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Bringing the House Down

Posted by lostincci on September 24, 2014


CMCI lecturer Dr Ruth Adams is running an event on “The Destruction of the Country House” here at King’s on October 1st. Speakers include CMCI’s Dr Melissa Nisbett.
The event marks the 40th anniversary of ‘The Destruction of the Country House’ at the Victoria & Albert Museum. This was a very influential exhibition that helped change changed popular and governmental attitudes to ‘stately homes’ and their status as part of English history and culture.
Speakers at the CMCI-hosted event include:
Robert Hewison – independent writer, curator, journalist and cultural consultant. He has published more than twenty books in the field of 19th and 20th century British cultural history, among them The Heritage Industry: Britain in a Climate of Decline (1987).
Pamela Cox – Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex and writer and presenter of BBC documentary series, Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs and Shopgirls: The True Story of Life Behind the Counter
Professor Penny Sparke of the School of Art & Design History at Kingston University
Jo Littler, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Industries, City University
Roshi Naidoo, Heritage Consultant and Director of Egino
Oliver Cox, Knowledge Exchange Fellow – Thames Valley Country House Partnership Project, Oxford University
Melissa Nisbett, Lecturer in Arts & Cultural Management, King’s College London
The event starts at 9am on October 1st in the college council room on the Strand campus. Further details from Drs Adams and Nisbett.

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Congratuations, Dr Theodore!

Posted by lostincci on September 23, 2014


Congratulations to CMCI postgraduate research student Jonathan Theodore who has been awarded his PhD.

Jonathan came to us from Christ Church, Oxford, where in addition to gaining first class honours, he was very active in student journalism.

His thesis title was: “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as a Modern Cultural Myth”, which he wrote under the supervision of Dr Richard Howells, Reader in Culture Media and Creative Industries. The CMCI blog is further delighted to report that Jonathan already has a scholarly book under contract (and such is his energy it’s on another topic).

Congratulations “JT”!

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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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