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Gender Recalled?

Posted by lostincci on July 6, 2015

Professor Anna Reading

CMCI is in at the beginning of new work on themes of memory, gender, human rights and resilience in the arts. It started with a colloquium at King’s involving some twenty five artists, storytellers, theatre practitioners, knitters, photographers, together with academics from many disciplines from across the UK.

Dr Jelke Boesten of the Institute for International Development opened with a presentation on rethinking gender as resilience through the arts and the day ended with Professor Anna Reading, head of CMCI (pictured), responding to the day by asking participants to write the first line of a story they would tell in order to save their life.

The event was organised by Dr Red Chidgey and Dr Jessica Rapson of CMCI, with social media help from students from the CMCI’s MA in Cultural and Creative Industries: Joshua Hines-Dedman, Cindy Fung and Carolin Huth.

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A Critical Theory of Creativity

Posted by lostincci on July 2, 2015


Dr Richard Howells’ new book A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism and Design has just been published (London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan and St. Martin’s Press).

It argues that a Utopian drive is aesthetically encoded within the language of form. Combining multidisciplinary theory with case studies ranging from planned communities to the relationship between Navajo theology and design, the book demonstrates how humankind is striving to fashion a better world from the raw materials we inherit.

Building upon the work of Ernst Bloch, Dr Howells sees the ‘fall’ as a liberation and Prometheus as a hero. He takes religion seriously as a cultural narrative, but replaces divine creation with human creativity. Coupled with this liberation from Eden comes a very human obligation that cannot be delegated to God, to nature or to market forces. A Critical Theory of Creativity‘s intellectual compass ranges from Roger Fry to Philip Pullman and Slavoj Žižek, returning always to an empowering, human-centred universe. As Bloch declared in The Spirit of Utopia, ‘Life has been put into our hands.’

Slavoj Žižek describes the book as: “a brilliant and magisterial overview of Bloch’s continued importance for today’s dystopian world…” Dr Howells is Reader in Culture, Media and Creative Industries here at CMCI. For more details go to: The book is also available for the usual online sellers.

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Dr Querol’s Paper at the École Normale Superiéure

Posted by lostincci on June 30, 2015

Nuria Querol

CMCI’s Dr Nuria Querol was in Paris to give a paper gave a paper at the ARTLAS Conference: “South-South Axes of Global Art” at the prestigious École Normale Superiéure. The conference focused on South-South axes of global art circulation from the beginnings of decolonisation to the present day.

Her presentation “The Delhi Biennale: Paradoxical Conditions in South-South Axes of Global Art and Politics” examined the proposed but never realised Delhi Biennale in the mid 2000s, its relation with the ideas and politics of the global south and what factors shaped the ultimate non-realisation of the exhibition.

The paper drew on Dr Querol’s long-standing research on globalisation and curating contemporary art, particularly in India and China. This research will feed into the new MA module “Art and Globalisation” that she is convening for CMCI next academic year.

For more information on the conference, go to:

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The Upside of Decline and Fall

Posted by lostincci on June 26, 2015

Recently minted PhD graduate Dr Jonathan Theodore has a double cause for celebration: He has just signed a contract for the publication of a book based on his doctoral thesis.

His book will investigate representations of the “decline and fall” of Rome from the late nineteenth through the early twenty-first centuries. Jonathan is showing how writers, filmmakers and the media have conceptualized this decline and the parallels they have drawn, deliberately or unconsciously, to their contemporary worlds.

Publication is due in June 2016 with Palgrave Macmillan. His research supervisor was CMCI’s Reader in Culture, Media and Creative Industries, Dr Richard Howells.

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Who Dunnit?

Posted by lostincci on June 25, 2015


Who invented the cinema? If you are French, you will probably say: “The Lumière Brothers”. If you are American, no doubt: “Thomas Edison”. But CMCI’s Dr Richard Howells appeared on BBC Radio 4’s flagship “Today” programme to argue for a third candidate: Louis Le Prince, a Frenchman who worked in England before moving to the United States.

Unfortunately, Le Prince died under mysterious circumstances before he could take any credit for his invention, which Dr Howells likened to a philosophical tree falling, unheard, in a metaphorical forest.

The interview was with BBC Media and Arts Correspondent David Sillito. For the whole story of Le Prince see Dr Howells’ research article: “Louis Le Prince: The Body of Evidence” in Screen, Volume 47, Number 2, Summer 2006, pp. 179-200, and his more journalistic piece: “A Movie Murder Mystery” in The Times Higher Education Supplement, July 23, 1999, pp. 18-19.

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Btihaj Ajana Awarded Marie Curie Fellowship

Posted by lostincci on June 23, 2015


Congratulations to CMCI lecturer Dr Btihaj Ajana who has been awarded a prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship.

Dr Ajana will be working on the project ‘The Over-examined Life: Ontologies of the Quantified Self, researching the social significance and ethical dimensions of metric culture as manifested through the example of the Quantified Self movement.

The Marie Curie scheme aims to enhance the creative and innovative potential of excellent international researchers, enabling a full focus on research activities in a multidisciplinary setting. Dr Ajana will be hosted by the Institute of Advanced Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark, and the award will run from October 2015 to September 2017.

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‘The cloud is not green, cheap or safe’

Posted by lostincci on June 23, 2015

Anna internationellt-mote-kulturfo

Professor Anna Reading, head of CMCI, brought ‘the cloud’ back to earth with a keynote address to 200 people at the Public Concert Hall in Norkopping, Sweden.

Her talk: ‘Cloud Memories: The Material Fabrication, Frictions and Flow of Digital Memory” opened the annual Cultural Studies International Conference in Sweden and also garnered coverage in the Swedish media. It drew on research from an international project with Dr Tanya Notley at the University of Western Sydney, where Anna Reading is Visiting Professor, to show how saving our memories and data to the cloud is costing people’s livelihoods and the earth, as well as destroying far older indigenous memories that include 60,000 year old rock art.

“The ‘cloud’ has material environmental consequences that include the use of rare earths in our digital devices. Our tablets and mobile phones, desktops and cloud storage need rare earths which are difficult to process without radioactive waste and the potential destruction of ecological systems and communities” said Professor Reading. The processing of rare earths to meet the needs of our thirst to save everything to digital memory is leading to international protests in Malaysia which Professor Reading and Dr Notley’s research has been following.

For more information and media coverage, go to: and

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Fan Translators Keynote From Dr Lee

Posted by lostincci on June 22, 2015


CMCI lecturer Dr Hye-Kyung Lee gave a keynote speech at the ARTIS Conference: Advancing Research in Translation & Interpreting Studies held at University College, London. The conference focused on multidimensional methodologies for collaboration and networking in translation research. Her presentation “Locating fan translators and their work” discussed the broader context of fan translation and its internal dynamics, and implications for translation researchers.

Dr Lee has a special research interest in “scanlation” and fandom as well as cultural policy, and says that networked translation is an emerging, hot topic for translation studies.

For more on the conference, go to: You can also see more about CMCI colleague Dr Ricarda Vidal’s work on “Translation Games” below and elsewhere in this blog.

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Last Call for a Translation Game

Posted by lostincci on June 19, 2015


Here’s a last call for entries to an unusual poetry/translation competition as part of the Translation Games project, run by CMCI’s Dr Ricarda Vidal and colleague Maria-Jose Blanco.

What you have to do is translate the visual image above by Domingo Martínez into a poem in English (or any other language as long as an English translation can be provided). Your poem should fit on one A4 page, and you should also provide a short reflection on the translation process (no more than 80 words).

The best entries will be published on the Translation Games website and will be included in future exhibitions/events relating to the project. You could also win a £20 book voucher. The deadline for submissions is 20 June 2015. Please submit your poem along with your translator’s note and contact details to: and

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“Our name is humankind, not humancruel”

Posted by lostincci on June 18, 2015

Reading Cover 2015

Our head of department Professor Anna Reading has a new book out this month. Cultural Memories of Nonviolent Struggles: Powerful Times is co-edited with her friend and colleague Tamar Katriel, who is currently Visiting Professor with CMCI until October. The opening line is “Our name is humankind, not humancruel”.

The book marks a new trajectory in Memory Studies by examining cultural memories of nonviolent struggles including Gandhi’s Salt March, the suffragette struggle in Britain, the anti-nuclear campaign at Greenham Common, Poland’s Solidarity movement, and Palestinian activism against The Wall.

The essays explore how memories of nonviolent struggles are mobilized through digital archiving, documentary film-making, video-gaming, and on-the-ground practices such as music, memorial museums, and the building of monuments. The book opens up new pathways of human hope and agency to the study of cultural memory. More details at:

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