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Dr Adams, Country Life, and the Counry House

Posted by lostincci on November 20, 2014


The British country house continues to provide a fine example of contested culture – and to create a lot of interesting work for our CMCI expert, Dr Ruth Adams.

Ruth explains that the continued popularity of country houses is evident both in the exponentially growing membership of the National Trust, and the very large viewing figures (both at home and abroad) of television programmes like “Downton Abbey”.

Now Ruth’s academic journal article on the subject has been cited in a feature in Country Life magazine, written by Sir Roy Strong, a former director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
You can read Ruth’s original article at:

As we reported here earlier this autumn, Ruth staged a symposium at King’s called ‘Forty Years of English Heritage: The Legacy of “The Destruction of the Country House”‘. She was then invited to participate in a further symposium, organised by the V&A and SAVE Britain’s Heritage, a very influential campaigning charity on country house issues. The event and gave Ruth the chance to speak alongside Sir Roy Strong, Marcus Binney (President of SAVE), and John Harris – formerly Architectural Editor of Country Life magazine, all of whom reflected on the importance of the 40th anniversary of the landmark exhibition ‘The Destruction of the Country House’ at the V&A, which Ruth says played a fundamental role in changing both policy and public attitudes to conservation in the UK, and helped enshrine stately homes as a key element of the British cultural identity.

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Bridget on the ‘Net

Posted by lostincci on November 19, 2014


CMCI lecturer Dr Bridget Conor can be heard on the Internet talking about her new book in an interview “all the way from London” on the American-based New Books Network. It’s called: Screenwriting: Creative Labour and Professional Practice (Routledge 2014), which we first announced in the CMCI Blog in April this year.

The book analyses 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 labour markets in which they are immersed.

You can hear Bridget’s interview at:

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Bright Ideas

Posted by lostincci on November 18, 2014

It’s been a busy autumn for CMCI senior lecturer Dr Jo Entwistle. Jo, who runs our PhD programme, has been dealing with light and fashion at two events in London.

The first was a “Lighting the Local” event, which was in turn inspired by research by the “Configuring Light” team earlier this year. It looked at on the lighting master plan for the city of Derby and examined how lighting shapes our sense of the city space, how it promotes (or not) the legibility of the city at night, and how it can be used to give a more unified and attractive sense of place at night. You can see Jo’s own blog entry on this at:
The next seminar in the series will in February 2015. “Configuring Light/Staging the Social” is an LSE and ESRC-funded research project upon which Jo collaborates with Don Slater and Mona Sloane of the LSE.

Meanwhile, Jo was also a panelist on a design culture event as part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s “Listen-Talk-Think” programme. This event asked the question: “How do fashion cycles and design culture interact?” Some fifty people attended the pubic event, which was chaired by Christopher Breward, the principal of the Edinburgh College of Art.

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Dead Pleased

Posted by lostincci on November 11, 2014

Power od Death book

Congratulations to CMCI lecturer Dr Ricarda Vidal on the publication of her book The Power of Death: Contemporary Reflections of Death in Western Society, which she has co-edited with Maria-Jose Blanco from the Spanish department.

Our picture shows Ricarda’s joyfully-received advance copy.

The book shows how the social and cultural changes of the last century have transformed death from an everyday fact to something hidden from view. At the same time, however, death maintains continued power over our lives. By studying and considering how death is thought about in the contemporary era, the contributors discuss how we might restore the natural place death has in our lives. For more information go to:

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Dr Howells Recommends…

Posted by lostincci on November 6, 2014


I really do recommend going to see “Rembrandt: The Late Works” just along the street at the National Gallery. It’s a remarkable opportunity to see so many of Rembrandt’s late (and I believe best) pictures in one place at one time –gathered on loan from leading museums around the world.

Highlights include some marvelous self-portraits (including his last), his group portrait ‘The Syndics’ (1662), three states of his masterpiece print ‘The Three Crosses’ (1653) hung together for comparison, the so-called ‘Jewish Bride’ (c 1665), ‘A Woman Bathing in a Stream’ (1654), and what is probably his last ever painting: ‘Simeon and the Infant Christ in the Temple’ (c 1669). The ‘Jewish Bride’ is a painting I have never particularly liked –but to see it in the original has made me reconsider my opinion. It’s magnificent. And while I still consider the huge ‘Conspiracy of the Batavians’ to be over-rated, it is fascinating when compared to the small study in ink hanging next to it (until December 29th).

Get there early in the day to beat the crowds and to really get up close to the detail and wonder of Rembrandt’s late technique. The exhibition runs until January 18th. My Visual Culture students, in particular, will find it a treat.

Richard Howells

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Cohen Comments on Hip Lexicographer Calloway on Radio 4

Posted by lostincci on October 29, 2014

callowayOn 28 October 2014, CMCI cultural historian Dr Harvey G Cohen appeared on the Radio 4 documentary “Dr Hepcat and the Hepcat’s Dictionary,” which focused on African American entertainer Cab Calloway’s best-selling 1938 book “The Hepster’s Dictionary,” which delineated the Harlem slang of the 1920s and 1930s.  Cohen commented on the struggles that famous black musicians like Calloway, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington experienced in the late 1930s as jazz during the Swing Era became America’s most popular music, yet African Americans were denied the best financial opportunities during this period because of rampant discrimination even though they were largely the originators of the music.  To hear the entire programme and enhance your “jive” vocabulary, consult the iPlayer:


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I Can’t Believe It’s Not Rutter

Posted by lostincci on October 27, 2014

Nick Speaks, They Listen

Kudos to CMCI Senior Lecturer Dr Nick Wilson, who is having a carol he composed performed at The Children’s Trust Christmas Concert at London’s Cadogan Hall. The concert is in aid of the trust, and is an annual event in which Nick has been taking part (as a singer) for the last few years. With luck the carol, which he wrote for the tiny hamlet of Liston in Suffolk, is also being performed by the Aldeburgh Voices in their Christmas concerts this year. Nick is understandably pleased to see his name listed on the programme between Handel, Corelli and Rutter. The concert will be given on Tuesday 9th December, see:

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Critical Challenges in Classical Music

Posted by lostincci on October 27, 2014


CMCI’s Dr Christina Scharff has been extremely busy with not one but two classical music events. First was a conference “Classical Music: Critical Challenges”, the second in a series of debates on contemporary practice. The event, organised along with Anna Bull (Goldsmiths, University of London), featured speakers from Canada, the US and the United Kingdom, and represented the views of academics along with practitioners such as the Musicians’ Union. You can find further information on the conference together with the abstracts at:

The second was: “Ain’t I a woman?” a public event aimed at uncovering inequalities in classical music as part of this year’s Arts & Humanities Festival here at King’s. Working again with Anna Bull, Christina’s event  kicked off with a performance of Sojourner Truth’s 1851 speech ‘Ain’t I a woman?’ by the musician and composer Ayanna Witter-Johnson. Christina presented the findings from her ESRC-funded research on inequalities in the classical music profession and the conductor Alice Farnham talked about women conductors at Morley, a programme she co-founded to encourage women into the profession. The classical music journalist, novelist and playwright Jessica Duchen discussed gender inequalities in the classical music world and concluded with a call to speak out against them.

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Award for Dr Bridget Conor

Posted by lostincci on October 21, 2014

Bridget Conor
CMCI lecturer Dr Bridget Conor has won an AHRC network grant for a project ‘Improving Cultural Work: Combating inequality and exclusion in the cultural and creative industries’.

Along with Professor Kate Oakley from the University of Leeds, Bridget will be running six seminars over the course of the grant, the first of which will be here at King’s. The other seminars will be spread around the country and will involve experts from industry and policy as well as academia.

Bridget is the author of Screenwriting: Creative labour and professional practice (London: Routledge, 2014).

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CMCI Student Wins Jewellery Award in Barcelona

Posted by lostincci on October 15, 2014

nomination party1

Congratulations to current MA Arts and Cultural Management student Isabella Liu who gained 1st place as a student group finalist at the ENJOIA’T Contemporary Jewellery Award in Barcelona, on 10th October.

Isabella tells us that ENJOIA’T is one of the most important prize awards for contemporary jewellery-making in South Europe, rewarding outstanding work in the field of jewellery-making from both professionals and students.

She is pictured here receiving her award and also modelling one of her creations.

'Mending' - Shoulder Brooch In Long Ceramic Pottery

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