating Fry’s use of the medium within the context of Bloomsbury innovation before the Second World War.

Special attention is then paid to the 13 Fry lithographs in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa collection, donated by Rex Nan Kivell and Pamela Diamand, the artist’s daughter. He shows why these items by a very English artist were donated to a museum in New Zealand, especially by his only daughter in the UK. It concludes by considering the importance of these lithographs, arguing ultimately that they should be understood within the context of Roger Fry rather than simply by viewing the artist within the context of Bloomsbury.
Richard’s students will already be aware of his interest in Fry and Bloomsbury, and one of his recent MA Visual Culture students, Lina Fradin, is acknowledged for her help in identifying one of the scenes depicted in Paris.
The full citation is: Richard Howells, “Roger Fry, Bloomsbury and Transfer Lithography” in Tuhinga: Records of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 31, 2020, pp 5-18. ISSN: 1173-4337.

Decolonize classical music!

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
The mixed-race English conductor and composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912). Photograph: Hulton Getty

The exam board of Britain’s royal schools of music is being urged to address the legacy of its colonial origins after research found 99% of pieces on its syllabuses were by white composers” writes the Guardian in a recent article discussing the decolonization of classical music. The articles also draws on the work by CMCI researcher and PhD student Scott Craizley who argues that “the exclusion of black composers amounted to systemic racism, and the ABRSM [Associated Board of the Royal Schoolsof Music]should make its syllabuses less white if it was “committed to seeing a more racially diverse intake of students entering conservatoires”.

Read the full article here.


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Curating Expertise Museum Survey

Are you a current or former museum and gallery professional working in the UK or internationally? Dr Serena Iervolino (CMCI) and Dr Stuart Dunn (DDH) are inviting colleagues in the sector to complete a survey that aims to explore the perspectives and experiences of current and former museum and gallery professionals in relation to graduate employability in the sector.

The survey can be accessed at here (closing date: 18th of June).
Please take the time to complete the survey and circulate it amongst your colleagues.

Serena and Stuart are particularly keen to hear from those interested in contributing, in one form or another, to the delivery of a future London-based but globally focused new Museum Studies teaching provision at King’s. They are interested in collaborating with London-based institutions / professionals, but would be delighted to also hear from colleagues across the UK and internationally. 

Whilst they appreciate this is a time of uncertainty for the sector, they believe it is a critical moment to reflect on how we can train future generations of resilient museum professionals.  

If you wish to get in touch, please email and 


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We are delighted to announce that the Creative Industries Research Frontiers seminar series, which is co-organised by King’s College London and the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC), has now moved fully ONLINE.

There are two sessions coming up in June. Don’t miss presentations by CMCI’s Kate McMillan and Tamsyn Dent on 1st June.

Seminar 3: Creative work and gender: barriers and activism 

1st June 2020  2-3.30pm

You can read the programme and register here:

Seminar 4: Creative industries and intersectional barriers:  Exploring class and race

8th June 2020  2-3.30pmYou can read the programme and register here:

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COVID-19, Society & the Elderly – some ugly truths

In times of public emergency, social truths are revealed. The coronavirus crisis is one such emergency, and it reveals that the lives of the elderly appear to matter less and, in some cases, are even deemed disposable”, writes CMCI PhD-student Shir Shimoni. Her chilling article “How coronavirus exposes the way we regard ageing and old people” draws on her PhD research and was recently published in The Conversation. Read the full piece here.
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Gigabitesback – CMCI community – sharing resilience

At a time like this, our first thoughts are for everyone’s health and wellbeing. We are a community of students, staff and alumni drawn from many parts of the world, and our experiences of the current crisis will take many forms depending on our own circumstances and current conditions of ’social distancing’ and ‘isolation’. Nevertheless, we are brought together by the interests and commitments that we have in common –  not least those that come under the label of ‘Culture, Media and Creative Industries’ – CMCI. It is in light of these shared interests that we are writing to you now to introduce ‘Gigabitesback’.
At its simplest – Gigabitesback is an online forum dedicated to the CMCI community for saying ‘hello’, connecting with each other, and sharing ideas. We’d like it ‘to make a difference’.
The name ‘Gigabitesback’ references a) the gig economy – where so many in arts and culture work and are facing great uncertainty in their futures; b) the online space we are now working (requiring gigabytes of memory); and c) the opportunity, or perhaps requirement we feel to use our collective skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to do something to help – to be resilient – to ‘bite back’!
So – how can YOU get involved. Join one of our initial meetings to find out. The plan is to hold these every Wednesday over the coming weeks at 10.00 and then repeated at 16.00 GMT (to accommodate different time zones).
Links to join the meetings are below:
Join at 10.00 GMT on Wednesdays
Join at 16.00 GMT  on Wednesdays
Between us we have an extraordinary wealth of knowledge, experience and creativity to bring to the current situation. We’d like to support people working across the arts, cultural, media and creative sectors (including many of our alumni). Share both your challenges and your solutions – your great ideas – with others across the CMCI community. You can do this by posting a short note on our Gigabitesback note-wall here (alumni will have ‘guest’ access so posts will be anonymous – but you can add your professional contact details in your note – if you’re happy for this to be shared across the CMCI community).
Take care everyone, and thank you!
CMCI Gigabites team
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INAUGURAL LECTURE: This Thing Called Art – Nick Wilson, Professor of Culture & Creativity

The Great Hall, King’s College London, 12 February, 18.30-21.30

If you’re wondering what we mean by ‘this thing called art’, then join us in the Great Hall on 12th February and listen to the inaugural lecture by CMCI Professor Nick Wilson. Prof. Wilson suggests there is much more at stake than the creation and enjoyment of artworks, the specialised work of professional artists, or, indeed, the sector we call the arts. In a wide-ranging and personal talk, he argues for a radical new account of art that acknowledges its central role in experiencing, valuing and connecting with self, with each-other, and with the world. How we respond to the major challenges of our time, including the persecutory nature of contemporary global society and climate emergency, depends upon our coming to recognise the value of this aesthetic knowing for ourselves.

The lecture is free, but places are limited, so please book here:

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TALK: Environmental Racism in the United States

Thursday 6th February, 6.30pm-7.45pm

This event is part of the British Academy’s season on Sustainable Futures

Environmental racism is on the rise in the United States, with minority and impoverished communities much more likely to live near polluters and breathe polluted air. In this event, CMCI Senior Lecturer Jessica Rapson (CMCI) and co-researcher Lucy Bond and will draw on their recent research to highlight how the tourist and heritage industry in the American Gulf States (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) is helping to conceal environmental racism as well as being complicit in the air and water pollution crisis that is blighting predominantly African American neighbourhoods.

Cultures of Creativity, Digital Culture, Museum Curation, News, Representation, Uncategorised

#KuñaJesareko: Instagram as a place for the female gaze

Jazmín Ruiz Díaz

I have recently had the opportunity of presenting my book chapter The Female Gaze in Times of Selfies as a member of the Feminist & Gender Research Reading Group at King’s/Queen Mary (Liss DTP). This chapter — part of the book Amalgama: Women, Identity & Diaspora— represents the culmination of what started as an arts-based research (ABR) project for my master’s dissertation. Having the chance of discussing my work with other feminist researchers and colleagues from the CMCI Department was a wonderful way of closing my first year of PhD. Moreover, the reading was just an excuse to start an exciting dialogue with all the members of the group around a diversity of topics such as female gaze, digital culture and the possibilities for feminist arts-based research. In the hope of moving forward this debate, I want to share some of the main ideas developed in the book chapter and in the project behind it: Kuña Jesareko.

It all started with an Instagram challenge

As a social network, Instagram is a digital space for communication, but, at the same time, it is a place for representation. The project Kuña Jesarekobegan with the intention of using this platform in its two extensions -participatory and representational-, establishing through it a discussion around the concept of the female gaze.

Kuña Jesarekomeans ‘female gaze’ in Guarani, one of the two official languages in Paraguay, along with the Spanish. As the title may suggest, it aims to create a narrative about the Paraguayan female gaze, recognising the artistic value of the images shared by women from this country on social media. Understanding that the relations of looking are relations of power, the project was born as an attempt to empower Paraguayan women as creators of images. Then, relations of power are subverted by making them ‘not only the bearers of meaning but its makers too’, as Laura Mulvey (1989) said. And when they become the main topic, they inscribe diverse femininities, with different bodies, lifestyles, ages.

A central influence behind the original idea of the project was Paraguayan artist Regina Rivas. Her work on illustration reflects a fresh perspective of the female gaze, which found on Instagram the perfect platform to connect with a young audience craving this type of content. Scenes of sex, women in diverse roles and the female body itself are some of the themes that are continuously depicted by this illustrator.

After a discussion with Rivas about the best way to find creative work in Paraguay that fitted into the notion of the female gaze, we agreed that Instagram was the best space to establish a discussion around the subject with other practitioners. Then, we decided to launch a challenge for the 8thof March, the International Women’s Day (IWD), in 2018. To this purpose, we created a hashtag that summarised the intention of the project. The feedback was beyond our expectations: we found more than one hundred posts following #KuñaJesareko after the 8thof March. But this did not stop there, the project being an ongoing process: as I wrote these lines, the number of posts has reached three hundred.

The second part of the project involved gathering the pictures -or ´reposting’ them- on an Instagram account specially created: @kunajesareko. The third and final part was launch in the form of a blog (, with an online exhibition, and a series of essays about the female gaze. They examined what it means, how can be constructed, how it does challenge notions of femininity linked with national identity, and what is the role of self-representation and other ways of expression within the framework of digital culture.

For this purpose, I chose — as the curator of the exhibition — twenty-five images displayed in five thematic sections: ‘Through the looking glass’, about self-representation in a digital context; ´Kaleidoscopic identities’, regarding topics such as belonging, national identity and race; ‘The body as a manifesto’, gathering images that depict the body in a political sense; ‘Materialising female desire’, which is dedicated to images erotically charged; and finally, ‘Women looking at women’, where women’s portrays as the main topic were displayed.

The afterlife of Kuña Jesareko

Almost two years after the first challenge was posted, a lot of things have happened. While the Instagram account became a digital community — still active — for gathering and promoting the work of Paraguayan artists, the project itself reached other spaces. In April, the slow fashion Paraguayan store Oh! Sí reunited Kuña Jesareko’s artwork for the one-night event Mujeres Mirando Mujeres(Women looking at women). In June, I could present the project in the University of Oxford, as part of the first Latin American Art and Cultural Research Symposium in the UK: Art + Identity. While in August was the launch of the book Amalgama: Women, Identity and Diaspora.

However, there are still numerous gaps to fill with further research. First of all, in terms of ABR as an innovative approach for contributing to academic knowledge while having a social impact. Secondly, Instagram, as a key modern site for the exhibition/discussion/contestation of images of femininity and the body, is an excellent medium to explore ideas through ABRP. I am excited to see how this dialogue between female gaze, digital platforms and ABR continues.

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Climate Change, Feminism, Creativity & Memory – a CFP & an Exhibition

Kate McMillan, 2019

Symposium: 30 Jan. 2020, 10:00 to 18:00

Deadline for Proposals of 200-300 words:
13th Dec. 2019

Exhibition: 13 Jan. – 28 Feb. 2020

Bush House Arcade, London

On 30 January 2020, the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King’s College London will present a symposium organised by CMCI lecturer and artist Kate McMillan. They are currently taking submissions for the symposium from across disciplines, within and outside of academia, that explore the interconnections between concepts such as the Anthropocene, climate change, memory, feminism and art.  For the full CFP see here

The symposium accompanies Kate McMillan’s film-based installation The Lost Girl, which will be on show at the Arcade at Bush House from 13th January to 28th February.

Find out more about The Lost Girl exhibition and programme here.

Supported by the Arts & Humanities Research Institute, King’s College London and the following funders: Arts Council England, Australia Council for the Arts.

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NEW BOOK: Screen Media for Arab and European Children

We’re pleased to announce that CMCI Prof Jeanette Steemers’s new book has just been published: Screen Media for Arab and European Children: Policy and Production Encounters in a Multiplatform Era addresses gaps in our understanding of processes that underpin the making and circulation of children’s screen contents across the Arab region and Europe. Taking account of recent disruptive shifts in geopolitics that call for new thinking about how children’s media policy and production should proceed after large-scale forced migration in both regions, the book asks to what extent children in Europe and the Arab World are engaging with the same content. Who is funding new content and who is making it, according to whose criteria? Whose voices are loudest when it comes to pressures for regulation of children’s screen content, and what exactly do they want? The answers to these questions matter for anyone seeking insights into diverse cross-cultural collaborations and content innovations that are shaping new investment and production relationships.

The book is linked to our  AHRC-funded project Children’s Screen Content in an Era of Forced Migration: Facilitating Arab-European Dialogue (

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Future of Film Summit 2019

King’s is partnering with Future of Film Summit 2019 on a one-day conference designed to shape and create the future of film and storytelling.

Future of Film Summit

Taking place at BFI Southbank in London on 26 November, the event will feature world-class speakers behind works such as Ad Astra, Blade Runner 2049 and Black Mirror as well as hands-on sessions on the latest tech/strategies including virtual production, worldbuilding, interactive storytelling and brand-funding.

CMCI’s Professor Sarah Atkinson will be hosting the inaugural  Future of Film Think Tank with speakers from the event and collaborating with them on a report on the future of film set to be published in early 2020.

The summit will also see the launch of Professor Sarah Atkinson’s film Live Cinema – Walking the tightrope between stage and screen’ which examines the growing prominence of live cinema phenomena in the global film experience economy. The film features interviews with pioneers at the vanguard of live cinema, including Oscar-nominated actor Woody Harrelson, and contributions from the National Theatre Live, Royal Opera House Live, The Light Surgeons, Live Cinema UK and Blast Theory.

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Radical Education by the Sea

Raphael Sieraczek (PhD student at CMCI) together with his colleague Uwe Derksen have successfully established a radical educational project in the vibrant town of Margate (Kent) described by journalists as ‘Shoreditch-on-Sea’. The Margate School (TMS) is an independent liberal art school with post-graduate provision and community outreach offering a wide range of short courses as well as the innovative MA in Fine Art programme ‘Art, Society, Nature’ that started in October this year. The school is based in the former Woolworths building on the Margate High Street and has been described as the ‘soul of Margate’ being open to the local community and frequently visited by internationally renowned artists, philosophers as well as academic researchers who already compare The Margate School to revolutionary educational initiatives, such as, the Black Mountain College. If interested in visiting the school please get in touch directly with Raphael at
For more information about TMS please visit the school’s website and the facebook page;
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Poetry Book Launch: Home on the Move

4th October
Ledbury Book Festival’s Poetry Salon at Ledbury Books and Maps
Ledbury High Street, Ledbury,

Ricarda Vidal (an academic at CMCI) and Manuela Perteghella will be launching their poetry collection Home on the Move: Two Poems go on a Journey with an introduction, poetry readings and a roundtable discussion, followed by Q&A. The evening will also include the ever popular Ledbury Open Mic! Tickets £5 on the door (includes a drink). For more info please see the Facebook Event page.

The book is the result of Ricarda and Manuela’s multilingual touring project Talking Transformations: Home on the Move, which employed poetry, community workshops, film art, translation and a travelling exhibition to get people talking about home and migration in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.

The creative responses collected in the book were created on a journey undertaken by two poems about ‘home’: Deryn Rees-Jones’ poem travelled from the UK via France to Spain and back whilst Polish poet Rafał Gawin’s travelled to the UK via Romania and back to Poland. During each journey, the poems were translated by a literary translator and a local film artist. The original English poem was translated by CMCI’s Kate McMillan.

The poems and their literary and artistic translations toured England in summer 2018 and were translated into new poetry in English and other languages in a series of workshops. A selection of these retranslations is included in Home on the Move.

The book also contains film stills and QR codes for the artist videos.

‘One of the most inventive and necessary poetry projects of recent years, a reminder of Ted Hughes’s assertion that poetry “is a universal language in which we can all hope to meet”’ – Chris McCabe


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Cohen Returns to BFI Southbank For 2 Events on History of Musicals

On November 4, CMCI Senior Lecturer Dr Harvey G Cohen will be hosting two events at the British Film Institute Southbank venue, as part of their 2-month “Musicals” film series during October and November.
At one event, at 6:20PM, Cohen will sum up his new book Who’s In the Money: The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood’s New Deal, with a 60-minute lecture adorned with film clips and graphics concerning the Warner brothers, President Franklin Roosevelt and the dawn of master choreographer Busby Berkeley’s most famous films and why they’re historically important and a lot of fun to watch.

Following this event, Cohen will provide a 10-minute intro to the most profitable of the Great Depression Musicals Warner Bros made and released in 1933: “Gold Diggers of 1933,” and how its themes mirrored many of the historical and political events of 1933 and the Great Depression. As was true in these famous films, dancing and singing eased the pain many were experiencing at the time.

And for our new MA students under the age of 25, please be aware, for this screening and others that the BFI Southbank (across the river from us!) has a very cool £3 discount price for people under 25, including poor grad students. Have fun…

Click for more info


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Sixteen Sixty Six and All That


Just back from Sweden is CMCI’s Professor Richard Howells, who was invited to give a lecture, workshop and a research seminar at Lund University, which was founded in 1666.

His lecture and workshop were about defining and researching visual culture, while his research seminar was on his current work in progress on a famous literary spat between English novelists Arnold Bennett and Virginia Woolf.

The research seminar was part of Lund University’s KOM Public Seminars series (our picture shows the brochure cover), run by their Department of Communication and Media.

In Lund, Professor Howells was hosted by Professor Annette Hill, who is also a visiting Professor here at CMCI. Richard Howells, who is our Professor of Cultural Sociology, also met with some of Professor Hill’s PhD students and discussed their own research projects over what we understand was a very agreeable lunch.

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Interview with Harvey G. Cohen: music, academia… and life

Whilst researching his next book at Indiana University, Harvey Cohen, cultural historian and senior lecturer at CMCI, was interviewed by the National Public Radio station WFIU for their weekly ‘Profiles’ programme. Click the image below to find out about Dr Cohen’s books, his work on music and the music industry, his research and teaching philosophy, his thoughts on academia today… etc.

Dr Harvey G. Cohen (Aaron Cain, WFIU)


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And Then There Were Three

Microsite Header

The third edition of the CMCI research microsite is now up: eight new blog posts which explore research and thinking from staff and research students working here in the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries.

In our third edition, many of the contributions outline research projects that are concerned with media representation and subjectivities in particular cultural, socioeconomic contexts and the extent to which media forms and practices can be considered participatory.

We have pieces from Professor David Buckingham, Stella Toonen, Dr Ricarda Vidal, Addiel Dzinoreva, Dr Eva Cheuk-Yin Li, Miruna Mirica-Damian, Jessica Davis, and Camilo Sol Inti Soler Caicedo.

You can read the whole thing at and the editors can be contacted at

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Professor Richard Howells is back from a conference in Tuscany, Italy, where he gave a refereed paper in which he inter-wove Harry Potter, the sorting hat, serpents, parceltongue and horcruxes, together with  the “Fall”, Philip Pullman, the Republic of Heaven, Ernst Bloch, Utopia, Marxian Critical Theory, and atheistic Christianity.

The conference was the 20th International Conference of the Utopian Studies Society, held at the Monash University Study Centre in Prato.

Howells, who is our Professor of Cultural Sociology, argued that running human themes can be detected throughout both “high” and popular culture, provoking us to consider how things might be in the future as opposed to how they happen to be today. The disturbingly close relation between good and evil was running concern, culminating in the need for a human-centred universe.

More of his thinking on culture and Utopia can be found in his TEDx talk and his monograph A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism and Design (2015; paperback 2017).

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Queer Museology

Queeer Museology

Drs Red Chidgey and Serena Iervolino have been hosting a workshop and a pop-up residency as part of their Queer Museology research project.

They want to explore what a queer museum would look (or feel) like and which practices would be needed to change, transform or ‘queer’ a museum space?

The residency incorporated three queer and trans artists, Joanna Lawn in collaboration with Colin Lievens, and Daniel Fountain, who were invited to transform an empty office in King’s Arts and Humanities Research Institute Reach space by creating a new artwork. The project was supported by two CMCI MA students, Viktoria Szanto and Jeroen van Dijk, employed as research assistants.

They also hosted a workshop with delegates from Tate, V&A, Pitt Rivers Museum, the Science Gallery London, activists from Queer Britain and academics from Royal Holloway university. If you want to follow the residency and discussion event, the twitter account is: @QueerMuseology

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Venice Poster

Dr Roberta Comunian and PhD student Lauren England have been presenting their research at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice as part of a symposium on craft, skills and making.

The event brought together international researchers to discuss the frontier of craft research, taking in both traditional and contemporary practices. Lauren presented her current doctoral research on UK crafts graduates and their strategies for new enterprise development, while Roberta shared their co-authored paper on creative clusters the evolution of glassmaking skills in post-industrial regions.

They were joined by Dr Paola Trevisan (Copenhagen Business School) and Dr Maria Lusiani (Universita’ Ca’ Foscari, Venezia) who presented their research on Venetian gondolas, and Prof. Michele Tamma (Universita’ Ca’ Foscari, Venezia) who gave a paper on the island of Murano as a culture-based business.

The event was supported by King’s College London and the Management of Arts and Culture Laboratory (MACLAB), a research centre of the Department of Management, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

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The Ethics of Fashion

Joanne studio shoot 2017

Dr Joanne Entwistle has returned from Getaria in the Spanish Basque Country where she has been speaking on a summer course at the Christobal Balenciaga Museum.

It was entitled: “Towards an ethics of fashion: challenges and advances” and investigated how fashion converges with society, culture and the economy. It questioned the relations between the whole chain: design, production, commercialisation, communication, and preservation.

The course was overseen by University of the Basque Country, and you can follow the link at:


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London Calling

Clash London

Dr Ruth Adams is back from Bordeaux, France, where she was invited to give a conference paper on the punk music scene in London in the 1970s. The invitation came from the research group “European Capitals and Heritage since 1945: Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris”, which is based at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Ruth’s paper considered the ways in which London punk constructed an image and identity through a process of appropriation and bricolage.  While it had an explicitly English identity and drew on tropes of domestic history and heritage, Ruth argued that it also incorporated some of the strategies of the European Modernist avant-garde into its (sub)cultural patchwork.

Ruth recently has also had a chapter published in a new book about London punk band The Clash.  Entitled “‘Are you going backwards.  Or are you going forwards?’ England Past and England Future in 1970s Punk”, it examines the ways in which the comparatively cosmopolitan and political approach of The Clash could be regarded as progressive and forward looking.

This chapter features in Coulter C. (ed.), Working for the Clampdown: The Clash, The Dawn of Neoliberalism and the Political Promise of Punk, published by Manchester University Press (2019):

Clash fans will note that the London launch event for the book was held at the Elgin pub (a regular haunt of the band) in Ladbroke Grove, W11.

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Intersemiotic Journeys

intersemiotic book cover

Dr Ricarda Vidal is celebrating the successful launch event for her new book: Translating across Sensory and Linguistic Borders: Intersemiotic Journeys between Media (Palgrave 2019), co-edited with Madeleine Campbell. The well-attended event was held here at King’s.

The volume draws together theoretical and creative contributions from translators, artists, performers, academics and curators who have explored “intersemiotic translation” in their practice.

The contributions offer a practitioner’s perspective on this rapidly evolving, interdisciplinary field which spans semiotics, cognitive poetics, psychoanalysis and transformative learning theory.

Ricarda and Madeleine explained the theoretical framework that informed their research before presenting a simultaneous reading of the two prose poems which they wrote in lieu of a conclusion to their book. Literary translator, gender activist and poet Jen Calleja then performed her feminist intersemiotic translations of Christian Marclay’s The Clock into poetry.

The Maugham Library at KCL stocks the book both as hard copy and e-book. Alternatively, the introduction and conclusion can be downloaded free from:

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The Second’s Out

Microsite Header

Out now: the second edition of news on the CMCI Microsite.

This new edition includes five new blog posts which explore the research and thinking from staff and research students working in the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries, here at King’s College London.

There are contributions from Dr Bridget Conor, Dr Roberta Comunian and Lauren England, Dr Stephanie Janes, Lauren Cantillon, and Katrin Schindel:

The site is at –and you can keep in direct touch by emailing the team at


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Rolling the DISCE

Dresden 2

A team of CMCI researchers have begun work on the €2.9 project, Developing Inclusive and Sustainable Creative Economies (DISCE), funded by the European Commission (Horizon 2020).

Building on their previous work on creative labour, creative eco-systems and cultural policy, the KCL teamRoberta Comunian, Bridget Conor, Tamsyn Dent, Jonathan Gross and Nick Wilson – are collaborating with researchers at universities in Finland, Italy and Latvia.

All four research teams have now met in in Dresden, Germany, alongside two project partners: the cultural communications agency Cumediae, and Trans Europe Halles (TEH) – a network of 109 independent cultural organisations across the EU.

In Dresden, the DISCE team had the opportunity to discuss which ten European cities they will work with as case studies. Roberta Comunian took part in a panel discussion with cultural leaders and policy makers, addressing the future of creative economies in the EU, while CMCI’s new Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Tamsyn Dent, participated in TEH’s co-creation lab – hearing more about the priorities and concerns of this group of cultural workers.

You can keep an eye here on the CMCI blog – and on the DISCE website and twitter feed – for further updates over the next three years.

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The Public Value of Creative Vocations


CMCI’s Dr Roberta Comunian has been having her say on the recent debate about the future of creative arts education in the United Kingdom in response to the recent Augar Review.

She was invited, along with Scott Brook of RMIT University in Australia, to contribute with a blog entry, hosted by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) and led by “innovation foundation” NESTA (formerly the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts).

Drs Comunian andBrook argue that “Degrees do not necessarily need to be seen as pecuniary investments” (the belief that unless one gets a financial return on one’s investment, they have no value). “They are investments in many other forms of value that may or may not be redeemable in financial returns”.  They add: “rather than cutting funding and discounting student career outcomes, we need to put pressure on HE providers to make the public value of creative vocations explicit, as well as improve creative graduate outcomes within and beyond the creative sector”.

You can read the full blog entry here: To read the Augur Review, go to:

Roberta Comunian (pictured) is Reader in Creative Economy here in CMCI.

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The Body: Fashion and Physique

Fashion Thoerey Cover

Out this month… A special number of Fashion Theory, guest edited by CMCI’s Dr Joanne Entwistle, along with Emma McClendon of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

This special issue on “The Body: Fashion and Physique” includes an introductory letter from the guest editors, while Dr Entwistle concludes with a discussion on “Fashion Diversity”.

Fashion Theory is the academic journal of Dress, Body & Culture, and it aims to provide: “an interdisciplinary forum for the rigorous analysis of cultural phenomena ranging from footbinding to fashion advertising.” Their website is at:

Joanne Entwistle is Reader in Cultural and Creative Industries; Emma McClendon is Associate Curator of Costume at the museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology.

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Seventy Percent of Artists….

Kate McM Chair

There’s been quite a media stir over Dr Kate McMillan’s report on the representation of female artists in the UK. Headline findings include that nearly 70 percent of artists represented by London’s top galleries are men.

It’s the latest in annual series of reports commissioned by the Freelands Foundation, which aims further to understand the role that gender plays in artists’ careers.

Dr McMillan is both an artist and an academic here at CMCI. You can read the whole report at:

And for some of the media coverage, go to: Frieze Magazine:; Artnet News:;  Epeak:; Art Critique:; Il; Apollo:;  ArtNews:; Art News Daily:; and The Art Newspaper:

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London: Gateway to Cinema and Media Studies

London Cinema

CMCI is teaming up with University of Notre Dame (USA), The Society for Cinema and Media Studies, and King’s own Film Studies department to present a three-day symposium:  London: Gateway to Cinema and Media Studies.

The event will consider London’s rich history and complex future in relation to cinema and media studies. Keynote speakers include Charlotte Brunsdon, University of Warwick, and Ian Christie, Birkbeck, University of London.

Panels include “London as Industry Hub”, chaired by our own Professor Paul McDonald, while our head of department Dr Sarah Atkinson will speak on “From Film Walks to Film M-apps: London as Location and the Cinemafication of the City”. Other speakers come from across the UK and USA.

It takes place from July 18- 20, 2019. You can check out the full programme here: while details for registration are available here:


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We Launch Our New Research Website

Microsite Header

We are delighted to announce the launch of, a new website for the department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries here at King’s. It is designed to showcase all the latest research, impact and thinking from our academic staff and research students.

Writing in the first “edition”, Professor Jeanette Steemers explains that even though CMCI is already represented on the existing College website, that doesn’t have enough space to highlight the full range of our research activities as and when they happen.

It’s also the place that brings together our other online activities including this CMCI news blog, our Twitter feed and Facebook pages.  We plan to highlight four items a month in this pilot phase, and the website team are also working on a social media strategy and a monthly newsletter which will bring stories by email to students, staff, alumni –and anyone else who wants to keep up to date with the research we do.

The new site is very definitely a collaborative effort and Professor Steamers offers her special thanks to CMCI PhD students Elena Terranova, Taylor Annabell, and Rebecca Young for bringing the project to fruition, in addition to Dr Christine Singer for designing the pilot back in the summer of 2018.

You can contact the editorial team and sign up for the newsletter at But most of all, please do visit and enjoy the site:

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Launch of

Professor Jeanette Steemers

It’s an absolute pleasure to see the launch of the website today.

The launch represents the culmination of efforts by CMCI staff and students together to provide an accessible and up-to-the-minute resource about what is happening in the Department, which contributes to our community.

It is very definitely a collaborative effort and I’d like to offer special thanks to our wonderful PhD students, Elena (Terranova), Taylor (Annabell) and Rebecca (Young)  for bringing the project to fruition this month,  and to Dr Christine Singer for designing the pilot back in the summer of 2018.

So why do we need our own electronic presence? After all, we have the College but that doesn’t have much space to highlight the full range of our research and activities as and when they happen.

If you want to write about your research or simply an issue you think deserves greater attention, then don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team at   If you’d like to review an event, King’s or external, or a publication then get in touch.  If you would like to publish an opinion piece or a set of reflections or an interview, then we’d like to hear from you.  Posts inspired by conferences or reading groups you are organising or are attending, or creative projects you are involved with, are especially welcome.

You don’t have to write very much – 500 to 1000 words, and we might approach you to commission a piece.  Because a key aim is that we get to know more about what is happening within the department so that we can stimulate face to face encounters, which might help us with new collaborations or new insights.

The website is designed to highlight CMCI  research, impact and thinking from both research students and staff.  It’s also the place that brings together our other online activities including the  CMCI news blog, Twitter feed and Facebook pages.  We hope to publicise four posts a month in this pilot phase, and the website team are working on a social media strategy and a monthly newsletter which will bring stories by email to students and staff.  This is where we need your help, so please publicise the site within the Department, the College and externally and encourage people to sign up to our newsletter by emailing us at

We hope you enjoy our first stories and if you have any ideas about the website or want to contribute, please get in touch.

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About George Clooney

McDonald Clooney Cover

Friends and colleagues gathered for an event at King’s to toast the launch of CMCI’s Professor Paul McDonald’s latest book, which traces the career of actor-filmmaker George Clooney.

He begins with the hit television medical drama “ER” and proceeds up to 2017’s “Suburbicon”, showing the transition from commercial successes such as Ocean’s Eleven (2001) to more political films such as “Syriana”(2005).

McDonald places Clooney in the context of the Hollywood star system, but argues that on the one hand Clooney’s star persona has many similarities with that of traditional Hollywood movie stars such as Cary Grant, but at the same time sees Clooney as a very 21st century transmedia celebrity in the tradition of the “new” Hollywood. He’s a great example, then, of the transition between the two.

In addition to his work within CMCI, Paul McDonald also serves as Vice Dean (People and Planning) for Arts in KCL’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities. For more on the book, published by Bloomsbury and the British Film Institute, go to:

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Beyond Disciplines


The programme and final details are out for our Emerging Voices Conference 2019, under the theme “Beyond Disciplines.”

The conference is organised by a team of volunteer PhD students here at the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries (CMCI), led by Lauren Cantillon, Katrin Schindel, Elena Terranova, and Rebecca Young.

It takes place from 6th- 7th June; the keynote speakers are Dr. Hongwei Bao, Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham, and Suhair Khan, Program Manager at Google Arts & Culture. It all takes place in the Exchange at Bush House, King’s College London, North East Wing, Aldwych, WC2B 4BG Strand, London.

The participation is free thanks to support from CMCI, who are covering catering and venue costs. The pathway 7: Linguistics, Media & Culture (LMC) of the London Interdisciplinary Social science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS) have also contributed to the conference by supporting the travel and accommodation costs for the keynote speakers.

Full programme details are at:

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England In Australia

Lauren England Mugshot

CMCI PhD student Lauren England in making waves in Australia, where she is presenting her research on UK craft higher education and professional practice.

She’s giving seminars at a number of Australian universities, presenting her research on the educational practices associated with professional development in UK craft degree programmes. She is also discussing approaches used by crafts graduates in establishing careers and businesses as independent creative producers.

This includes her recommendations for higher education providers, policy makers and craft sector stakeholders to facilitate the professional development of early-career makers and support the establishment of sustainable craft enterprise.

Lauren’s venues include the University of Melbourne, the University of South Australia, and the Australian National University. Her research is conducted in partnership with Crafts Council UK.

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Book Award for Sarah Atkinson

Atkinson Monogrpah 2019

Congratulations to our head of Department, Dr Sarah Atkinson, who is the runner up in the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies 2019 Awards for Best Monograph.

Sarah has been honoured for her: From Film Practice to Data Process: Production Aesthetics and Representational Practices of a Film Industry in Transition, published by Edinburgh University Press.

The judges found this to be: “a timely, fascinating and informative book, using the close study of a particular film’s production as a means to reflect on important technological, industrial and theoretical developments. As well as an original contribution to the field, it offers an accessible path into a particularly exciting area of scholarship.”

Further details of the book are available here:

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“Black, Brown and Beige”.

Cohen Black and White

CMCI’s Dr Harvey G Cohen has been heard on 15 National Public Radio shows across the United States celebrating jazz-master Duke Ellington’s celebrated “Black Brown and Beige” of 1943.

This was the Ellington orchestra’s debut at Carnegie Hall, at which he performed an ambitious 45-minute-long musical depiction of the African-American experience called:  “Black, Brown and Beige”.

Appearing on “Night Lights” with David Brett Johnson, Cohen was joined by the celebrated jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, while the programme also featured the voice of Ellington himself, in addition to his music.

Harvey Cohen’s monograph Duke Ellington’s America was first published in 2010. For more on the broadcast, and to hear the complete programme, go to:

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Subcultural Innovation – New Report

Dr Paul Sweetman’s report on Subcultures and Innovation for Knowledge Works (National Centre for Cultural Industries, Norway) has just been published. This is a report on a year-long project undertaken with Professors Atle Hauge (INN University, Norway) and Dominic Power (University of Stockholm), looking at subcultural innovation and creativity and subcultures’ contribution to the cultural and creative industries. Although the formal project has now come to an end, Paul and his colleagues’ work in this area is ongoing and will now be developed in additional research and publications.  Knowledge Works, financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, is a project-based knowledge centre involving a team of Norwegian and international researchers, developers, and industry stakeholders, with the aim of developing a comprehensive knowledge base about the cultural industries. The report is available on Knowledge Works’ website

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Evidencing the role of Public Service Broadcasting

Steemers Parliament

On 2nd April, 2019 CMCI’s Professor Jeanette Steemers gave evidence to the House of Lords Select Communications Committee on Public Service Broadcasting and Video on Demand. The Committee was calling upon academic experts as part of its inquiry investigating whether there is a future for public service broadcasting in the context of the rising popularity of video on demand services. Amongst the lines of questioning, the Committee wanted to better understand the changing viewing habits of younger generations, and whether public service broadcasters’ obligations and privileges are still appropriate.

Congratulations to Jeanette for also being appointed Chair of the Steering Committee of Users for the Young Audiences Content Fund, launched on 1st April by the BFI.

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Diversity in the Creative and Cultural Industries

On Wednesday February 13th the Creative Careers Student Committee welcomed a wonderful panel of speakers to discuss the future of diversity in the creative and cultural sector. Dr. Kate McMillan chaired the panel and lead the discussion with introductions from Saurabh Kakkar, Nadine Persaud, Hakeem Onibudo, Jodi-Alissa Bickerton, Amy Turton and Catherine Ritman-Smith. The discussion identified the problematic use of the term diversity, with the terms inclusivity, intersectionality and social justice deemed more accurate and sensitive to the reality. Jodi-Alissa and Hakeem discussed visibility, how seeing an image of yourself in the industry is welcoming and encourages one to feel a sense of belonging. For meaningful change we must, in Nadine’s words, ‘walk the walk’ and move beyond the discussion to create the change we want to see. Saurabh underlined the importance of the economic argument when presenting the benefits of diversity. Sometimes to actualise change, you have to make an argument that persuades people of its economic value beyond its intrinsic social value alone. Catherine touched upon the importance of education; learning the value of inclusivity through shared experience in schools and institutions, and Amy discussed education’s specific role in relation to unconscious bias, particularly within hiring practices.

Emma Áine O’Leary (member of the Committee) writes “We hope this brief overview encourages those not able to participate to consider the future of the creative and cultural sector and how we might embrace inclusivity and intersectionality going forward.” For more information on the speakers and the event visit the Creative Careers Student Committee website.

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Tate Appoints CMCI Graduate as Youth Engagement Trustee

Many congratulations to Anna Lowe, graduate of CMCI’s Cultural & Creative Industries MA, who has been appointed Youth Engagement Tate Trustee by the The Board of Trustees of Tate. Anna will be bringing the views of the next generation to the highest level of Tate’s decision-making process. The appointment, which has been made by the Prime Minister, began on 1 March 2019 for a period of four years. Anna is the youngest serving Board member at a UK national museum or gallery. On her appointment, Maria Balshaw, Director of the Tate, said “I’m delighted to welcome Anna to Tate’s Board of Trustees. She has fantastic experience and networks on which to draw to bring new insight to the Board and to help shape Tate’s future.” CMCI is equally delighted for Anna, and looks forward to continuing close engagement with the Tate (including its collaborative MA modules), as she takes up this very exciting and hugely important role.

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“My Leg is a Giant Stiletto Heel”

Credit: Lukazs Suchorab

Congratulations to CMCI PhD student Yana Melkumova Reynolds, who together with Dr Laini Burton from Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Australia, has recently published an article on representations of disabled bodies in visual arts and lifestyle media in Fashion Theory journal. Focusing on three case studies – British performer Viktoria Modesta, American athlete and model Aimee Mullins, and Japanese artist Mari Katayama – the paper considers how the female amputee body is incorporated into the visual mainstream through the use of “fashionable” prostheses, how such prostheses de-medicalize disabled bodies and instead construct them as consumer bodies, and how—and if—fashion can help to disrupt ableist discourses of normalcy. Yana has also written an opinion piece for Vestoj magazine discussing Cambridge Analytica’s profiling matrix and the way it “weaponised” fashion labels and their social media following. Drawing on examples including Nike, Diesel and Gilette’s marketing campaigns, she considers whether brand allegiances can really reflect or shape political ideologies.

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Funding for Collaborative PhD at CMCI: Apply now




Dr Roberta Comunian has secured funding for a collaborative PhD scholarship in partnership with Creative United and Dr Elsa Arcaute, based at the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at UCL. The project, entitled “Complex Cultural Ecologies: capturing value through connections between public, private and not-for-profit organisations in the creative economy”, will explore the connections existing between publicly funded cultural organisations (PFCOs) and the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) with a specific focus on London and its cultural ecology across public, private and not for profit organisations. Using a complexity science perspective and integrating qualitative methods with social network analysis, the project aims to map the collaborative networks connecting PFCOs and CCIs and reflect on the motivations and benefits behind these interconnections. Applications for this scholarship from eligible students are welcome via the LAHP website, and you can read the full project overview here.


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CMCI Emerging Voices

The CMCI PhD student community is pleased to open the call for papers for the 6th annual conference. This year’s theme is “Beyond Disciplines” and wants to celebrate new and emerging directions in the CMCI research that currently challenge how we understand and see technological, environmental, political, institutional and aesthetic developments that are shaping our cultural landscape.

The two-day conference will take place on 6th– 7th June 2019 and it will be hosted at Bush House. One confirmed Keynote Speaker is Professor Hongwei Bao from The University of Nottingham, with more speakers to be announced shortly.

Abstracts should be submitted to and the deadline for submission is on Wednesday, 13th March 2019

For more details please visit our website at

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Speaking about Feminism

The BBC have published a commissioned article by CMCI’s Dr Christina Scharff titled: Why so many young women don’t call themselves feminist. Drawing on Christina’s research on young women in a neoliberal world, the article asks why it is that despite feminist movements attracting significant attention across Europe and North America, many young women still say they do not identify with the term. With up-to-date discussion of surveys and high-profile campaigns, Christina raises the question of what it means to be a feminist. She concludes with the ‘heartening’ observation that whichever label women choose to adopt, the vast majority of people now support equality. As a mark of the widespread interest in Christina’s piece, the article received over 600,000 hits in the first 36 hours alone.








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A Window on Glassmaking

CMCI’s Dr Roberta Comunian and Lauren England, PhD student, have recently published an article that explores the relationship between industrial and post-industrial knowledge in glassmaking in the UK in the journal Geoforum.  Following the trajectory of glassmaking in Sunderland and Stourbridge the article explores how local industrial knowledge was reorganised outside of the factory into new craft-based glassmaking through processes of deskilling, reskilling and upskilling. It is argued that creative and cultural production is not just place-specific, it has a heritage, it evolves and can be ‘sticky’ in terms of located knowledge and skills.

Roberta and Lauren’s paper is free for everyone to download in the next 50 days.

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Modern Couples

Congratulations to Dr Red Chidgey whose recent talk at the Barbican Art Gallery on ‘Collaboration and Social Change’ was sold out. The talk was held in relation to the Barbican’s exhibition Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde, and aimed to throw new light on the inner workings of creative collaboration. Red guided the audience through artworks and intimate letters from a range of artists including Hannah Höch, Virginia Woolf, and Frida Kahlo. Amongst the themes raised were the thorny question of working rituals and artistic recognition; feminist disruptions of traditional ideas of womanhood; and queer invitations to re-think the creative couple beyond the human.

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Female Futures

CMCI’s Dr Kate McMillan joined a panel of experts at Female Futures, on 18th January, 2019 at the Mall Galleries. The panel discussion invited the audience to reflect on such questions as ‘How much do you think the art world has changed since 2012, when the first Great East London Art Audit was carried out?’; and ‘What will the art world look like for today’s graduates in five years’ time?’ The event was part of FBA Futures 2019, the UK’s largest annual survey of emerging contemporary figurative art, mapping new practices and ideas of representation and draughtsmanship. Kate has been commissioned by the Freelands Foundation to undertake the 2019 report assessing gender in the visual arts across the UK.

Image: Emma Fineman, Your Lips Taste Like Cherry Chapstick (detail)

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New Year: New CMCI Publications!

Congratulations to Dr Ricarda Vidal who has published a brace of books to welcome in 2019. First is Revolve:R, the yellow edition, which (as you can tell from the accompanying image) is, indeed, an arresting yellow (third) edition of this artist book. It results from a 2-year-long correspondence between visual artists, poets, filmmakers and sound artists and comprises visual artworks, poetry, video art and soundscapes. Ricarda’s interest in intersemiotic translation is also extended in Translating across Sensory and Linguistic Borders: Intersemiotic Journeys between Media (co-edited with Madeleine Campbell). Systematically engaging with contemporary discourses across the performing arts, philosophy, religion and neuroscience, Ricarda’s book has been described as “a cutting-edge statement about how humans generate meaning in all areas of life.” (Karen Bennett, Nova University Lisbon)

Additionally, it is exciting to welcome Dr Hye-Kyung Lee’s brand-new Routledge Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in Asia (co-edited with Lorraine Lim). As the first handbook of CCIs in Asia, it offers interesting case studies from 12 different societies including not only East Asian cultural powerhouses but also many Southeast Asian countries as well as India. An added bonus – it includes a chapter on ‘The artepreneurial ecosystem in Singapore’, co-authored by CMCI’s Dr Roberta Comunian.

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Third Edition of Richard Howells’ Visual Culture

VCIII Cover 2019

CMCI’s Professor Richard Howells is celebrating the New Year with the publication of the third edition of his Visual Culture (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2019).

Howells contends that since the first edition came out in 2003, the importance of taking the visual seriously -and learning how to read it- has only increased. His former CMCI PhD student Dr Joaquim Negrieros came on board with the second edition in 2012, and this third edition (2019) adds new sections on taste and judgement; on images for power, fear and seduction; and on video games as new media. There is a new glossary, and for the first time the whole book is in colour with over 50 illustrations.

The cover (pictured) continues the tradition of the earlier editions by taking a “new media” perspective on a traditional oil painting –this time a manipulation of Gainsborough’s “Mrs and Mrs Andrews” of circa 1750. The original is in London’s National Gallery. Previous editions have been translated into Korean and Chinese.

Full details at:

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CMCI Student Wins £5,000 Scholarship

Ally 2

Congratulations to CMCI student Ally Faughnan, who has won a £5,000 scholarship towards the cost of her MA with us.

Ally, who is a student on our MA in Arts and Cultural Management programme, won first place in the annual FindAMasters competition, for which she had submit a photograph / creative image and caption: “that captures what postgraduate study means” to her. The judges then asked the shortlisted candidates to submit a one-minute video from which they chose their winner.

Following on from her BA in Liberal Arts, also at King’s, Ally (pictured) combines her studies with work as a volunteer at the Victoria & Albert Museum, in addition to contributing to the arts and culture sections of the KCL newspaper and the Strand Magazine.

FindAMasters, a business that provides a searchable database of MA programmes around the world, have posted a video of Ally talking about her mission to make art galleries accessible to everyone, while also explaining how her CMCI optional module at Tate Modern helps her explore how this might be done.

You can watch the video at: which also provides links to the scholarship competition for 2019.

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Outstanding Paper Award for Eva Cheuk-Yin Li


Congratulations to CMCI Teaching Fellow Dr Eva Cheuk-Yin Li who has won the Outstanding Paper Award of the Hong Kong Studies Annual Conference.

Her paper, “The second life of Kowloon Walled City: Crime, media and cultural memory”, co-authored with Alistair Fraser (University of Glasgow), was selected from 300 journal articles generated from the Web of Science. Eva is proud now to be sponsored to present the paper in person in Hong Kong.

It is all about transmedia cultural memory of the Kowloon Walled City in colonial Hong Kong, which she describes as an instance of anarchic urbanism in the multidirectional global and inter-Asian cultural flow.

If you cannot make it to Hong Kong to hear Eva present her paper in person, you can read the article online in Crime Media and Culture, Vol 13, Issue 2, 2017:

Our picture shows a night view of Kowloon Walled City from the southwest corner, 1987. Photograph by Greg Girard.

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Fashion in China and Korea

Tommmy Two

Hong Kong University’s Dr Tommy Tse continued the international theme of CMCI’s research seminars with a presentation on fashion and “prosumption” in China and Korea.

A specialist in East Asia’s media and cultural industries, Tommy (pictured) presented his research on the way in which production and consumption are increasingly interrelated in society, and the suggestion that this leads to the increased power of the consumer.

However, Dr Tse challenged the theoretical assumption that all types of ‘prosumer’ become directly empowered -especially by digital technology and that they actually have an equal opportunity to participate in the production process.

Tommy Tse is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at The University of Hong Kong. His presentation concludes CMCI’s autumn research seminar series: We start again in the new year with David Buckingham, Emeritus Professor in Media and Communications at Loughborough University, and a Visiting Professor at King’s, who will talk about “Growing up Modern: Writing the history of childhood, youth and popular culture since 1945.” This will take place on Wednesday, January 30th from 16.00-18.00, in room G.01, Norfolk Building, Stand Campus. All are welcome.

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CMCI DISCES with the Cultural and Creative Industries


CMCI has become part of a three-year research project aiming to reshape the economic and social perception of the Cultural and Creative Industries.

Led by the University of Turku, Finland, it is a consortium of social and economic research institutes, cultural managers and creative workers from six European countries.

Under the acronym DISCE (Developing Inclusive and Sustainable Creative Economies), it is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon2020 programme and aims to reassess the role of the Cultural and Creative Industries in cities and regions across the European Union.

The CMCI contingent is made up of Dr Roberta Comunian, Dr Bridget Conor, Dr Jonathan Gross and Professor Nick Wilson, starting in January 2019.

In addition to lead coordinators from Turku, members of the consortium include the Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) from Italy; the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) in Riga, Latvia; the Belgian-based non-profit consultancy Culture and Media Agency Europe aisbl (CUMEDIAE); and the Swedish-based European network Trans Europe Halles (TEH).

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Cruel Optimism

Annette Best

What don’t you normally see when you watch a reality television programme? The answer is –or should be- the “warm-up” act; the entertainers who routinely perform before and during breaks in the televised show.

These professionals are an important part of the craft of making TV in front of a live audience, but are little recognised in both the industry and related academic research.

Visiting speaker Annette Hill, however, went some way to putting that right in her CMCI research seminar in which she spoke about her research into this “absent presence” in contemporary television.

Annette (pictured), who is a Professor of Media and Communication at Lund University, Sweden, and currently Visiting Professor here at King’s College London, argued that study of the warm-up act highlighted “cruel optimism” of the creative industries today.

Next up: Guest speaker Dr Tommy Tse, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at The University of Hong Kong will present his research into fashion consumption in Korea and China. The seminar takes place on Wednesday, 28 November, from 16.00-18.00, in room G.01, Norfolk Nuilding, Strand campus. As ever, there will be the opportunity for questions and discussion after the presentation.

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Museums in Arabia Conference

Serena Iervolino-585

We are delighted to announce that CMCI will be hosting the international Museums in Arabia conference here at King’s in 2019. It’s part of an established series that operates as a collaborative network for exploring the theory and practice of museums and heritage in the Arabian Peninsula.

The conference will be investigating how different cultural, political, social and economic actors are involved in and shape cultural practices within museums, arts and cultural heritage institutions? And how is this key question addressed within the rapidly developing and complex landscape of the Arabian Peninsula?

The event is jointly organised by CMCI’s Dr. Serena Iervolino and Dr. Sarina Wakefield of Zayed University, United Arab Emirates, who also chairs the series.

Supported by both King’s and CMCI, the conference takes place from 26-28 June 2019. If you are interested in presenting a paper at the conference, abstracts of up to 400 words should be sent to: Further details are available from Dr. Serena Iervolino (pictured) at

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CMCI’s Professor Richard Howells continues his (academic) interest in art forgery with a review of Shaun Greenhalgh’s autobiography: A Forger’s Tale: Confessions of the Bolton Forger in The Times Higher Education.

Greenhalgh is self-taught man from Lancashire who claims to have fooled the fine art establishment with a variety of fake works of art including “La Bella Principessa” (pictured) -which is attributed by others to Leonardo da Vinci. He made a comfortable living from it all until he was caught and sentenced to more than four years in prison.

Howells concludes: “Could his autobiography be one of Greenhalgh’s finest creations?”

Professor Howells has published a number of items on art forgery and also appeared on BBC television talking about his prized (by him) collection of fake drawings supposedly by LS Lowry.

The review can be found in the Higher’s “What are you reading?” column, billed as: “A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers”. It’s at

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Welcome New Visiting Scholar


We are delighted to Amanda Lagerkvist as Visiting Scholar a CMCI. Amanda is Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies and a fellow of the Wallenberg Academy in Sweden.

Describing herself as a “media phenomenologist”, Amanda (pictured) also heads the research programme “Existential Terrains: Memory and Meaning in Cultures of Connectivity” in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University. She has a particular focus on “death online”, and her work develops a theoretical framework for existential media studies, focusing on digital-human vulnerabilities of online mourning, commemoration, and the digital afterlife.

Her work has been widely published including a monograph Media and Memory in New Shanghai: Western Performances of Futures Past (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). She is currently writing a monograph entitled Existential Media which is contracted with the Oxford University Press.

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On the Road and On the Air: A Vision for Women and Virtual Reality

Sarah Stuttgart - Copy

Our Head of Department, Dr Sarah Atkinson, has been on the road and on the air talking about her research on gender and the virtual reality industry.

Funded by the Canadian-backed Refiguring Innovation in Games Project, Sarah’s activities have been numerous and varied, including a two-day workshop here at KCL which brought together 20 leading women from the VR sector to work on a manifesto for the industry.

The vision was formally launched at two industry technology conferences – the new.New Festival in Stuttgart, Germany and the Augmented World Expo festival in Munich. Sarah  is pictured (left) with project collaborators Helen W. Kennedy and Catherine Allen.

She then went on to present the research findings at the ReFig annual conference at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and is currently working on a related publication with Vicki Callahan at the University of Southern California: Atkinson, S. and Callahan, V. (2018) Mixed Realities: Gender, Precarity, and New Models of Work in the Convergence Economy, Wane State University Press.

The project has received a great deal of media interest including an interview with Sarah and colleagues on the BBC World Service “Click” programme. You can hear it and Sarah at:

The vision itself is published at

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It’s A Wrap


CMCI’s Professor Jeanette Steemers reports two reports, wrapping up her Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project “Children’s Screen Content in an Era of Forced Migration: Facilitating Arab-European Dialogue”, which has now officially reached completion.

Working with Naomi Sakr and Christine Singer, the project’s consolidated report, which features recommendations, workshop briefings and a full list of programming samples, and is available here:

Jeanette (pictured) and her team have also published a report on the proceedings of their symposium “Invisible Children: Children’s Media, Diversity, and Forced Migration” which took place here at King’s earlier this autumn. You can download it here:

Although the reports wrap up the funded part, the project website at will continue as a resource for project findings. Here, you can access their first report from the Manchester Children’s Global Media Summit, their second report from the CPH:Dox festival in Copenhagen on children’s factual content, their third report from the Prix Jeunesse festival in Munich on drama and storytelling, and their Project Report to Stakeholders, which summarises the findings of the project.

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“For someone who doesn’t much like camping…”

Tent City Cropped

It’s not always obvious what CMCI people do when they are not at work. This blog does not seek to pry into their private lives…. but we can reveal that our programme administrator Rebecca Whitaker has returned from a week volunteering with Help Refugees in Calais, France.

Help Refugees are a grass-roots charity created in the final months of the Calais “Jungle”, and they seek to provide food, clothes, and shelter. Becca kicked off her contribution by working in “Tent World” (pictured), admitting in her blog: “For someone who doesn’t much like camping and is fairly short, tent world was a challenge…”

And so to the kitchen, where she put in hard hours peeling garlic -a big job when you consider that the Refugee Community Kitchen serves around 2000 meals every day in Calais and Dunkirk.

For the full story of Becca’s varied time in Calais, see her blog “Glass Curls” at: This is turn includes links to relevant charities and organisations.

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McMillan on Nolan

nolan (2)

CMCI’s Dr Kate McMillan appears in a new television documentary on the Australian artist Sidney Nolan.

Made by ABC in Australia, it explores and celebrates the work of one of the country’s best-known artists, proceeding from his early years to his international career and all the success -and turmoil- that came with it.

Kate (pictured from the film) contributed to the section that explores Nolan’s works on Aboriginal deaths in custody which were never shown in Australia.

The film aired in Australia earlier this month, but is scheduled to be shown on the BBC shortly. We’ll let you know when.

For the preview -featuring Kate- go to:

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CMCI Student Opens Art Gallery in Milan

tommaso-calabro Gallery

There cannot be too many PhD students who are combining their studies with opening their own art gallery, but step forward CMCI’s Tommaso Calabro!

Tomasso (pictured) has marked the opening of his new gallery in Milan’s Piazza San Sepolcro with his inaugural exhibition: “Twombly and Tancredi: Homage to Cardazzo”.

And although his premises in the Palazzo Mariettiare are distinctly neo-classical, Tommaso is determinedly specialising in modern and contemporary art.

His opening exhibition pays homage to the Italian gallerist and art dealer Carlo Cardazzo (1908-1963), and to two artists he particularly admired: Cy Twombly (1928-2011) and Tancredi Parmeggiani (1927-1964). It runs until November 30th at Tommaso Calabro Galleria D’Arte, Piazza San Sepolcro, 220123 Milan, Italy: see

Tomasso is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in CMCI, researching a thesis on the establishment of value in the contemporary art market. His supervisor is Professor Richard Howells.

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Alien Beauty


CMCI’s Dr Ruth Adams is quoted in an i-D magazine article: “Why is Everyone Obsessed with Alien Beauty: And is it a New Kind of Subculture?”

Here, journalist Clementine de Pressigny argues that: “beauty today is about shaving your head, shaving your brows, adding a third or fourth eye and bleeding black from your hyper-coloured eyeballs.”

“It’s obviously growing on Instagram right now,” agrees Dr Adams “and it’s clearly a backlash against normative beauty standards, although the amount of labour involved is obviously no less.”

Ruth locates the new fashion within punk, goths, new romantics, and the New York hardcore scene.

You can read the full article at:

i-D was founded by former Vogue art director Terry Jones and is now part of the Vice Media stable.



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“Achtung – Mind the Gap”

Kate Installation

We are delighted to share some pictures and a video from Dr Kate McMillan’s commissioned work for the XXIV Rohkunstbau Festival at Schloss Leiberose, Germany.

Her Instructions for Another Future (my feet are ears), 2018, took the form of an HD digital film projection, 5.54, handmade airdryed clay hagstones, hagstone, spraypaint, and theatre lights. The sound included ‘Platter Process Two’ by Reluctant Carnivore/Karl Ockelford, developed in collaboration with the artist.

The film can be viewed on vimeo

This year’s theme for Rohkunstbau was: “Achtung – Mind the Gap”. Our picture shows Kate, who is a Teaching Fellow in Culture, Media and Creative Industries, at work on the installation in Germany.

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New Book from Leung Wing-Fai

Fai Digital entreprenurship_cover

Congratulations to CMCI’s Dr Leung Wing-Fai on the e-publication of her new book: Digital Entrepreneurship, Gender and Intersectionality: An East Asian Perspective.

Her book is the result of qualitative research focusing on Internet start-ups, digital entrepreneurship, race and sex discrimination, and the “sharing economy”.

It addresses intersections between gender, age, ethnicity and class with a focus on start-up founders- including many husband and wife teams– in order to understand the working and private lives of digital entrepreneurs in and from Taiwan.

The book places all this against a backdrop of the country’s political, social and economic history, while investigating contemporary debates about entrepreneurship as they are experienced by new generations of start-uppers who challenge existing social and cultural norms by becoming creative workers and embracing the precarity that exists in the volatile digital economy.

The hard copy is to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2019. Meanwhile, the electronic version is available at:




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Singapore Collaboration


Singapore Roberta

A senior CMCI academic is working with one of our current PhD students to organize a workshop in Singapore.

It’s a collaboration between Dr Roberta Comunian, CMCI’s Reader in Creative Economy, and PhD student Denderah Rickmers, under the title: “Social enterprise, social innovation & the creative economy: current knowledge and shared research agendas”.

The workshop is being developed with Andrea Nanetti and Peer Sathikh based at the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), and will lead to the preparation of a special issue of the Social Enterprise Journal in 2019.

The event also received support via the King’s College London (UK) and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) Global Partnership fund. Further details are available in the call for papers Interested scholars can send proposals for the workshop and/or the special issue to


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Jo Entwistle in Chile

Jo Chile 2

CMCI’s Dr Jo Entwistle has been in Chile as part of a symposium event at the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez in Santiago.

The theme was: ‘Cultural Mediators in the Digital Age’. This was the second leg of a symposium series, the first of which was hosted by us in CMCI last September at King’s.

Jo also gave a guest lecture the Chilean journalism and media studies students. She hopes that more connections will come out of this in the future, together with journal article and a Spanish language book translating her talk.

Dr Entwistle, who is Reader in Cultural and Creative Industries, is also quoted at length in this new  Dazed and Confused beauty publication:

Our picture shows Jo in action at the event in Chile.

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Knowing What Not to Know in Contemporary China

Margaret seminar

CMCI’s 2018-19 research seminar series got off to an excellent start with a controversial and well-attended presentation on secrecy and historic photographs in post-Mao China.

Our speaker was Margaret Hillenbrand, Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture and Tutorial Fellow in Chinese at Wadham College, University of Oxford.

Under the title “Knowing What Not to Know in Contemporary China”, Professor Hillenbrand discussed the “missing histories” of contemporary China, and argued that conventional narratives of amnesia and censorship do not adequately explain why certain events have failed to gain commemorative traction in the present.

Her research into this area focuses aesthetic objects that she calls photo-forms – works which “riff” on well-known historical photographs (such as of Tiananmen Square in June 1989) and serve as spaces in which public secrecy emerges.

Questions and discussion followed between the speaker, graduate students and academic staff. Our next research seminar speaker is Annette Hill, Professor of Media and Communication at Lund University, Sweden. Details of the series are at:



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Paul Sweetman in Norway

sweetman filth and fury

CMCI Senior Lecturer Dr Paul Sweetman is back from Norway where he gave two talks about his current research project on subcultures and innovation.

On this project, Paul is working on with professors Atle Hauge (INN, Norway), and Dominic Power (Stockholm University).

Paul’s first Norwegian talk was a research seminar in the Department of Tourism, Creative Industries and Marketing at the Inland Norway University of Applied Science, and the second formed part of a day -long seminar at Fabrikken, Lillehammer, attended by policy makers and practitioners, and co-sponsored by organisations including Knowledge Works (who are also funding the subcultures and innovation project as a whole) and Arts Council Norway.

Our photograph shows Paul in action in front of a famous headline from the history of subcultures.

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Non-Stop Nick

Wilson Creatvity Cover

Nick Wilson, CMCI’s newest (“full”) Professor, is celebrating his promotion with a clutch of books and articles just launched:

First is his co-edited collection The Palgrave Handbook of Creativity at Work (2018). Already nick-named “The big yellow book of creativity”, this features 30 research-based chapters from international writers and practitioners drawn from across the world. Nick is particularly pleased to to see fellow CMCI colleagues and alumni, Dr Roberta Comunian, Dr Jonathan Gross, Dr Birgit Wildt, Dr Brigid McClure, Dr Toby Bennett and Dr Laura Speers also contributing to this handbook.

Also, edited along with Dr Lee Martin, Nick has published a chapter entitled “Serious realist philosophy and applied entrepreneurship” in Philosophical Reflexivity and Entrepreneurship Research. This is published under the Routledge Rethinking Entrepreneurship Series.

Nest, Nick’s article “What’s the Problem? Cultural Capability and Learning from Historical Performance” is featured in the inaugural edition of a new journal in arts and humanities – Historical Performance (Indiana Press). This piece brings together Nick’s work on the early music movement, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural capability.

Finally, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Historical Performance in Music (2018) is also just out (Cambridge University Press). Nick has contributed key entries on “Authenticity”, “Early Music (concepts of)”, and “Werktreue”.

Nick is currently on study leave from CMCI, working on his next book – The Space That Separates: Art, Experience & Human Flourishing for Routledge.

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Sixty Seconds with Anna Woodham


Here’s a chance to catch CMCI’s Dr Anna Woodham talking about her Heritage and Climate Change project –and getting the key points over in just one minute.

It’s one of a series of mini-videos about the link between climate change, museums, collecting and discussions under their “care for the future” theme.  The short videos are designed for social media with auto play and subtitles.

You can see the video at: BBC Radio 4 fans will commend Anna speaking without hesitation, deviation or repetition. There is also a longer summary film of the whole project, including the other investigators at:

The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and done in collaboration with Exeter and Bath Spa universities.

Anna Woodham received additional research funding from CMCI.


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Double Whammy

Cohen Who's In The Money Cover Burke Occupation Cover Image1

Congratulations to Drs Harvey G Cohen and Wendy Burke on contributing to a CMCI “double whammy” in the American scholarly journal Film History. Both their recent books have been selected by the journal’s editorial staff for their contributions to new scholarship in the history of cinema.

For Harvey it’s his Who’s in the Money? The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood’s New Deal (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018); for Wendy it’s her Images  of  Occupation  in  Dutch  Film:  Memory,  Myth,  and  the Cultural Legacy of War (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017).

Harvey G Cohen is a cultural historian and Senior Lecturer at CMCI; Wendy Burke is a recent CMCI PhD graduate who’s book is the result of her doctoral dissertation, researched under the supervision of Professor Richard Howells.

We are also delighted to reveal here that Wendy’s book has made the shortlist for the Louis Hartlooper Prize for Best Film Publication, as part of this autumn’s Netherlands Film Festival, the winner to be announced at the Festival late September. Good luck Wendy!

You can read about both books in Film History, 30.2, pp. 199–207. It is an international journal published in the USA by the Indiana University Press.

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Home on the Move Comes to London

Briony for poster

After stops at the Whitstable Biennale and the Ledbury Poetry Festival, “Home on the Move”, headed by CMCI’s Dr Ricarda Vidal, is coming to London for the summer.

As we reported here in June, this exhibition of European artist films, sound art and poetry in translation is the result of a journey undertaken by two poems about ‘home’.

The London series of events begins on 26 July 2018 with the exhibition opening and preview at the National Poetry Library (Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, London, from 19:30-21:30. Here, Ricarda and colleagues will present a short performative reading of the poems and their translations. This will also be an opportunity for the poets, artists and translators who took part in the project to meet each other and, of course, to meet the public. The event is free, but you do need to book:

Then on 27 July 2018, “Home, Belonging & Language: a day of exploring” takes place here at King’s College London from 9:00 – 18:00. This event combines group analytical methods with talks and presentations by their invited speakers as well as a practical workshop and an open forum Again, it’s free, but please book your ticket here:

“Talking Transformations: Home on the Move” then continues until 23 September at the Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, London. Picture credit: Briony Campbell.

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Utopia Unlimited

The World

Utopia is always worth thinking about, and CMCI’s Professor Richard Howells has been talking and writing about it, too.

He began with an invited presentation to the “Is Utopia Possible?” event, which was part of the Bonas MacFarlane extension lecture series for non-traditional university applicants, held at the London School of Economics. This is part of a pro bono initiative by the firm for supporting academically ambitious students from widening participation backgrounds across the UK.

Two days later, his review of Michael Robertson’s The Last Utopians: Four Late 19th Century Visionaries and Their Legacy (Princeton University Press, 2018) was published in The Times Higher Education, June 28 to July 04, 2018 p. 50. The online version is available here:

Our image shows a detail from “La Mode”, an illustration from J. J. Grandville’s Un Autre Monde (Another World) from 1844.

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Besides the Screen

Besides the screen banner_2018

CMCI is collaborating with colleagues in Portugal with a series of events about the archiving and preserving of audio-visual materials in the 21st century.

Under the title: “Besides the Screen: Vaults, Archives, Clouds and Platforms” we are joining with the Centro de Investigação em Artes e Comunicação and the Instituto Universitário da Maia in Porto to stage a conference, an exhibition/screening programme, and a book launch here at King’s.

The topic of archiving and preservation has gained even more significance as forms and formats of audio visual media continue exponentially to expand. As a result, people working in archives, museums, libraries and cultural organisations must shoulder the seemingly impossible tasks of sourcing, storing, maintaining and making accessible an ever-growing catalogue of media history.

The London organising committee comprises CMCI’s Dr Virginia Crisp, Dr Sarah Atkinson, Dr Jessica Rapson, and Dr Anna Woodham, along with independent curator Gabriel Menotti Gonring.

The London events take place between 2-3 July 2018 on KCL’s Strand campus, while the Porto events are from July 5-6.  For full details, including how to book, go to:

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Arthur’s Room

Arthurs Room -- painting

The name of artist Alfred Cohen may not be on everyone’s lips at the moment, but when he died in 2001, his Guardian obituary described him as a “brilliant colourist and deft draughtsman” while the Daily Telegraph reported his friendships with Anthony Quinn, Ingrid Bergman, Kirk Douglas, Sophia Loren, and David Niven.

In anticipation of the centenary of his birth in 1920, CMCI’s Professor Richard Howells was an invited speaker at a study day held at the Courtauld Institute of Art in conjunction with the Centre for American Art.

Howells spoke about Cohen’s 1986 painting “Arthur’s Room” (pictured here), which he argued was an exercise in memory and imagination in addition to being a formally impressive work in its own right.

Other speakers came from Australia and Italy, in addition to the United Kingdom. The event was organised by Professor Max Saunders, current director of KCL’s Arts & Humanities Research Institute. Further research and events are planned.  Picture credit: ©Estate of Alfred Cohen, 2001.

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The Page 99 Test

Cohen Elligton Keynote

What is the “Page 99 Test”? CMCI Senior Lecturer Dr Harvey G Cohen knows, having twice been invited to subject his work for scrutiny.

The “Page 99 Test” follows the maxim of American early 20th-century novelist Ford Madox Ford that one should: “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” The test’s website has spotlighted dozens of new books over the last 11 years using that method.

It is accordingly revealed that page 99 of Cohen’s new book Who’s in the Money (2018) includes master choreographer Busby Berkeley and dozens of struggling Warner Bothers chorus girls. You can see Marshal Zeringue’s evaluation at:

Cohen also participated in the “Page 99 Test” for his first book Duke Ellington’s America in 2010: Our picture shows Cohen in action during a recent keynote address on Ellington at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

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Richard Howells and the Campaign for the Humanities


Richard Howells, our Professor of Cultural Sociology, is featured in the “Spotlight on…” section of publisher Palgrave Macmillan’ s “Campaign for the Humanities” website.

Professor Howells was invited to write an opinion piece on the value of the humanities, which he contributed under the heading: “Know, then, thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man.”

“There was a time when one did not have to make a case for the humanities”, laments Howells, who proceeds to mourn the concept of “impact” as an apparent justification of the value of the humanities today.

He refers more optimistically, though, to the CMCI event: “Beyond Value for Money” in which Sir John Tusa told the audience that the arts were “a public good” while the impact they had was “a private matter for the recipient”.  You can read Richard Howells’ opinion piece here:

Readers wondering about our choice of image may recognise it as a portrait of Alexander Pope, who in his “Essay on Man” of 1734 declared “Know, then, thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man.”


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Home on the Move

Home on the Move

CMCI academic Dr Ricarda Vidal goes into curator mode for the opening of “Talking Transformations: Home on the Move”, an exhibition of artist films, sound art and poetry in translation.

It’s based on two poems which themselves have “travelled” across national borders and then returned “home”: Welsh poet Deryn Rees-Jones’ poem ‘HOME’ travelled from the UK via France to Spain and back, while  Polish poet Rafał Gawin’s ‘DOM. KONSTRUKCJA W PROCESIE SĄDOWYM’ (“Home. Structure on Trial”) travelled via Romania to the UK and back to Poland.

Both poems were written on the basis of workshops with local communities in the UK and Poland. In each country they visited, the poems were translated by a literary translator and a local film artist. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to read the two poems in ten different versions; watch the artists’ visual interpretations in seven film versions; and to listen to the various language versions in an immersive sound collage.

The event is curated by Ricarda Vidal and Manuela Perteghella, with additional input from CMCI’s Dr Kate McMillan. It can be seen at the 64a Gallery, 64a Oxford Street, Whitstable CT5 1DG from 9-10 June; full details at:

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Panis Angelicus

Times Higher Logo

Universities often turn up in fiction, and Richard Howells, our Professor of Cultural Sociology, is always interested to see how they are represented in literature and popular culture.

A case in hand is Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Gate of Angels (originally published in 1991), set in the fictional St Angelicus College in Cambridge and nominated for the Booker Prize. In a review as part of the Times Higher Education’s “What Are You Reading?”column, Howells compares the quietly cerebral St Angelicus with another fictional Cambridge college, the famously riotous Porterhouse of Tom Sharpe. The food is considerably better at the latter.

Richard Howells is a regular contributor to the Higher’s book review sections. You can read his latest piece at:


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CMCI PhD Conference 2018


Our postgraduate research students extend an invitation to the King’s CMCI PhD Conference 2018.

This will be the fifth year that they have staged this event. This time they are staging a one-day conference on at Bush House, former headquarters of the BBC World Service (1940-2012) and now part of King’s College London. Appropriately, this year’s theme is: “World in Flux: Exploring Cultural and Media Studies in a Changing World”.

The keynote speakers for this year’s will be CMCI’s Professor Anna Reading from King’s College London and Professor Catherine Grant from Birkbeck, University of London.

The event takes place on June 15, 2018. Details are available on their new website:

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Moving Hearts: The Video


The final video of the Moving Hearts project featuring CMCI’s Professor Anna Reading is now published on the Internet.

People were invited to make clay models of human hearts, which were then carried in procession over the river from King’s to London’s Migration Museum at the Workshop in Lambeth. Moving Hearts (see our earlier blog of March 1) of is a collaboration between Anna, Australian artist Penny Ryan, and Dr James Bjork, also from King’s.

It was organised in collaboration with the PLuS (Phoenix London Sydney) Alliance, which combines the strengths of three leading research universities on three continents – Arizona State University, King’s College London and UNSW Sydney – seeking to solve global challenges around health, social justice, sustainability, technology and innovation.

You can watch the final project video at accompanied by music by David Kelly.


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El Rey Del Mundo

BBC Mundo

Research by Richard Howells, our Professor of Cultural Sociology, is quoted in BBC Mundo, the Spanish language website of the BBC World Service.

Under the headline: “5 mitos que el cine ha creado sobre el Titanic…”, the article explores the myths about the famous ship that have been created -or at least perpetuated- by the movies.

One of the greatest of these is the belief that the Titanic was held to be unsinkable “dice Richard Howells, profesor de sociología cultural del King’s College London, una universidad con sede en la capital británica.”

Howells is also quoted on the way in which the third classes are somewhat imaginatively portrayed in films about the Titanic. You can read the full article here:

Richard Howells’ published research here includes his monograph The Myth of the Titanic (two editions: 1999 and 2012) and his article “One Hundred Years of the Titanic on Film”, in the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 2012. Fans of James Cameron’s 1997 film will recognise the joking reference to a famous scene from that movie in our own headline.


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His Name in Lights

Cohen Marquee_Moment4 Best

Ever wanted to see your name in lights? CMCI Senior Lecturer Dr Harvey G. Cohen was certainly surprised to see just that in the USA over the marquee for the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center.

Harvey did four events in two days at their at the Silver Spring, Maryland as part of his US tour taking about his books about films of the American depression and about jazz legend Duke Ellington. We’v added the Ellington poster below.

Cohen’s most recent book: Who’s in the Money?: The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood s New Deal was published by Edinburgh University Press in Spring, 2018. 

WB Musicals 2018 Duke Ellington Small (1) 2


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Revolt into Style

Che Lives

Our Professor of Cultural Sociology, Richard Howells, gave a research paper on: “Revolt into Style” at the conference “Mai ’68 at 50: Appropriations, Translations, Legacies”, organised in collaboration with the University of Paris, the Institute Francais, the National Archives, and the French Embassy.

The conference marked the 50th anniversary of the student and labour uprisings centred on Paris in May, 1968. Howells took the title and thesis of George Melly’s influential work of 1970 to examine to what extent initial political and subcultural revolt is frequently transmuted into fashion and style statements.

Case studies included the famous Che Guevara poster, together with musical examples from the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Thunderclap Newman, The Sex Pistols, Tracy Chapman, and even Matt Monro.

The conference, staged here at King’s, is part of a three-year project in conjunction with the University of Paris under the themes of liberty, fraternity and equality. Events will alternate between London and Paris.

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Ordem e Progresso

Ruth Brazil 5

CMCI Senior Lecturer Dr Ruth Adams is back from her fifth visit to Brazil, where she was the guest of the Culture and Media Studies Department at UFF (Universidade Federal Fluminense) in Niteroi, near Rio de Janeiro.

Ruth led a post-graduate seminar over three days on the topic of Youth Subcultures, Popular Music and Identity.  While she was there, Ruth also gave a guest lecture to staff and students at ESPM (Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing) in Rio, on the subject of ‘Nostalgia in English Society and Culture’, and attended a launch for a book in which she has a chapter on punk.

Ruth (second from the right) is pictured here with Claudia Pereira and Joana Beleza, the editors of A cultura material nas (sub)culturas juvenis: Do DIY as trocas digits (The material culture of youth (sub)cultures: From DIY to digital exchanges), and fellow contributor Monica Machado.


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What is Visual Culture –And Why Should We Care?

Howells Inaugural Image

Richard Howells, CMCI’s Professor of Cultural Sociology, is to give an Inaugural Lecture at King’s on: “What is Visual Culture –And Why Should We Care?”

In his talk, Howells will define visual culture as an academic field, especially as distinguished from art history. He’ll argue that art history is a subdivision of visual culture, and not vice versa. He will then proceed to make the case for the study of visual culture today. It is an argument that he promises will include some heretical departures from the orthodoxies of current thought in education and beyond.

The lecture will be followed by a wine and canape reception, and will be introduced by Professor Evelyn Welch, KCL’s Provost and Senior Vice President (Arts & Sciences).

Inaugural Lectures are a traditional way in which UK universities mark the appointment or promotion of new professors. They are open to both university members and the public. Richard Howells’ inaugural takes place on Thursday, May 10, 2018 in the Edmond J Safra Lecture Theatre, King’s Building, Strand Campus from 19:00 to 20:15. The reception follows.  It is open to all and free to attend, but booking is required via Eventbrite. Please click

Further details are available at: The event is organized by the King’s College London Arts & Humanities Research Institute.

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CMCI Hosts International Media Conference


The second semester may be over, but CMCI is getting into full international research mode as we host the Media Industries Conference, 2018. Under the theme: “Current Debates and Future Directions” the three-day event provides an interdisciplinary forum for reviewing the past and present state of media industries research, together with future directions in the field.

The conference chair, CMCI’s Professor Paul McDonald, notes the range of disciplines involved in the conversation, including the political economy of communications, sociology of media occupations and institutions, media economics, media management, and media industry historiography, together with critical and cultural studies.

Our international plenary speakers come from: Queensland University of Technology, Australia; Lund University, Sweden; the University of California; Northwestern University in Qatar; RMIT University, USA; Université Grenoble Alpes, Switzerland; University of Texas, Austin; Tallinn University, Estonia; and the University of Rhode Island.

The host committee includes CMCI’s Dr Bridget Conor, Dr Virginia Crisp; Professor Jeanette Steemers, and our Head of department Dr Sarah Atkinson, who has provided a note of welcome in the conference programme.

The conference takes place at King’s College London’s Strand Campus from 18-20 April 2018. Further information, including a list of our sponsors, is available at:

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ACE Award for Ricarda Vidal

Talking T

Congratulations to CMCI’s Dr Ricarda Vidal, who has just received news from Arts Council England that she has won for a grant of £9,000 to support her “Talking Transformations: Home on the Move” project.

The money will go towards a travelling exhibition and a programme of public workshops and talks. The exhibition of poems, literary translations, art films and sound work will be installed at the Whitstable Biennale (64a Gallery Whitstable) from June  9th -10th;  the Ledbury Poetry Festival from June 29th to July 8th;  and at the Poetry Library Southbank Centre from July 26th to October 14th.

“Talking Transformations” is a platform to examine what “home” means at a time when notions of “home” in Europe are becoming more fluid, and being challenged and reshaped by unprecedented migration. Full details are at:

“Talking Transformations” is led by Ricarda and Manuela Perteghella, who is a translation theorist, translator and curator.

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Harvey G. Cohen’s US Tour

Cohen UCL.2jpg

CMCI Senior Lecturer Dr Harvey G Cohen is off to the United States on a seven-date tour to talk about his latest book: Who’s in The Money?

He kicks off at the University of Texas, history department, on April 11th; then at the Film Forum, New York City, on April 23; on to three days at Lincoln Center, New York City (where he will also be talking about his earlier monograph on Duke Ellington at an event featuring Wynton Marsalis) from April 26th to 28th; and finally four events in two days (29-30th April) at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Who’s In the Money:  The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood’s New Deal (Edinburgh University Press, 2018) features three 1933 Warner Bros Great Depression musicals: “42nd Street”, “Gold Diggers of 1933” and “Footlight Parade”, all of which will be shown during Cohen’s “residence” at the American Film Institute.

Our photograph shows Harvey speaking  about the book at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles earlier this year, which was followed next day by a talk and signing at Book Soup on Sunset Strip. Last month he was a guest speaker at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford.

Photo credit: Stefania Marghitu

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Museums and Participation


Our 2017-18 CMCI research seminar series ended on a high note with a well-attended presentation: “Museums and Participation- Who Goes.. (and who doesn’t?).”

Our guest speaker, Dr Lisanne Gibson, said that the audience for museums is overwhelmingly predicted by an individual’s level of income and education: Museum visitors are predominantly white and middle class. This led to a need to rethink how museums could better offer a service to the majority, now and into the future.

Her presentation drew upon interviews and emerging findings from the AHRC-funded research project: “Understanding Everyday Participation”.

Lisanne Gibson is based at the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. She has worked in the field of cultural policy studies for over 25 years and focuses especially on cultural participation and value. The CMCI research seminar series is organised by our director of research, Professor Jeanette Steemers.

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CMCI MA Student’s Research Featured in the Independent


Research that began as a collaborative dissertation project carried out by a former CMCI MA student Qiuling Liu has been featured in the Independent.

Quiling’s dissertation research led to her published report “Breaking the Binary: Exploring the Role of Media Representation of Trans People in Constructing a Safer and More Inclusive Social Environment”. According to the Independent: “A recent report by King’s College London found that negative representations of trans people in the media can worsen dysphoria causing feelings of shame.”

Recommendations from the report include the need to involve more trans people in the production of media content in order to create safer and more inclusive social environments for trans communities.

You can read the article at: The executive summary of the report can be accessed here:

Quiling’s research was carried out in association with On Road Media and supervised by Dr Red Chidgey, Lecturer in Gender and Media in CMCI.

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Moving Hearts


How do you fancy making a human heart –out of clay of course! CMCI’s Professor Anna Reading  hopes there will be 1,000 of them ready by the time the Moving Hearts Procession she is helping to organise sets off from King’s to London’s  Migration Museum at the Workshop in Lambeth on March 24.

Moving Hearts is a collaboration between Anna, Australian artist Penny Ryan, and Dr James Bjork, also from King’s. It builds on Penny’s previous Connecting Hearts Project, which has involved 1000s of people in Sydney reflecting on their connection with people seeking asylum, particularly those in detention.

The organisers say that debates about migration often focus on the divide between those with and those without a right to belong in the UK and that it is easy to forget the hearts we have in common. Moving Hearts invites the public to participate in an art and research project that raises questions about belonging.

If you want to participate, free workshops are being held at venues in central London (including at King’s) until March 17th. More details –including how to register– are available at:  The project is funded by the Alliance PluS social justice theme with UNSW and Arizona State University. The Claytime Collective are providing free clay and firing.

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Creating Exhibitions: From Ideas to Execution

creative careers

CMCI’s student-led Creative Careers Committee report a considerable success with their event: “Creating Exhibitions: From Ideas to Execution.”

They wanted to know what were the processes and challenges behind creating an exhibition in the cultural sector– and invited leading practitioners from the creative industries to help them find out.

The panel included Jill Cook, acting keeper of the Department of Britain, Europe and Prehistory at The British Museum; Jennifer Caroline Ellis, head of projects and development at Edouard Malingue Gallery & Co-founder of Young Collectors Collective (YCC); Eloise Maxwell, public relations and communications manager at the National Army Museum; and Catherine Pütz, head of touring exhibitions at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The ensuing discussion was chaired by CMCI’s Dr Kate McMillan.


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Who’s In The Money?

Cohen Who's In The Money Cover

We are delighted to announce the publication of Dr Harvey Cohen’s new book Who’s In The Money? The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood’s New Deal. Published by the Edinburgh University Press, his monograph outlines the history of the Warner Brothers musicals during 1933 and their political, historical and cultural connections -on and offscreen- with the newly-elected U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal.

Using newly unearthed primary sources, Cohen examines the bitter yet little-known struggle to create a National Recovery Administration (NRA) code of practice for the motion picture industry and at the same time shows how studio moguls sought to curtail workers’ salaries and rights.

Over the next few months Harvey will be talking about this research -and promoting the book- in Hollywood, Oxford, New York, Washington, and the University of Southern California. We’ll be reporting on that in future blogs.

Harvey G Cohen is a Senior Lecturer in Culture, Media and Creative Industries.  For more information, on the book, go to:

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The Book of Dust

Book of Dust

The latest Philip Pullman novel is reviewed by Richard Howells, our Professor of Cultural Sociology, in the current (London) Times Higher Education.

Fans will recognise this as La Belle Sauvage, the much-anticipated “prequel” to Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, which featured Lyra, Oxford, assorted witches, and armoured bears: A heady mixture of the familiar and the imaginary, woven around an epic struggle between good and evil.

Howells is not only a fan of Pullman: He has also discussed His Dark Materials in his own recent book: A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism and Design (2015; paperback 2017).

La Belle Sauvage is itself part of a trilogy The Book of Dust, with two more parts yet to come. Howells’ review is included in the Higher’s “What Are You Reading” feature in print and online at:


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Life in Death, Life After Death: The story of Taiwan’s LGBTQ pioneer


The Taiwanese writer Qiu Miaojin (1969-1995) committed suicide in Paris aged twenty-six, leaving behind a handful of short stories and two full length novels, Notes of a Crocodile (1994) and Last Words from Montmartre (1996)Both novels are now recognised as part of the lesbian literary canon.

Now Qiu Miaojin’s story has been taken up in an article by CMCI’s Dr Wing-Fai Leung (pictured) in a special issue of Taiwan Insight, the online magazine of the Taiwan Studies Programme.

The Taiwan Studies Programme (TSP), housed within the Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies at the University of Nottingham is dedicated to developing wider and sustained scholarly interest in the study, research and teaching of the politics, culture, society, external relations and economy of Taiwan.

You can read the full story here:


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Generation Revolution

Red at Tate

Some sixty people were in the audience at Tate Exchange as CMCI’s Dr Red Chidgey chaired a discussion on the Productivity of Protest as part of their Time Well Spent programme.

The event included a free screening of the documentary film “Generation Revolution”, which follows two Black-led grassroots groups attempting to create radical change.

Included in the discussion were the film’s directors, Cassie Quarless and Usayd Younis, alongside Sarah Walker, spokesperson for the English Collective of Prostitutes.

Red is lecturer in Gender and Media at CMCI and the event connected with her current research around protest memory.

Photo by Indre Neiberkaite. Copyright: Tate.

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Sweetman, Subcultures, and Scandinavia

Sweetman Street

Senior Lecturer Dr Paul Sweetman has been awarded a grant of more than £20,000 to work with colleagues in Norway and Sweden on a year-long project on “subcultures and innovation”. The research is funded by Knowledge Works (, a project-based knowledge centre financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture.

The centre aims, through the work of a team of Norwegian and international researchers, developers, and industry players, to contribute to the development of a comprehensive knowledge base for the cultural industries in Norway.

Working with Professors Atle Hauge (INN University Norway) and Dominic Power (University of Stockholm), Paul will be exploring subcultures’ role as key innovators in the cultural and creative industries, and the different ways in which subcultural creativity is harnessed by, amongst others, cities and fashionable brands.

As well as an end of project report for Knowledge Works, the research will also lead to conference papers and academic publications of different kinds. The project runs throughout 2018.

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Home on the Move: London and The Hague

Screen Shot Kate McMillan

CMCI’s Dr Ricarda Vidal will be presenting  poetry, art films, literary translations and sound as she and her collaborator Manuela Perteghella present two mini exhibitions of their project: “Talking Transformations: Home on the Move” at conferences in The Hague and London.

Ricarda will be at “Tuning into the Noise of Europe” at The Hague University of Applied Science in the Netherlands, where she will also lead a workshop on home, migration and intersemiotic translation. Manuela will be at “Multilingualism and Multilingual Identities in World Literatures” at SOAS, London, where she will also give a curator’s talk.

On top of that, the exhibition contains a film by CMCI’s Dr Kate McMillan: Our picture is a still from the film. The events will take place from 18th to 20th January 2018. If you would like to see the show at SOAS on 18th January, please email Dr Vidal. More information about “Talking Transformations” go to:

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Children’s Screen Content in an Era of Forced Migration

Arab Europe AHRC

We are delighted to announce the new website for the CMCI-led research project into “Children’s Screen Content in an Era of Forced Migration: Facilitating Arab-European Dialogue”.

Headed by our Professor Jeanette Steemers, the researchers are investigating ways in which European broadcasters, policy-makers, producers and children’s advocacy organisations can better understand the information and entertainment needs of young Arabic-speaking children who have fled to Europe –together with the children who have seen them arrive. Thousands of Arabic-speaking families, most of them from Syria and Iraq, have taken up residence in Germany and Sweden in the last two years, while hundreds of unaccompanied refugee children have found homes in these countries and the UK.

The project will show how imaginatively-produced screen content for young children could fill gaps in what is currently available on all sides of the forced migration flows at a time when they may struggle to make sense of the new environments in which they find themselves.

In this work, Professor Steemers is assisted by Co-Investigator: Professor Naomi Sakr of the University of Westminster, and Research Associate Dr Christine Singer of CMCI. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the project website is at:


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Why, Why, Why, Delilah?

Fans 1a

Yes: That is a Stoke City shirt. It is being proudly displayed by CMCI’s Professor Richard Howells, who was invited to speak at the launch of Henrik Linden and Sara Linden’s new book: Fans and Fan Cultures.

The book is a scholarly exploration of the relationship between fandom and consumer culture, and includes chapters on football and popular culture.  All speakers and participants were invited to bring along examples of their own “fandom” to the event. In our picture, Sara Linden holds up her much-treasured “Kylie at Christmas” cut-out; Henrik Linden sports his West Ham United supporters’ scarf.

In his talk, Richard Howells attempted to explain how people who really ought to know better were still football fans –and even followed teams such as Stoke. He also spoke about some of the differences -and surprising similarities- between professional football and academia.

Dr Henrik Linden is a recent PhD graduate from CMCI (having been supervised by Professor Howells) and is now Senior Lecturer at the University of East London. Dr Sara Linden is a Lecturer at Goldsmith’s College. Fans and Fan Cultures: Tourism, Consumerism and Social Media is published by Palgrave Macmillan (2017).

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What’s The Problem?

Gauntlett One Edit

What’s the problem with creativity in media studies? That was the question posed by our guest speaker Professor David Gauntlett  (University of Westminster) in the latest CMCI departmental research seminar.

The idea of a creative life is very close to people’s hearts he argued, but the cynicism and economic exploitation at the heart of most major online platforms is deeper and more damaging than some of us had anticipated. But that does not at the same time remove great opportunities for creative exchange and networks that the internet has enabled, he said.

Professor Gauntlett wondered why this was not a more popular topic in media and communications studies today. Discussion ensued….

This was one of Professor Gauntlett’s last presentations in the UK for now: From January 2018 he will be Professor of Creative Innovation and Leadership at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.


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The Spirit of ’68


CMCI’s Professor Richard Howells has just returned from France as an invited member of the Délégation de King’s College Londres to L’université Paris Diderot (also known as Paris 7).

The two days of meetings in Paris were held to consolidate research collaborations between King’s and Diderot. It was agreed that research events will be held in both London and Paris for three years under the themes of Liberté, égalité, and fraternité.

In May 2018, King’s will also host a joint conference with Diderot to mark the 50th anniversary of the “Mai ‘68” uprisings in France. Here, student protest and university occupations played a prominent part -and also resulted in the dissolution of the old Sorbonne in 1970, resulting in the establishment of Université Paris 7 –and 12 others- the following year as part of a reconstituted University of Paris system.

The KCL delegation comprised representatives from Film, Law, German, Political Economy (represented by the Head of School, Social Science and Public Policy) English and Comparative Literature, in addition to CMCI. The KCL delegation was led by Professor Ziad Elmarsafy, Head of Comparative Literature at King’s.

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Wilson and Gross: Live at the Barbican

Caring for Cultural Freedom

CMCI’s Dr Nick Wilson and Dr Jonathan Gross continue to spread the word about their Towards Cultural Democracy project and report –this time with a presentation on a newly commissioned piece of research to some 150 people at London’s Barbican Centre.

Commissioned by A New Direction (AND), the London creative and cultural education agency, the new report explores how cultural learning happens and how it can best be supported. The research focuses on young people within the London Borough of Harrow, and shows how issues related to space, place and mobility, relationships and institutions, knowledge production and cultural agency impact on their learning.

Noting young people’s particular interest in spaces that support ‘creativity’ and ‘freedom’, Nick and Jonathan highlight the need for ‘supported autonomy’, and suggest that people’s cultural learning is characterised by the principles of care (including attentiveness, responsibility, competence and responsiveness).

A New Direction will be hosting a further event on Cultural Democracy & Cultural Freedom as part of its ‘Big Change’ series, on November 23rd.

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Hollywood Made in China


CMCI’s Research Seminar series got off to a strong start with an extremely well-attended presentation on Hollywood and China.

Our guest speaker, Professor Aynne Kokas (University of Virginia, USA) argued that the growth of China’s media market is transforming Hollywood “from the inside out” as the two “behemoths” veer unsteadily between collaboration and competition.

Even as the Chinese market is increasingly relying on Hollywood studio films to garner large box office takings in Chinese cinemas, said Professor Kokas (pictured), the Chinese government is simultaneously cracking down on other foreign media content. Lively discussion followed.

Professor Kokas’ talk was based on her recent book: Hollywood Made in China (University of California Press, 2017). Our next CMCI research seminar is on November 22nd, when we welcome Professor David Gauntlett (University of Westminster). For details of all our forthcoming research seminars, go to:


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Amsterdam Book Launch for Wendy Burke

Burke Launch 2

People seemed to be lining up in Amsterdam to laud CMCI Research Associate Dr Wendy Burke on the launch of her book: Images of Occupation in Dutch Film.

This took place at the city’s EYE Film Museum and featured a Q&A session with Wendy and historian David Barnouw (pictured), together with a screening of one of the films she analyses in the book: “Het Meisje met het Rode Haar” (The Girl with the Red Hair), which Wendy also introduced.

Just before the launch, she was interviewed by the head film writer of the prestigious Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. A terrific surprise followed: the sister and niece of Ben Verbong, director of “Het Meisje met het Rode Haar”, attended the screening. Our second picture shows them chatting (in Dutch, we promise) with Wendy (left) after the event.

Wendy Burke took her PhD in CMCI under the supervision of Professor Richard Howells before becoming a Research Associate in the department. Images of Occupation in Dutch Film: Memory, Myth, and the Cultural Legacy of War, is published (in English) by the Amsterdam University Press (2017).

Burke Launch 1

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Jessica Rapson in Paperback


Another CMCI monograph has made it into paperback: Dr Jessica Rapson’s Topographies of Suffering: Buchenwald, Babi Yar, Lidice.

This book examines the Holocaust via three sites: the former concentration camp at Buchenwald, Germany; the mass grave at Babi Yar, Ukraine; and the razed village of Lidice, Czech Republic. Bringing together recent scholarship from cultural memory and cultural geography, Dr Rapson focuses on the way these violent histories are remembered via the physical sites in which difficult pasts can be represented and understood in the present.

Originally published in hardback in 2015, the 2017 paperback will make Dr Rapson’s work even more widely available. There is a discount available, too: Go the publisher’s website and use the code RAP112 to get 25% off until the end of the year.

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A Touch of Frost

exon front cover 2017 A4

CMCI’s Professor Richard Howells has an article in the latest Exeter College, Oxford University, magazine about their 20th century art collection.

Professor Howells was a Visiting Fellow at Exeter earlier this year, and was impressed by a newly-arrived collection of paintings and prints donated by philanthropist Sir Ronald Cohen.

In his article, Howells focuses on work by both Sir Terry Frost, RA and Maurice Cockrill, RA, but also writes about the benefits of living and studying with fine art, including the modern within an ancient university.

Our picture shows the cover of the current EXON magazine (2017), with art by Corrie Chiswell. Howells’ article is tag-lined here, along with others by film director Susannah White and journalist Reeta Chakrabarti.

You can read the article online at:

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City of Light

Configuring Light Image

Here’s more recent recognition for CMCI research: Dr Jo Entwistle’s “Configuring Light” project has been shortlisted for the Professional Lighting Design Recognition Award 2017 in the category, ‘Award for Research’.

The final award will be presented during the biennial Professional Lighting Design Convention (PLDC) in Paris, in November 2017. Dr Entwistle admits that her fingers are tightly crossed, but she and her team already feel honoured as social researchers and academics to be recognised by lighting professionals as contributing to the development of their practice.
The Paris convention takes place immediately after “Configuring Light” hosts its final iGuzzini sponsored Social Lightscapes Workshop on social research in design, focused on the Places des Fêtes in the 19th arrondissement in Paris. They will be presenting workshop results to the PLDC City Forum on the 1st of November at the start of the convention.

For more on “Configuring Light”, including details of Dr Entwistle’s collaborators, go to:

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Anna on the Air


Anna Reading, Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, has been interviewed on BBC Radio 4

She was part of a series called “The Choral History of Britain” which in its first episode  examined “singing for solidarity”. Anna was invited to appear on the programme to talk about her published research on singing as part of political protest.

The programme, introduced by Roderick Williams, was broadcast from 9am to 9:30 on September 20th, 2018. More details at:

Professor Reading, a former head of CMCI, is now back with us following research leave.

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Ricarda’s Ludic Session


CMCI’s Dr Ricarda Vidal will be leading a “ludic session” on language games with her collaborator Maria-José Blanco as part of “Anna Freud and Play”, a one day conference on play in the theories and practice of Anna Freud.

Dr Vidal will explore how playing with words can help understand our relationship to different languages by inviting delegates to play a game of “expanded” Boggle, which involves multilingual story-telling and translation.

The event will take place in the Council Room on our Strand Campus on Friday 15th September. For more information about the conference, go to:

The conference is organised by Alicia Kent from King’s Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies department.

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On The Double!



We are delighted to announce two recent CMCI academic research funding successes:

Professor Jeanette Steemers has been awarded Arts and Humanities Research Council follow-on funding for the project ‘Collaborative Development of Children’s Screen Content in an Era of Forced Migration Flows: Facilitating Arab-European Dialogue’. The award is worth over £100,000. The project involves international workshops and the creation of impact reports, policy briefings, a Stakeholder Resource Book and a project website that help European broadcasters, policy-makers, producers and children’s advocacy groups to better understand the information and entertainment needs of Arabic-speaking children.

Meanwhile, Dr Jo Entwistle has been successful with her British Academy ‘Cities and Infrastructures’ bid. The project is entitled ‘Disconnected infrastructures and Violence Against Women (VAW): Innovating digital technologies in low-income neighbourhoods to produce safer Indian cities’. There were 160 applications and only 9 were awarded so it was a very competitive bid, and makes this success all the more impressive.

Jeanette Steemers will be working with Naomi Sakr (University of Westminster); Jo Entwistle with Ayona Datta at KCL and Don Slater at the London School of Economics.

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Welcome Back Harvey Cohen

Cohen in the Money Cover

Welcome back: CMCI Senior Lecturer and cultural historian Dr Harvey G. Cohen is back at the department this autumn after two years away on a Leverhulme Trust research grant and sick leave. In the meantime, several of his previous research projects have been published:

“Hollywood’s New Deal in Song and Dance: Footlight Parade and the Great Depression,” a chapter in Hollywood and the Great Depression: American Film, Politics and Society in the 1930s (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). “Chaplin’s America, the Essanay and Mutual Years: The Making of an Artist in the Progressive Era, 1915-1917,” in Quarterly Review of Film and Video (July 2016). “The Struggle to Fashion the NRA Code: The Triumph of Studio Power in 1933 Hollywood,” in Journal of American Studies (December 2015). “Recent Music History Scholarship: Pleasures and Drawbacks” in Journal of American Studies (May 2015).

Also, coming out in December 2017, is Cohen’s new book Who’s In The Money? The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood’s New Deal (see our photo for the cover) which outlines the history of the Warner Brothers musicals during 1933 and their political, historical and cultural connections -on and offscreen- with the newly-elected U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal. For more information, go to:

Harvey Cohen is currently working on his working on his third book, which examines American music, business, gender and Christianity in the mid-20th century.

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Sweetman on Subcultures

Sweetman Scooters

CMCI Senior Lecturer Dr Paul Sweetman has been collaborating with researchers from Scandinavia on a paper on ‘Subcultures and the Experience and Branding of Place and Fashion’, which they co-presented at the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers Annual International Conference in London.

Working with Professor Atle Hauge (Eastern Norway Research Institute), and Professor Dominic Power (Stockholm University), Dr Sweetman looked at the cultural and economic impact of key subcultural groups, especially the relationship between subcultures and place, together with branding, marketing, fashion, and people’s perceptions and experiences of urban spaces.

It is part of a wider project that Paul, Atle and Dominic are currently developing, and formed part of a session on Exploring Brands and Being organised by Anna McLauchlan, University of Leeds, and Steve Millington, Manchester Metropolitan University.

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You Are Invited….

Ricarda Farnham

CMCI’s Dr Ricarda Vidal, together with her collaborator Sam Treadaway, are  re-presenting works from their “bookwork” Revolve:R edition two (, a two-year-long collaboration between artists, writers, filmmakers, a mathematician and a composer.

They will be showing works on paper, poems, art films, a musical score… and you are invited to join them for drinks and a chat at the exhibition on 21st September from 6pm.

The exhibition Revolve:R, edition two has just opened and continues at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, Surrey, until October 07 2017. Details at

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Howells Critical Theory

Professor Richard Howells’ latest book is now available “FTIP” –publishing jargon for the First Time In Paperback.

An academic book usually comes out first only in hardback –with a hard price to match. But if it turns out to be a success, publishers may also consider a more affordable version in paperback.

That’s what’s happened here, with the paperback set at less than a third of the original hardback price, hopefully making it more available and widely read.

When it first came out in 2015, Howells’ monograph: A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism and Design was praised by Slavoj Žižek as: “brilliant and magisterial”, which probably did not do its paperback prospects any harm. For more information see:


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Chile in London

Captura de pantalla 2017-07-24 a la(s) 16.09.17

Colleagues from Chile and London are joining CMCI’s Dr Jo Entwistle in organizing a symposium on ‘Cultural Mediators in the Digital Age’.

Together with Arturo Arrigada from Chile and Agnes Rocamora from University of the Arts, London, Jo will explore how much of the early literature within cultural studies -and across a range of industries including fashion, music, popular media/magazines- is relevant to today’s digital age.

The CMCI-supported symposium will gather experts from across the cultural industries to discuss how digital spaces (such as blogs, social media, and websites) are facilitating the emergence of new cultural and economic forms.

The symposium is set for 04 September, 2017 and places are available at £50 and £30 (for students). For more information and a draft programme, go to:



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A Matter of Debate

Debating Matters 2 2017

CMCI’s Professor Richard Howells was a judge at the national finals of the 2017 Debating Matters schools debating competition.

Six formers from all over the UK competed in the initial heats and then a series of regional finals across the country before the remaining 12 made it to the national decider held at the Museum of London.

Howells (far right in our picture) judged debates on the ethics of sharing of medical records and then the removal of statues of controversial historical figures. Part of the format involved grilling the teams himself.

The winners this year were Loreto Sixth Form College, Manchester; the runners up were the Burgate School and Sixth Form Centre, Hampshire. The annual event is run by the Institute of Ideas. More at:

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From Parliament to Peppa Pig

Steemers Peppa Pig 2

There’s not many people can combine Peppa Pig and Parliament with such authority, but CMCI’s Professor Jeanette Steemers continues to fly the flag for the academic study of children’s media, and especially television.

She joined up with with ”Teletubbies” creator Anne Wood to appear on BBC Radio 4’s popular “Woman’s Hour” programme with Jane Garvey , asking why so much of our current children’s TV is not British made. You can listen again at:

Jeanette has also been campaigning for Flemish Children’s TV via a feature in Belgium’s Flemish language daily newspaper De Standaard (pictured here with Peppa Pig).

Recently she also chaired a session on policy at the Children’s Media Conference held this year in Sheffield. See

Next up: Jeanette attends the Save Kids’ Content: a leap forwards for British children’s television event at the Houses of Parliament.

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Btihaj Ajana and the Quantified Life


CMCI’s Dr Btihaj Ajana has just made a 13-minute documentary film called “Quantified Life” as part of her research project on digital health and “self-tracking.”

It focuses on Thomas Blomseth Christiansen, who for the last eight years has been meticulously tracking and documenting various aspects of his life and health, ultimately ridding himself of his severe allergies and improving his overall health.

The film captures some of Thomas’ experiences while also providing reflections on the wider implications and ethical dimensions of self-tracking and quantification. Watching it makes you wonder: If your boss gave you a Fitbit, would you really be wise to wear it? See:

Dr Alana is a Senior Lecturer with CMCI and the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s, and also currently a Marie Curie Fellow at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Denmark.

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Towards Cultural Democracy: Dancing Breaks Out

breaking 2

Dancing broke out at the launch of CMCI’s Towards Cultural Democracy: Promoting Cultural Capabilities for Everyone report.

Headed by Dr Nick Wilson, our Reader in Creativity, Arts and Cultural Management, the report is the culmination of a 15-month research project that presents a vision of how to build a cultural life for the UK that is: “valuable for everyone, and made by all”.

The report makes 14 recommendations in all, targeted at national government departments and agencies, private trusts and foundations, local cultural policy makers, together with arts and cultural organisations.

Nick’s co-authors are Dr. Jonathan Gross, Teaching Fellow and Researcher at CMCI and Dr. Anna Bull, Lecturer in Sociology, University of Portsmouth (formerly Researcher, CMCI).

Full details are available at from which the complete report can also be downloaded. There is also an article about the report in Arts Professional

The launch event included a breaking masterclass and performance from Flo and Alex: See our photos.

breaking 4

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By-Line: Molly Whyte

Molly Whyte

Readers of the Guardian and the (London) Times Higher Education online may have been noticing a familiar by-line: CMCI MA student Molly Whyte.

Molly, who studies part time on our Arts and Cultural Management programme, contributes to the Higher as a student blogger. Articles published so far include Why Student Volunteering Matters, Four Tips to Manage Your Part-Time Postgraduate Course and How to Write a Master’s Application (in which she clearly has had some success). You can find her author profile here.

A graduate in English and History from Southampton University, Molly manages communications for Student Hubs, a charity supporting student social action at UK universities. Through this role, she wrote an article about unlimited annual leave for the Guardian.

She also runs a personal blog,, which has attracted 4,500 visitors to date. After graduation from King’s, Molly (pictured) hopes to move into arts marketing.


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Josephine Pachta-Reyhofenin is in The House

Josephine PORTRAIT-146

Congratulations to CMCI student Josephine Pachta-Reyhofen, who has won a paid internship at London’s Royal Opera House following her success in the latest King’s Cultural Challenge.

This year’s challenge was to design an innovative cultural project or programme to explore how the arts and culture can drive social change in “a divisive social and political climate.”

Josephine (pictured) proposed a performance festival called “Sign Stages” in which deaf and hearing artists work together to raise awareness for deaf people both on stage and in the audience. Originally from Vienna, Josephine took a BA and MA in Theatre Studies at LMU Munich and is now pursuing another MA in Cultural and Creative Industries with us here at King’s. Her internship begins in October 2017.

For more on the King’s Cultural Challenge go to:

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Do You Like Kipling?


CMCI’s Professor Richard Howells has a piece just published in the (London) Times Higher Education. It’s about Rudyard Kipling’s Stalky & Co, first published in 1899. Howells had found an old copy in his local second hand book shop and started to read…

Stalky & Co is a collection of late Victorian school stories –a very far cry from Hogwarts. Instead of Quidditch, Stalky & Co celebrates beatings, bullying, and a dormitory jape involving a dead cat.

As Howells says in the Higher, he is not qualified to assess this is literature, but as cultural sociology… wow!

See “What Are You Reading” in The Times Higher Education, 8-14 June, 2017, p. 46.

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Images of Occupation: Wendy Burke’s Book Just Published

Burke Occupation Cover Image1

Congratulations to CMCI Research Associate Dr Wendy Burke on the publication of her book: Images of Occupation in Dutch Film: Memory, Myth, and the Cultural Legacy of War, just out with Amsterdam University Press.

The German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II left a lasting mark on Dutch memory and culture. This book is the first to explore depictions of that period in films made a generation later, between 1962 and 1986.

Dr Burke shows that as Dutch public opinion towards the war altered over the post-war decades, the historical trajectory of Dutch recovery and reconstruction-political, economic, and, most complicated of all, psychological-came to be revealed, often unconsciously, in the films of the period.

The book is based on research she did as a PhD student in CMCI under the supervision of Professor Richard Howells. For further details, go to:


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Children’s Television


Children’s TV is something we all remember. But there is more to it than nostalgia: it’s also important.

There’s a welcome, then, for CMCI Professor Jeanette Steemers’ edited special edition on “Children’s Television in Transition”, published by the Sage journal Media International Australia.

If you are interested in policy and industry issues relating to children’s content, you can access all the articles free until June 10th here:

You might especially be interested in Children’s television in transition: policies, platforms and production by Anna Potter and Jeanette Steemers, and

International perspectives on the funding of public service media content for children by Jeanette Steemers.


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Coming Soon: The CMCI PhD Conference 2017

CMCI 2017 Logo

There are just two weeks left now until CMCI PhD Conference 2017. A full day of discussions has been lined up, together with a keynote address on “The Seven Ethics of Creative Subversion,” given by Dr Oli Mould (Royal Holloway, University of London) and a roundtable of CMCI academic staff on “Reflections on Resistance and Resilience from Culture, Media and the Creative Industries.

There are also panel discussions on Media Intertextuality – Globalized Resistance; Creative Industries in Periods of Change; Instrumental Uses of Culture; The Art of Protesting: Cultural and Creative Modes of Activism;  Remembering and Forgetting: Resistance Through Memory and Commemoration; and Cultural Politics in Identities: Gender, Ethnicity, Diaspora, Migration and Transnationalism. A full schedule of the day can be downloaded here:

The conference will be held on Tuesday, June 13, from 8.30 until 18.30, at King’s College London’s Waterloo Campus (Franklin-Wilkins Building, Stamford Street London, SE1 9NH). Attendance is free, but it is essential that you register at

The CMCI staff speakers are: Dr Sarah Atkinson (Chair), Dr Wing-Fai Leung, Dr Kevin Milburn, Dr Jessica Rapson and Dr Kate McMillan. Please email with any questions or comments.



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Nick Wilson and “The Slow Burning Crisis”


There is lavish praise for CMCI’s Dr Nick Wilson in the current Huffpost. In his article “The Slow Burning Crisis”, contributor Tony Woodcock writes that: “Nick’s intellectual contributions to the field are really outstanding.

Woodcock’s article is about the conference “Entrepreneurship in Music: Between Artistic Autonomy and Economic Reality”, held in Oslo, Norway, at which Nick gave the first keynote, titled: “Highway to Hell or Together Forever?”.

According to Woodcock: “…this was a wonderfully attractive, colorful and apposite title and perfectly suited Nick’s style of presentation.”

You can read the whole article at:

Nick Wilson is Reader in Creativity, Arts & Cultural Management in addition to being a musician. According to Woodcock, Nick’s “brilliant keynote” also name checked CMCI colleague Dr Christina Scharff, a fellow researcher in the field.

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CMCI Value Event Podcasts Avaiable

Beyond Value Event KCL at the  on the 13/12/2016. Photo: David Tett

Podcasts from CMCI’s “Beyond Value for Money” symposium on cultural value are now available on line, along with the script of Sir John Tusa’s opening address. This provides a valuable resource for scholars, students and professionals interested in the question of value in the arts, media and education.

The speakers are: Professor Richard Howells (CMCI),  Sir John Tusa (former head of the BBC World Service and the Barbican Centre), Ed Vaizey MP (the UK’s longest serving Culture Secretary), John Holden (Associate at Demos), Mark Damazer CBE (former head of BBC Radio 4, now Master of St Peter’s College, Oxford) , Lizzie Crump (the Cultural Learning Alliance), Jonty Claypole (Director of Arts at the BBC) and David Elstein (chairman of Open Democracy and the Broadcasting Policy Group).

You can find the podcasts here: with the addition of John Tusa’s script here:

We thank all our podcast speakers for their generosity in making their presentations available. Special thanks to Sir John for letting us have and use his script as well.

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Fashion and the City

Joanne studio shoot 2017

Just back from New York City is CMCI fashion specialist Dr Joanne Entwistle.  Jo is on the advisory committee for their Museum@FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology)’s forthcoming exhibition “The Body: Fashion and Physique”.

The exhibition will look at how fashion has influenced how we see the body. Jo was in NYC to attend the first committee meeting and was also filmed for the exhibition film and museum website (see our picture). She’ll also be editing a special issue of Fashion Theory with the museum.

The exhibition will take place in New York from December 2017 to June 2018. More news when we have it.

Joanne Entwistle is Reader in in Culture and Creative Industries at CMCI.

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Aarhus -Just Up Our Street

Steemers Arab TV

News just in from CMCI Professor Jeanette Steemers, who until 17th May is a Visiting Researcher at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, where she’s already delivered a keynote address and is contributing to their PhD programme.

Jeanette and her former colleague, Naomi Sakr have edited a new book, based on their Arts and Humanities Research Council funded research.

Children’s TV and Digital Media in the Arab World. Childhood, Screen Culture and Education is published by IB Tauris, with details at:

They also presented their findings at the Global Kids Media Congress in Angouleme in March. See: and:

In addition to her research and teaching at CMCI, Professor Steemers is our departmental Director of Research.


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Dr Leung Wing-Fai at World Cultures, University of Helsinki

Dr Leung Wing-Fai was invited to give a public talk entitled ‘National Cinema with Chinese Characteristics: Recent Development in the Film Industry in China’ at the University of Helsinki Department of World Cultures on 20 April 2017. She talked about her research on the concept of national cinema in the context of the rapid growth of the Chinese film industry. She also attended the national Chinese Bridge competition organised by the Confucius Institute and attended by the Chinese ambassador of Finland.

Pic 1

Dr Leung Wing-Fai with Professor Julie Yuwen Chen (director) and Professor Wang Hong (co-director) of the Confucius Institute of the Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki

Pic 2

Pic 3

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CMCI PhD Conference 2017


Cultural Resilience/ Resilient Cultures: the art of resistance in changing worlds

In recent times the world has experienced fundamental changes of society on a global scale: political isolationism, regional conflicts, and the displacement of refugees. In this atmosphere of uncertainty, culture has a role to play in reflection, diversification, debate, and reconciliation. Culture and cultural industries can, and should, act as a platform for discussion, analysis and critique of societal shifts. Through this interdisciplinary conference we seek to address questions of resistance and resilience through the lens of culture, media and creative industries. We invite speakers to consider examples of cultural resilience, the instrumentality of culture for resistance or mediation, and the diversity of perspectives that can be used to frame debate. Papers are welcomed in line with the following topics, but are not limited to these:

  • Cultural and creative resilience – past, present and future
  • Media intertextuality – globalized resistance
  • Mediatisation of protest
  • The art of protesting: cultural and creative modes of activism
  • Cultural perspectives on power
  • Cultural diplomacy and international cultural relations in periods of change
  • Cultural politics in identities: gender, ethnicity, diaspora, migration and transnationalism
  • Creative industries in periods of change
  • Instrumental uses of culture
  • Inequality and marginalised communities
  • Remembering and forgetting: resistance through memory and commemoration

Please send a 300-word abstract, along with your name, e-mail address, academic affiliation (and department) and short bio to

The deadline for submissions is Friday 24th March 2017.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Dr. Oli Mould (; others TBA


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Announcing an exciting new project from CMCI: a podcast!

Bridget Conor is currently hosting Doublespeaking, a podcast about the ambiguities and euphemisms of everyday language.

There are six episodes in the first season, in which Bridget interviews academics and generally cool people about their research and ideas – you’ll hear us talk about Rihanna, power suits, childbirth, Air BnB and much more. 

Three episodes are now available at and you can subscribe there or via iTunes. And check in for updates and new episodes on Twitter @doublespeaking.

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“It’s the Art, Stupid!”

Beyond Value Event KCL at the  on the 13/12/2016. Photo: David Tett

The UK’s longest serving Culture Minister, the Rt Hon Ed Vaizey MP, together with current BBC Head of Arts Jonty Claypole, were among a prestigious list of speakers at “Beyond Value for Money”, a symposium on cultural value staged by us at the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries.

The symposium investigated to what extent broadcasting, the arts, and cultural education have a value that is more than financial, and whether “good value for money” is therefore a sufficient measure of the full value of what many of us do.

The BBC charter renewal was a hot topic of conversation, as were the intrinsic versus the instrumental values of the arts and education. Former BBC World Service and Barbican Centre managing director Sir John Tusa gave the opening address, arguing that providing value for money should be an instrument and not end, concluding: “It’s the art, stupid!”

BBC Trustee and former Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer, CBE, argued that simply being distinctive was not the same as being excellent, while independent TV and film executive David Elstein made a spirited case for the “race to the top” in subscription television.

Other speakers at the day-long event included Georgina Born, OBE, Professor of Music at Oxford University; Lizzie Crump, Co-Director, The Cultural Learning Alliance; and John Holden, Associate and former Head of Culture at Demos.

The symposium convenor was CMCI’s Professor of Cultural Sociology Richard Howells, and the event was funded and supported by King’s College London’s Arts and Humanities Research Institute under their new World Service initiative.

A set of high definition photographs of the speakers in action at “Beyond Value for Money” is available at:

Our picture here shows Richard Howells chairing questions for Ed Vaizey at the event. Photo credit: David Tett photography.

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Arthur In Action


There was a bumper turnout for our final CMCI research seminar of 2016, with Pulitzer Prize nominee Professor Arthur I Miller from UCL speaking on artificial intelligence– and the controversial question of whether computers can be creative.

We were very pleased to welcome a number of people from outside CMCI and indeed King’s who came along to enjoy Arthur’s illustrated talk.

Cultural and Creative Industries student Mallory MacDonald volunteered to photograph the event for us, and the CMCI blog was delighted to accept. We’ve put up another of Mallory’s photographs of the event here:


For more on Mallory’s work as a Seattle-based photographer, see her website: She specialises in photographing children –but was happy to work with academics on this occasion!

Picture credits: Mallory MacDonald

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Transforming the Digital Landscape

Tall Signpost

As our term draws to a close in 2016, we are already planning ahead for our research symposium on “Digital Distribution and Entertainment” in January next year.

Music streaming, video-on-demand and downloadable games are just some of the signs of how digital distribution is transforming the landscape of entertainment media. Digital delivery dematerializes while rematerializing the means of disseminating entertainment. For media industries, the potential of digital distribution to disrupt traditional structures has been accompanied by the emergence of new power players as cultural gatekeepers.

It’s organized by CMCI Head of Department Paul McDonald and speakers include our own Virginia Crisp; Andrew Leyshon (University of Nottingham); Amanda Lotz (University of Michigan); Jeanette Steemers (CMCI); and Patrick Vonderau (Stockholm University).

It takes place on Wednesday 18 January 2017 from 13.30-18.00hrs, followed by a wine reception 18.00-19.00hrs in Room S-3.20, Strand Building, King’s College London.

For full details visit:

This event is free but as places are restricted booking is required. Please register at:

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Kevin Milburn Marks Canadian Memory


This month sees the 99th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion of 1917 in Nova Scotia, Canada. Prior to the first test of an atomic bomb, this explosion caused by a collision in Halifax harbour involving a ship carrying munitions to WWI battlefields, was the world’s largest ever man-made blast and resulted in over 2,000 fatalities.

CMCI teaching Dr Kevin Milburn went to Canada to give a talk about the event and the responses to it, particularly artistic ones, at the 2016 Universities Art Association of Canada Conference at L’Université du Québec à Montréal. Kevin spoke in the ‘To Protect and Conserve: Memory, Art and Preservation’ session.

Interestingly, each year, as thanks for the help that the city of Boston, Massachusetts, gave to Halifax in the aftermath of the disaster, Halifax provides a Christmas Tree for Boston. Here’s is a picture of this year’s model being waved off as it starts its journey from Canada to the USA.

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Beyond Value for Money


The Department of Culture Media and Creative Industries announces: King’s College London Symposium: “Beyond Value for Money” a symposium on cultural value taking place on Tuesday 13 December in the Council Room (K2.29), King’s Building, Strand Campus.

We want to know: Is there more to culture, the arts, broadcasting and arts education than providing “good value for money”? Headline speakers include academics, professionals and policymakers: Georgina Born, OBE, Professor of Music, Oxford University and author of Rationalizing Culture and Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC; Jonty Claypole, Head of BBC Arts; Lizzie Crump, Co-Director, The Cultural Learning Alliance; Mark Damazer, CBE, former controller of Radio 4 now Master of St Peter’s College, Oxford; David Elstein, television and film executive; chairman of; John Holden, Associate and former Head of Culture at Demos, author of Cultural Value and the Crisis of Legitimacy;  Sir John Tusa, Managing Director of the BBC World Service, 1986-1993; former chair, Clore Leadership Programme, author of Pain in the Arts and Art Matters; and The Right Honourable Ed Vaizey, MP, Minister for Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, 2010-2016

We are limiting the audience for this event to 65 to allow for full discussion, questions and answers, so please book your place as soon as possible at:

The event is organised by Richard Howells, Professor of Cultural Sociology, Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London.  Please forward any enquiries to

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CMCI Professor Jeanette Steemers has a new article published. It’s called ‘International Sales of U.K. Television Content Change and Continuity in “the space in between” Production and Consumption’ and is appears in the December 2016 edition of Television and New Media.

In her article, Professor Steemers addresses key issues facing the international distribution industry arising from over-the-top (OTT) digital distribution and the fragmentation of audiences and revenues.

You can find the full article at:

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Creatives In Hampshire


Dr Roberta Comunian was an invited speaker at a conference and networking event: ‘Growing Hampshire’s Creative Economy’ organised by the ‘Creative Industries Research Network South’ at The Point in Eastleigh (Hampshire).

She talked about talent progression and development, focusing on the relationship between creative graduates’ careers and location decision.

The presentations from the event can be downloaded from the organisers’ website