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Paul McDonald Steps Up

Posted by lostincci on August 8, 2016

Paul M Aheadshot

The Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries welcomes Professor Paul McDonald as our new Head of Department. He steps up to the top job having first joined CMCI 12 months ago as Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries.

Before coming to King’s, Paul was Professor of Cinema and Media Industries at the University of Nottingham. He has played a leading role in developing the field of critical media industry studies, and his current research is focused in the area of screen media industries, with particular emphasis on the political economy and history of film and television piracy. His recent publications include co-editing the collection Hollywood and the Law (British Film Institute, 2015).

Paul will serve as Head of Department for the four years until summer 2020, during which time he aims to build on the successes achieved by the previous head, Professor Anna Reading (see our story in the CMCI Blog for August 1).

Paul’s ambitions as head of department include further enhancing our standing in the international scholarly community, with plans to build close links with similar centres of excellence at overseas institutions.

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Change at the Top

Posted by lostincci on August 1, 2016


It’s change at the top of CMCI this month as Professor Anna Reading steps down having successfully finished her term of office as Head of Department (2013-16).

Professor Reading, together with Research Director, Dr Paul Sweetman, led the department’s successful Research Excellent Framework submission in which CMCI was ranked No.1 in its field for the UK in Research Power; she provided work and training for CMCI’s PHD students by bringing in a new scheme for Graduate Teaching Assistants; she oversaw the successful Programme Review of the MACCI in 2013 as well as the introduction of a new programme, the MA in Arts and Cultural Management. She oversaw the appointment of ten new permanent staff including two new Professors.  She worked hard to obtain more funds for masters student activities and staff research.  She oversaw the provision of a new postgraduate research room and an internationally competitive CMCI annual conference, as well as refurbishment and waymarking of CMCI in the Chesham and Norfolk buildings.

Asked what she felt her best achievement was she said: “The REF result of course which has been terrific in terms of providing staff with more research funds, but I was also just thrilled with  being able to contribute to  improving  gender equality in CMCI.” Professor Reading enabled six women to gain promotion including at a senior level.  “CMCI is now a very positive place to work in which students and staff  are able to excel and support each other to thrive”, she said.

Professor Reading also combined her head of department responsibilities with invited keynotes around the world, the publication of an edited book, Cultural Memories of Nonviolent Struggles: Powerful Times (Palgrave 2015) and a new monograph Gender and Memory in the Globital Age (Palgrave 2016) . She also wrote for the theatre, jointly edited the international journal Media Culture and Society and was made Principle Investigator on a large Australia Research Council Discovery Award on Data Centres and the Governance of Labour as well as a Dutch Network bid with six other countries on digital memories of the Shoah.

Professor Reading has been rewarded with a year’s research leave for 2016-17 in which to lead funded research projects and research a new book. Professor Reading now hands over to our new Head of Department Professor Paul McDonald.

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Bom Dia, Dr Howells

Posted by lostincci on August 1, 2016

Airport Image

Dr Richard Howells, our Reader in Culture, Media and Creative Industries, has been in Lisbon, Portugal, speaking at the 17th international conference of the Utopian Studies Society. The conference, held at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, combined with the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia.

Dr Howells spoke on the topic: “In Our Hands” which is also the title of his installation/exhibition currently on show at Somerset House in London.

While in Lisbon, he was also able to catch up with his former PhD student and CMCI graduate Dr Joaquim Negreiros, with whom he has recently signed a contract for a third edition of their Visual Culture, due in 2017 from Polity Press.

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A Prize for Dr O’Neill

Posted by lostincci on August 1, 2016


Congratulations to recent CMCI doctoral programme graduate Dr Rachel O’Neill, who has been named the winner of the SAGE prize for Excellence and Innovation for her article “The Work of Seduction: Intimacy and Subjectivity in the London ‘Seduction Community’”.

Rachel undertook the research for this paper as a PhD student at CMCI, supervised by our former Professor Rosalind Gill. The award is run in conjunction with the British Sociological Association and includes a prize of £250 worth of SAGE books.

Full details are available here:

Rachel will be joining the Department of Sociology at the University of York from September as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, where she will be working on a new project on the cultural politics of food.

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In Our Hands

Posted by lostincci on July 8, 2016

Navajo Rug c 1910 (detail)

Scholarly research meets artistic expression at a new exhibition at Somerset House. It’s a collaboration between CMCI academic Dr Richard Howells and London-based art collective Le Gun, under the title “In Our Hands”. It explores the relationship between creativity and Utopia, combining their ideas about the role of aesthetics, culture, mythology and religion in making the world a better place.

The starting point is Howells’ book A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism and Design, and this two-room exhibit translates the verbal into the visual, showing Utopia to be a process rather than a destination.

Le Gun’s installation Temple of Perpetual Myth combines with Howells’ cross-cultural selection of exhibits to ask where creativity comes from. Together they illustrate the human drive to take the raw materials of life and make them into things that are better than they instrumentally need to be.

Making in the arts is shown to be both a process and a metaphor for the path to Utopia. This is not a luxury but an obligation. As the philosopher Ernst Bloch declared: “Life has been put into our hands.”

The installation runs until September 30th at the Inigo Rooms, Somerset House, as part of the Utopia 2016 celebration. More at:

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Words, Brush-strokes and Dancing Shoes

Posted by lostincci on July 4, 2016


Words, brush-strokes and dancing shoes have combined in a symposium on translatability across invisible borders in a symposium: Intersemiotic Translation, organised by CMCI Teaching Fellow Dr Ricarda Vidal and Madeleine Campbell.

They explain that intersemiotic translation (such the translation of a poem into dance, or a short story into an olfactory experience, or a film into a painting) opens up a myriad of possibilities to carries form and sense from one culture into another -beyond the limitations of words. The symposium brought together an international group of academics, translators, curators and artists.  For more information, see:

Meanwhile, you can still join Ricarda and her team for a lunchtime of child’s play in The Quad at the Strand Campus on Wednesday 6 July, 1pm – 2pm. If you haven’t yet filled in thier survey, you can do so here: Participants will go into a draw to win a £50 book voucher!

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Anna Reading Speaks at Oxford

Posted by lostincci on June 24, 2016

Professor Anna Reading

Our Head of Department Professor Anna Reading has been speaking at the International Gender Studies Centre at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.

She presented the final talk on her research project: “Gender and Memory in the ‘Globital’ Age” as part of their “Research in Gender at Oxford” series.

Lady Margaret Hall was founded in 1878 as the first women’s college at Oxford University, and in 1978 started admitting men -one of the first Oxford women’s colleges to do so. The current Principal is former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.

For more on the Research in Gender series at Oxford go to:

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New Publication from Laura Speers

Posted by lostincci on June 23, 2016

Speers Book Image

CMCI Teaching Fellow Dr Laura Speers has a book chapter just out in an edited volume on the economic geography of music.

The chapter is entitled ‘From Artist to Entrepreneur: The Working Lives of London-Based Rappers‘, and shows how in a changing musical landscape, rappers are having to make sense of their changing role as artists.

You can read it in in B. Hracs, M. Seman & T. Virani (Eds.) The Production and Consumption and Consumption of Music in the Digital Age published by Routledge, 2016.

The book has its own twitter account which you can follow here:

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International Successes for Kate McMillan

Posted by lostincci on June 20, 2016

MacMillan Image

CMCI Teaching Fellow Dr Kate McMillan is celebrating a string of international success.

Just as she prepares to go to St Petersburg, Russia to research new works as a guest of the National Centre for Contemporary Art, she has received Art Council England/British Council funding (via their Artists International Development Fund) to develop and present a new film work ‘The Ghosts of Material Things’ in Berlin next year at the Kunsthaus Bethanian

Earlier this year, Kate presented a solo show, ‘Stones for Dancing, Stones for Dying’ at Castor Projects, London. On top of that she also had a new film work presented at Art Basel HK as part of the exhibition ‘Acentred: Reterritorised Network of European and Chinese Moving Image‘.

Our image shows Stones for Dancing, Stones for Dying, 2016, a digital photograph, 55 x 76cm, courtesy of the artist. And yes, it’s deliberate: It is designed to be shown that way up.

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Promotion Success for CMCI Academics

Posted by lostincci on June 14, 2016

Howells Musgshot 2015JoanneEntwistle-1

Two of CMCI’s staff have just been promoted to senior academic posts. Dr Joanne Entwistle goes up from Senior Lecturer to Reader, while Dr Richard Howells moves from Reader to Professor.

Joanne Entwistle’s research specialities include the sociology of fashion and, most recently, light: Her new research comes under the umbrella ‘Configuring Light/Staging the Social’, as we’ve reported previously in the CMCI Blog. The final project report ‘Tackling Inequalities in Public Lighting’ was published last month.

Richard Howells has written widely on visual culture, while his most recent research has extended this to cultural and social theory. His latest monograph is A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism and Design. As we reported in the blog last month, his TEDx talk on Utopia is now available on the Internet.

Commenting on her promoted colleagues, CMCI Head of Department Professor Anna Reading said she was “delighted with their well-deserved success”. The new titles are effective from September 1st 2016.

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