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New Korean and Chinese Editions of Howells’ Visual Culture

Posted by lostincci on July 25, 2014

Howells 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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CMCI Expert Comments on Rolf Harris Case on Sky TV and LBC

Posted by lostincci on June 30, 2014


CMCI’s Dr Richard Howells was called to give instant expert live reaction to Sky TV News about family entertainer Rolf Harris’ conviction on 12 counts of indecent assault between 1968 and 1986. Dr Howells said that in addition to the effect it obviously had on his victims and indeed Harris himself, there was a “collective loss of innocence” when such a formerly well-loved family entertainer such as this was found to have been leading a sexual double life. Howells hoped, however, that such verdicts would not lead to a wider public belief that no-one in the entertainment industry, social or public life was ever worthy of trust.

His comments were picked up by LBC’s “Nick Ferrari at Breakfast” programme, which saw Dr Howells speak further about the “illusion of friendship” that surrounds the celebrity-public relationship. This made it all the more painful when someone you knew –or more realistically thought you knew- turned out to have had a darker side.

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Dr Ruth Adams’ whirlwind conference attendances

Posted by lostincci on June 30, 2014

Dr Ruth Adams has been on something of a conference whirlwind in recent weeks.

First she went to Newcastle in early June for ‘The Country House in Britain: 1914-2014′. This was a ‘three-day interdisciplinary conference [… which] trace[d] the representation of the country house in British literature and film between 1914 and 2014. The conference […] explore[d] how space, class and gender operate in the wealth of filmic and literary texts which have been concerned with the country house throughout the last century, as well as considering how it functions in documentaries, historical monographs and reality television.’

Ruth’s paper was called ‘Country House Rescue: Private Enterprise and Public Responsibility’, and critically examined the co-existing, and sometimes competing discourses of public and private that shape country houses, both in their operation and in the public imagination. She compared the ‘National Trust’ position which presents stately homes almost as a type of public property, which belong to the nation as a whole, with an increasing emphasis on entrepreneurialism, illustrated by Channel 4 television’s ‘make over’ show, Country House Rescue, which encourages aristocratic owners to exploit the commercial potential of their historic properties.chr

More details of the conference can be found here: 

On 19 June Ruth flew to Belfast, in Northern Ireland, for ‘A Riot of Our Own: A Symposium on The Clash’. This event examined the impact and lasting influence of one of the greatest and most successful British bands, and the punk subculture more generally. Punk rock created an important cultural space for many young people in Northern Ireland, particularly given the country’s fraught and often violent history in the late 20th century, and the visits by the Clash at the height of ‘The Troubles’ were widely regarded to be a significant social and political statement.

Ruth’s presentation, entitled ‘”Are you going backwards. Or are you going forwards?” – England Past and England Future in 1970s Punk’, compared and contrasted the images of England and Englishness represented by the Clash and the other most high profile UK punk band, the Sex Pistols.
Ruth argued that the Pistols were more inward looking, focussing on England’s cultural heritage and political past, while the more cosmopolitan outlook of the Clash gestured towards a postcolonial, multicultural future.


Keynote speakers included former CMCI External Examiner David Hesmondhalgh, photographer Adrian Boot, Joe Strummer biographer Chris Salewicz, and music journalist and former manager of the Clash Caroline Coon. Also in attendance was MA CCI student, Alex Morvaridi.
Delegates at the conference enjoyed a night out at Belfast’s Oh Yeah Music Centre, which hosted a benefit gig for Strummerville, the foundation for new music set up in memory of the band’s singer following his untimely death in 2002.

You can find out more about the event here:

Dashing back from Belfast to participate in the King’s Cultural Institute and CMCI hosted conference ‘Higher Education and the Creative Economy’, Ruth then got on a train to Birmingham to attend an event marking the 50th Anniversary of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, and the launch of a dedicated archive. Ruth was thrilled to hear speak, and in some cases meet, such luminaries of Cultural Studies as Angela McRobbie, Paul Gilroy, Larry Grossberg and – especially exciting – some of the pioneers of studies of Youth Subcultures in the UK, Tony Jefferson, John Clark and Dick Hebdige (who admired Ruth’s shoes, and she can now die happy.)
Delegates at the conference also enjoyed a reception and an exhibition of art inspired by the work of the centre at the mac (Midlands Art Centre), and an exclusive screening of an interview with Stuart Hall, filmed shortly before his death earlier this year.
The picture shows Dick Hebdige reflecting on some of the most famous topics of his research. More details of the conference and related events can be found here:


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Singing, Dancing and CMCI Research at the BFI Southbank in July

Posted by lostincci on June 19, 2014

CMCI Senior Lecturer (elect) Harvey G Cohen will appear at the BFI Southbank on Monday 21 July at 8:30PM performing an illustrated lecture based on one of the chapters from his forthcoming book “The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood’s New Deal” (University of Chicago Press, late 2014 / early 2015).

This event is produced in conjunction with the BFI’s ongoing summer tribute to film musicals entitled “Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance!”.

In this illustrated talk, Harvey G Cohen will examine the curious combination of entertainment and politics embedded within Depression-era hit Footlight Parade. Whilst exploring the unique and moving fashion with which this song-and-dance spectacular reflected the grim realities of the Great Depression, Cohen also shows us the ways Hollywood moguls used cinema to support (or undermine) Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

To enjoy the whole effect of the presentation, Cohen suggests catching a screening before his lecture of “Footlight Parade” (1933), the principal Warner Bros, musical featured in his new book and in his lecture. And even if you’re not a big history fan, seeing “Footlight Parade” is highly recommended for the stunning choreography devised by Busby Berkeley, the surprisingly salty and witty Pre-Code dialogue, and the musical debut of Warner Bros. star James Cagney, trading in his usual gangster image for some impressive hoofing and singing.dancing

Hollywood’s New Deal in Song and Dance: Footlight Parade and the Great Depression
Monday 21 July 20:30 BFI Reuben Library, BFI Southbank.
Please note that this is a general admission event and seats are allocated on a first come first served basis.


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Btihaj Ajana’s recent book Governing Through Biometrics shortlisted for a book prize

Posted by lostincci on June 19, 2014

We are delighted to announce that Dr Btihaj Ajana’s recent book Governing Through Biometrics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) has been shortlisted for the Surveillance Studies Network Book Prize 2014.

The shortlist is selected from all monographs on the subject of surveillance published in 2013, and the jury will announce the result later this year.

The Surveillance & Society Journal exists to:
•publish innovative and transdisciplinary work on surveillance;
•encourage understanding of approaches to surveillance in different academic disciplines;
•promote understanding of surveillance in wider society;
•encourage policy and political debate about surveillance.
Further information:

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