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Successful event on Cultural Consumption: From Research to Reality

Posted by lostincci on April 14, 2014

salonpublic1by Sipei Quek

Speakers and Organisers of the Salon Public. Picture by Sipei Quek.

The recent event: “Salon Public on Cultural Consumption: From Research to Reality” took place on Monday 24 March and was hosted by the MA Cultural and Creative Industries student research group ‘Culture, Governance and Cities’.

Dr Tak Wing Chan (University of Oxford), Emma Keith (National Theatre) and Catherine Bunting (former Director of Research of Art Council England) were investigating the role research plays in understanding cultural consumption in terms of the policy making and audience participation. salonpublicspeakers by Sipei Quek

Each of the speakers gave a short presentation focusing on their respective fields of specialisation: Dr Chan presented his rigorous research on cultural audiences, challenging the comme il faut picture of the cultural consumer; Emma Keith presented the successful audience building project ‘NT Live’, which has enabled the National Theatre to reach and engage new audience segments; and Catherine Bunting discussed how research, funding and policy can work together, while asking important questions about the governments role and mandate for interference in cultural consumption. The presentations were followed by a Q&A session that explored the intersections of the three presenter’s areas of expertise.


More than 60 people from both in and outside of the Department attended the event, which was held at the King’s College Strand Campus. The event was a great success, and Head of Department Professor Anna Reading commented “It was brilliantly organized and had a great line up of stimulating speakers”. Research Group mentor and CMCI staff member Dr Hye-Kyung Lee also noted “It truly was an ‘award-winning’ event. It was excellent in all aspects, and everything was very professional. I hope there can be more activities like this!”

Congratulations to the MA Cultural and Creative Industries students and special thanks to student Sipei Quek for the pictures.

salonpublic2 by Sipei Quek

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New Book from CMCI’s Dr Bridget Conor

Posted by lostincci on April 11, 2014

Congratulations to CMCI’s Dr Bridget Conor on the publication of her new book Screenwriting: Creative Labor and Professional Practice (Routledge 2014).Screenwriting

The book analyzes the histories, practices, identities and subjects which form and shape the daily working lives of screenwriters and Dr Conor considers the ways in which contemporary screenwriters navigate and make sense of the labor markets in which they are immersed.

The chapters explore areas including: screenwriting histories and myths of the profession; screenwriting as creative labour; screenwriters’ working lives; screenwriting work and the how-to genre and screenwriting work and inequalities.

Drawing on historical and critical perspectives of mainstream screenwriting in the USA and UK, as well as valuable interviews with working screenwriters, this book presents a highly original and multi-faceted study of screenwriting as creative labor and professional practice.

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New Book from CMCI’s Jessica Rapson

Posted by lostincci on April 7, 2014


Congratulations to CMCI’s Dr Jessica Rapson on the publication of her edited volume The Transcultural Turn: Interrogating Memory Between and Beyond Borders.

This new book, co-edited with Lucy Bond, is in the interdisciplinary field of memory studies, in which CMCI has a particular strength. Jessica’s volume pays particular attention to transculturalism, which sees remembering as a fluid process in which commemorative tropes work to inform the representation of diverse events and traumas beyond national or cultural borders.

The Transcultural Turn: Interrogating Memory Between and Beyond Borders is published in Berlin by De Gruyter as part of their Media and Cultural Memory series.



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Special surprise industry guests drop in on the Music Business seminar

Posted by lostincci on March 31, 2014

Readings in the Music Business, the new MA CCI module led by CMCI cultural historian Dr Harvey G Cohen, just finished its inaugural run this week. Over the 10-week semester, students read some of the best books concerning the history of the music industry released in recent years, covering an eclectic selection of music ranging over a hundred years in the United States and the United Kingdom, reading one book per week. They discussed not only artists and executives, but also the qualities that make for effective book authorship, which will hopefully help guide the graduate students as they prepare their dissertations at MA CCI. Students from the MA Digital Humanities programme of study also participated in the module.

Weilin Wang picDuring two weeks of the semester, Cohen invited music industry guests to the seminar. On 4 March, having read Neil Taylor’s oral history of legendary UK indie label and record store Rough Trade, students were surprised to come to class and find Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis ready to discuss his experiences in the music business and answer any and all questions about his career, and advise MA CCI students on how to succeed in the music industry. He also commented on the Taylor book, and noted where he felt the book had misperceived some elements of the history of Rough Trade. If you are a loyal reader of this blog, you know that Cohen previously brought Travis to King’s College London in 2007 for a public event that drew more than 250 people; a photo of Travis and Cohen from that earlier event taken by CMCI alumnus Weilin Wang accompanies this report and a 2007 blogpost can be viewed here.

Also, the following week, on 25 March, another surprise seminar guest, Damon Minchella, arrived at King’s College London to talk to students about the book being read that week, Simon Reynolds’ Retromania, and to answer questions about his career in the music industry and in academia. Minchella was a founding member, songwriter, and bass player for the Birmingham group Ocean Colour Scene, which enjoyed over a dozen top 20 singles and 5 Top 10 albums in the UK during the 1990s and early 21st century. Since then, he has toured with Paul McCartney, Paul Weller, Amy Winehouse, and played with the Who at Live 8, as well as recent session work on the forthcoming Richard Ashcroft solo album, and touring Europe with his jazz group Trio Valore (who can be heard on Spotify and elsewhere on the web). In addition, the incredibly productive Minchella has offered bass instruction and taught courses about the music business at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music in Bristol for years, and is also working full-time on a PhD centring on the music industry at the University of Birmingham. Minchella’s familiarity with cultural theory as well as the nitty gritty details of the music world made for many surprising insights in class this week.


Further information on the Readings in the Music Business module.

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Cohen and Marghitu double-billed at SCMS Seattle Conference

Posted by lostincci on March 28, 2014

If a certain pair of CMCI denizens look a little more haggard than usual, it’s because they are currently recovering from jet-lag incurred while presenting papers at the Society of Cinema and Media Studies conference, probably the premiere annual academic event in Film & TV studies, in Seattle, WA last weekend.

scmslogoCMCI cultural historian Dr Harvey G Cohen previewed the major arguments of his forthcoming book on the University of Chicago Press, The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood’s New Deal, in a standing room only session as part of a panel covering “Cinema and the New Deal.” If you follow this blog, you know that he has been presenting information on this topic for a couple years now at various conferences around the world, but this presentation marked the first time at a conference that most audience members had seen the main movie he analyses in his book, the 1933 Warner Bros. musical Footlight Parade, starring Jimmy Cagney, which Cohen argues serves as a metaphor for President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programme that sought to deal with the economic dislocation of the Great Depression. The audience’s familiarity led to even better questions from them than has been the case at previous conference stops, and meant that Cohen had to do less explaining of the film’s plot than usual. The film has been used by Cohen in the MA CCI module Film and American Culture since 2007, and is usually a favourite of the grad students, especially for those zany and kaleidoscopic Busby Berkeley sequences at the end of the film.

Appearing at the exact same time elsewhere at the conference, CMCI PhD student Stefania Marghitu Stefania Marghitu who is working with Cohen as her supervisor, offered a new original paper concerning “FX’s The Bridge: Strategizing Towards An Expanding Latino Demographic” as part of the panel on “Television Networks and Brand Identity.” It is part of the seemingly constantly expanding work she has been producing in recent years in academic journals and websites concerning American TV culture, history, business and identity issues. Her PhD dissertation examines the world of female showrunners, and she has also written about gender roles in the series Mad Men, post-feminist discourse in Girls, and more. Check out all of her latest pieces at

Recently, Marghitu has been offered fully funded PhD places at two prestigious universities in the United States, and will be heading there in the fall after her current year at King’s College London. We will miss her here at CMCI, wish her all the best, and know she will excel across the Atlantic.

Later this spring, Cohen will be presenting at conferences in Amsterdam and Bologna, Italy on two different topics. Details to follow on this blog…

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Youth subcultures: what are they now?

Posted by lostincci on March 27, 2014

Dr Ruth AdamsDr Ruth Adams contributes to Guardian article on the fate of youth subcultures in the 21st century.

CMCI’s D Ruth Adams was invited to contribute to the article by Alexis Petridis which was the G2 cover story on Friday 21 March 2014, part of the Guardian’s series on ‘Generation Y’. Asked for her opinion on the apparent decline in visible street scenes amongst young people, Ruth cited fast fashion, the ready availability of music and the growth of online culture as contributing factors.
The full article is available on the Guardian website here:

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Dr Burke Lectures at Holocaust Awareness Event

Posted by lostincci on March 24, 2014

DrWendyBurkeCMCI’s Dr Wendy Burke is giving a lecture as part of Holocaust Awareness Week for the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Leicester. It is titled: ‘In the shadow of occupation: Absence and gradual remembrance within depictions of wartime Jewish persecution in Dutch films‘ and takes place on Wednesday 26 March 2014 at 6 pm.

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Upcoming Event: Salon Public – Cultural Consumption: From Research to Reality

Posted by lostincci on March 19, 2014

Salon PUblic PosterWe are delighted to announce an upcoming event: Salon Public on Cultural Consumption: From Research to Reality.

The event will take place on Monday 24 March and is hosted by the MA Cultural and Creative Industries student research group ‘Culture, Governance and Cities’.

Dr Tak Wing Chan (University of Oxford), Emma Keith (National Theatre) and Catherine Bunting (former Director of Research of Art Council England,) will investigate the role of research playing in understanding cultural consumption in terms of the policy making and audience participation.

Date: Monday 24 March
Time: 6-8pm
Room: K2.40, Second floor King’s Building, Strand Campus, King’s College London.

Booking is required.
Please visit:

Free refreshment and nibbles provided.

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Translation Games: P.O.W.

Posted by lostincci on March 6, 2014

Translation Games, which is led by CMCI’s Dr Ricarda Vidal and Jenny Chamarette (Queen Mary), recently held an event which was conceived specifically for the Special Edition series at the Saison Poetry Library, Southbank Centre.

Ricarda and Jenny have chosen five poems from Antonio Claudio Carvalho’s concrete poetry magazine p.o.w.: Simon Barraclough’s “two sun spots”, Paul Brown’s “cold”, Antonio Claudio Carvalho’s “(the) flesh of gods”, Mel Gooding’s “sextet: improvisations”, and Chrissy Williams’s “murder she wrote”.

They invited filmmaker Anna Cady, multimedia artist Sam Treadaway and digital artist Katja Knecht to choose one of the five poems and translate it into their medium. The artists presented their translations on the evening of 5 March and discussed the challenges and revelations of translating from one medium (text) into another (fine arts).
The poet Steven Fowler simultaneously translated the discussions into live writing.

For more information and to see the poems, please visit the website:
Anna Cady still - Cold
Film still of Anna Cady’s translation of Paul Brown’s poem ‘cold’

Translation Games explores the theory and practice of translation within literature (i.e. between languages), the fine arts (i.e. between art genres), and textile design as well as across these disciplines. Modelled on the game of Chinese Whispers, where a message is passed from person to person and goes through various stages of transformation, the Games see a commissioned source text translated through a series of languages, art genres, and textile designs. Based on collaboration and knowledge exchange between literary translators, artists, designers, and academics, the project comprises a programme of workshops and symposia, as well as a series of public exhibitions, performances and publications.

Translation Games has been playing since May 2013 with various rules, various players and various outcomes. Browse through the website ( to see the results.

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Upcoming symposium “1984 now”

Posted by lostincci on March 3, 2014

As the Theatre Company Headlong’s critically acclaimed adaptation of 1984 draws to a close after a national tour and successful run at the Almeida Theatre, a public symposium curated by Headlong and their King’s collaborators, including CMCI’s Dr Btihaj Ajana, will come together to debate the presence of Big Brother in our lives today.

The symposium will take place at King’s College London on 29 March 2014.1984

For more information about the event:

Further information:

The event is part of Cultural Institute at King’s Knowledge Producers programme.

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