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Success for MA CCI Alumnus

Posted by lostincci on August 20, 2014

Congratulations to CMCI alumnus Shams Bin Quader who has had an article published in the journal Cultural Studies in a special issue focusing on music scenes.  The paper, entitled ‘Approaching the Underground: The production of alternative in the Bangladeshi metal scene’, is based on Sham’s MPhil thesis and was co-authored with his supervisor, Dr Guy Redden at the University of Sydney.  After successfully completing his MA in Cultural & Creative Industries at King’s in 2008, Shams went on to teach as Senior Lecturer at the Independent University in Bangladesh (IUB).  His research interests include new media, information communication technology (ICT), Social Network Sites (SNS), popular music and cultural identity.  The article can be accessed in full here.

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Cohen on the history behind recent events in Ferguson, MO

Posted by lostincci on August 20, 2014

BBCNewsOn 19 August, CMCI cultural historian Dr Harvey G Cohen appeared on a live televised BBC News Channel segment, commenting on recent disturbing events that have unfolded since Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager, was shot dead recently with six bullets by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Cohen was asked for possible reasons for the outpouring of rage in the streets (including not just peaceful protests, but also shooting, looting and firebombing) from black Ferguson residents. Cohen referred to the extreme lack of black civic and police representation in majority-black Ferguson and the initial stonewalling of information related to the case by the Police Department, as well as the fatal 2012 shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida, which returned a not guilty verdict for the gunman. He also discussed what historians have called the “revolution of rising expectations.” After the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act 50 years ago, African Americans hoped their livelihoods would improve, but during the last half century, African Americans have consistently suffered twice the unemployment and poverty rate of whites, and the gap between blacks and whites in yearly median household income ($54,000 vs. $32,000 in 2010) has not budged appreciably since the mid-1960s. Though generations of politicians have promised increased opportunity, it hasn’t happened. Such conditions may well have influenced the reaction to Brown’s tragic fate. As the Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr once remarked, “a riot is the language of the unheard.”

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A Critical Theory of Navajo Design

Posted by lostincci on August 8, 2014


CMCI visual culture specialist Dr Richard Howells has a new scholarly article out this month. “Looking for Utopia: Creation, Creativity and a Utopian Theory of Design” combines cultural theory with a case study on Navajo design and appears in Thesis Eleven, a multidisciplinary journal: “reaching across the social sciences (sociology, anthropology, philosophy, geography, cultural studies, literature and politics) and cultivating diverse critical theories of modernity. Reflecting the broad scope of social theory it encourages civilizational analysis on a wide range of alternative modernities and takes critical theory from the margins of the world system to its centre.”

Howells’ article was previewed at the last KCL Humanities Festival here in London, but his interest in Navajo design goes back to his time as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Center for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University.

The full details are: Richard Howells, “Looking for Utopia: Creation, Creativity and a Utopian Theory of Design” in Thesis Eleven, Vol. 123(1) 41–61, 2014, pp 41-61. DOI: 10.1177/0725513614543414.

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Cultural Institute supports CMCI research ideas

Posted by lostincci on July 31, 2014

From a ‘random walks’ app to explain complex mathematics to a music video that acts as a therapeutic tool for people hearing voices, the Cultural Institute at King’s will be supporting eight academics from across King’s to develop new ideas as part of its Collaborative Innovation Scheme for Early Career Researchers, two of whom are PhD students from CMCI.

To help realise the ideas, the Cultural Institute has partnered each academic with relevant experts from the cultural sector – from app developers to the London College of Fashion, the V&A and UK Music – who will provide a real-life lens for them to explore their research.

The academics were selected following 30 applications from across the College. In addition to brokering and supporting the cultural partnerships and project development between August and December, the Cultural Institute will be contributing to the costs of each project.

The successful CMCI Doctoral candidates are:

  • Toby Bennett, who will work with UK Music UK to help understand the challenges facing the music industry and how he relationship between academia and the industry can be improved
  • Michal Ben-David, who will work with TV executives to develop new management methods and tools that can drive innovation in the future TV industry

Talking about the projects, Deborah Bull, Director, Cultural Partnerships, said:

“The open application process across King’s has delivered a wide range of ideas across a number of disciplines, each of which promises to have real impact. Partnership with the cultural sector will provide a unique opportunity for these academics to gain a fresh perspective on their thinking and ensure their ideas have genuine resonance. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of these exciting collaborations”

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New Korean and Chinese Editions of Howells’ Visual Culture

Posted by lostincci on July 25, 2014

Howells Visual Culture 2nd Edition Korean TranslationHowells Visual Culture 2nd Chinese Edition

Korean and Chinese editions of Dr Richard Howells’ Visual Culture have just been published.

These are translations of the second edition of Howells’ successful publication, this version co-written with his former PhD student Dr Joaquim Negreiros. The first edition was reprinted eight times before the decision was taken to update and revise the original volume for new readers.

The full citations are:

Visual Culture, (Korean edition) second, revised and expanded edition, with Joaquim Negreiros (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia), Busan: Kyungsung University Press, 2014.

Visual Culture, (Chinese edition) second, revised and expanded edition, with Joaquim Negreiros (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia), Beijing and Shangai: Shanghai Yili Shangda Cultural Development Company/ Beijing Pheonix Cultural Development Company, 2014.

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Research Funding Success for CMCI Doctoral Students

Posted by lostincci on July 18, 2014

Two research projects led by PhD students at the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries have won financial support from the King’s Cultural Institute’s Collaborative Innovation Scheme.

Toby Bennett will be working in collaboration with UK Music to improve awareness of shared challenges and mutual communications between education and the music industry. For more about UK Music, see:

Michal Ben-David will be working on innovation workshops for TV executives. The workshops will explore with managers the nature of creativity and innovation, together with the inherent tension between creativity/freedom and management/control.

The Collaborative Innovation Scheme for Early Career Researchers provides early career researchers and PhD students from across King’s with the opportunity to develop a collaborative and innovative project with a cultural sector or industry partner. Toby and Michal are both supervised by CMCI academic Dr Nick Wilson, and each is now funded with £1,000 for their projects to run between 1 August and 31 December 2014.

Congratulations to Toby, Michal and Nick.

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Don’t worry, everything is in control, despite appearances…

Posted by lostincci on July 16, 2014

If you were walking through the Chesham Building on the afternoon of Tuesday 15 July and happened to spy numerous bulky men dressed as U.S. Secret Service agents running up and down the outside staircases with their earpieces embedded and guns drawn, you were not dreaming. Luckily, they were just actors filming a scene from “The Curse of Hendon,” a forthcoming feature which has been filming around the Chesham Building in recent days, especially in the alley below CMCI staff members’ offices on the west side of the building. According to internet reports, the film stars Sasha Baron Cohen, but he was not sighted by your intrepid reporter. Too bad, since he’s actually one celeb this correspondent wouldn’t mind having a chat with.

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A Century Apart

Posted by lostincci on July 14, 2014

Higher Logo 3

CMCI’s Reader in Culture, Media and Creative Industries Dr Richard Howells has had book reviews published in two consecutive editions of the Times Higher Education supplement this month –even though the books were published over 100 years apart.

The first was of HG Wells’ edited volume Socialism and the Great State of 1912; the second of Caleb Crain’s debut novel Necessary Errors of 2013.

Both appeared in the THE’s “What Are You Reading” feature, which allows for more informal reviews –and also of books which are no longer current, which is just as well considering the date of the Wells.

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Posted by lostincci on July 7, 2014

The Birth of the Tramp

CMCI cultural historian Dr Harvey G Cohen spent most of the last week of June at perhaps the most enjoyable conference he has ever had the pleasure of attending: a conference celebrating the centenary of Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp character, sponsored by the Cineteca Bologna in Bologna, Italy. The most famous Chaplin scholars attended and participated (such as Kevin Brownlow, Chuck Maland, David Robinson, etc), as did various film professionals, DVD companies, international film festival directors, and world-famous film directors (such as Mike Leigh and Alexander Payne).

Cohen contributed a paper written for the occasion, “Charlie Chaplin’s America: The Essanay and Mutual Era, 1915-1917,” which will be developed into an academic journal article. The paper argues that Chaplin’s best and most lasting work started during this period and tended to occur throughout his career when he combined his comedy with real life “bittersweet” issues, particularly those concerned with the downtrodden and marginalised of the period — such as immigrants, women, the working class’ efforts to unionise, and Chaplin’s challenges to Victorian middle class morality of the period, the latter of which caused critics on both sides of the Atlantic to label Chaplin a “social menace.” Festival organisers plan to put Cohen’s presentation on the web; keep checking this blog for further details.

One of the highlights of the conference was a screening of four Chaplin classics accompanied by a live orchestra outside before thousands of people in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore, including “Kid Auto Races at Venice” (1914), the film that first premiered the Little Tramp character, in a newly restored version that included a few seconds of previously unseen footage. Before this film started, conference organisers passed out thousands of life-size replicas of Chapin’s face to the crowd, and took a picture with almost everyone putting the Chaplin mask in front of their faces. Quite a sight! One could definitely feel his spirit hovering over the occasion…


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Dr Ricarda Vidal at The Cultural Capital Exchange (TCCE) annual conference

Posted by lostincci on July 2, 2014

Dr Ricarda Vidal was recently one of the presenters at The Cultural Capital Exchange (TCCE) annual conference “Culture, Creativity and the Academy – building a new ‘Grand Partnership'” which took place on 24 June at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Together with the poet Steven J Fowler she held a participatory workshop, “From Image to Text”, in which she invited conference delegates to enter the wonderful world of translation within the fine arts and literature, which is at the heart of her project Translation Games.
The workshop built on a recent Translation Games event, “p.o.w. – translating concrete poetry”, which took place on 5 March at the Poetry Library, Southbank Centre. For this event the artists Sam Treadaway, Katja Knecht and Anna Cady had been asked to translate a concrete poem into scent, sound and film. At the TCCE workshop, participants were asked to translate the filmic translation back into poetry.

The workshop began with a short presentation of the Translation Games project and its outputs, i.e. translations from flash fiction to film, from film to ceramics or choreography, from concrete poetry to scent etc. Participants then discussed the fine line between translation, interpretation, illustration, response and adaptation. What does translation mean within different contexts and how can we define language beyond the linguistic realm? Where does translation begin? Where does it end? And when does it cease to be translation and become something else? Is there an ‘essence’ of the original, which can be grasped and rendered?
Needless to say that no single answer to any of these questions could be found, but, between them, the group arrived at a definition of translation which could be applied to both the linguistic and the artistic realm. This was then tried out in practice as the remainder of the workshop (sadly only 20 minutes!) was dedicated to translating Anna Cady’s filmic translation of Paul Brown’s concrete poem ‘cold’ back into text. While time constraints meant that participants had to limit themselves to drafts rather than finished works, it was nonetheless astonishing how close these drafts came in recreating the atmosphere (the essence?) of the original poem.

The original poem, Anna Cady’s film and the translations produced on 24 June can all be read, seen and watched here:


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