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Knowing What Not to Know in Contemporary China

Posted by lostincci on October 4, 2018

Margaret seminar

CMCI’s 2018-19 research seminar series got off to an excellent start with a controversial and well-attended presentation on secrecy and historic photographs in post-Mao China.

Our speaker was Margaret Hillenbrand, Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture and Tutorial Fellow in Chinese at Wadham College, University of Oxford.

Under the title “Knowing What Not to Know in Contemporary China”, Professor Hillenbrand discussed the “missing histories” of contemporary China, and argued that conventional narratives of amnesia and censorship do not adequately explain why certain events have failed to gain commemorative traction in the present.

Her research into this area focuses aesthetic objects that she calls photo-forms – works which “riff” on well-known historical photographs (such as of Tiananmen Square in June 1989) and serve as spaces in which public secrecy emerges.

Questions and discussion followed between the speaker, graduate students and academic staff. Our next research seminar speaker is Annette Hill, Professor of Media and Communication at Lund University, Sweden. Details of the series are at:



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Paul Sweetman in Norway

Posted by lostincci on September 26, 2018

sweetman filth and fury

CMCI Senior Lecturer Dr Paul Sweetman is back from Norway where he gave two talks about his current research project on subcultures and innovation.

On this project, Paul is working on with professors Atle Hauge (INN, Norway), and Dominic Power (Stockholm University).

Paul’s first Norwegian talk was a research seminar in the Department of Tourism, Creative Industries and Marketing at the Inland Norway University of Applied Science, and the second formed part of a day -long seminar at Fabrikken, Lillehammer, attended by policy makers and practitioners, and co-sponsored by organisations including Knowledge Works (who are also funding the subcultures and innovation project as a whole) and Arts Council Norway.

Our photograph shows Paul in action in front of a famous headline from the history of subcultures.

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Non-Stop Nick

Posted by lostincci on September 24, 2018

Wilson Creatvity Cover

Nick Wilson, CMCI’s newest (“full”) Professor, is celebrating his promotion with a clutch of books and articles just launched:

First is his co-edited collection The Palgrave Handbook of Creativity at Work (2018). Already nick-named “The big yellow book of creativity”, this features 30 research-based chapters from international writers and practitioners drawn from across the world. Nick is particularly pleased to to see fellow CMCI colleagues and alumni, Dr Roberta Comunian, Dr Jonathan Gross, Dr Birgit Wildt, Dr Brigid McClure, Dr Toby Bennett and Dr Laura Speers also contributing to this handbook.

Also, edited along with Dr Lee Martin, Nick has published a chapter entitled “Serious realist philosophy and applied entrepreneurship” in Philosophical Reflexivity and Entrepreneurship Research. This is published under the Routledge Rethinking Entrepreneurship Series.

Nest, Nick’s article “What’s the Problem? Cultural Capability and Learning from Historical Performance” is featured in the inaugural edition of a new journal in arts and humanities – Historical Performance (Indiana Press). This piece brings together Nick’s work on the early music movement, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural capability.

Finally, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Historical Performance in Music (2018) is also just out (Cambridge University Press). Nick has contributed key entries on “Authenticity”, “Early Music (concepts of)”, and “Werktreue”.

Nick is currently on study leave from CMCI, working on his next book – The Space That Separates: Art, Experience & Human Flourishing for Routledge.

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Sixty Seconds with Anna Woodham

Posted by lostincci on September 20, 2018


Here’s a chance to catch CMCI’s Dr Anna Woodham talking about her Heritage and Climate Change project –and getting the key points over in just one minute.

It’s one of a series of mini-videos about the link between climate change, museums, collecting and discussions under their “care for the future” theme.  The short videos are designed for social media with auto play and subtitles.

You can see the video at: BBC Radio 4 fans will commend Anna speaking without hesitation, deviation or repetition. There is also a longer summary film of the whole project, including the other investigators at:

The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and done in collaboration with Exeter and Bath Spa universities.

Anna Woodham received additional research funding from CMCI.


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Double Whammy

Posted by lostincci on August 17, 2018

Cohen Who's In The Money Cover Burke Occupation Cover Image1

Congratulations to Drs Harvey G Cohen and Wendy Burke on contributing to a CMCI “double whammy” in the American scholarly journal Film History. Both their recent books have been selected by the journal’s editorial staff for their contributions to new scholarship in the history of cinema.

For Harvey it’s his Who’s in the Money? The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood’s New Deal (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018); for Wendy it’s her Images  of  Occupation  in  Dutch  Film:  Memory,  Myth,  and  the Cultural Legacy of War (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017).

Harvey G Cohen is a cultural historian and Senior Lecturer at CMCI; Wendy Burke is a recent CMCI PhD graduate who’s book is the result of her doctoral dissertation, researched under the supervision of Professor Richard Howells.

We are also delighted to reveal here that Wendy’s book has made the shortlist for the Louis Hartlooper Prize for Best Film Publication, as part of this autumn’s Netherlands Film Festival, the winner to be announced at the Festival late September. Good luck Wendy!

You can read about both books in Film History, 30.2, pp. 199–207. It is an international journal published in the USA by the Indiana University Press.

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Home on the Move Comes to London

Posted by lostincci on July 2, 2018

Briony for poster

After stops at the Whitstable Biennale and the Ledbury Poetry Festival, “Home on the Move”, headed by CMCI’s Dr Ricarda Vidal, is coming to London for the summer.

As we reported here in June, this exhibition of European artist films, sound art and poetry in translation is the result of a journey undertaken by two poems about ‘home’.

The London series of events begins on 26 July 2018 with the exhibition opening and preview at the National Poetry Library (Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, London, from 19:30-21:30. Here, Ricarda and colleagues will present a short performative reading of the poems and their translations. This will also be an opportunity for the poets, artists and translators who took part in the project to meet each other and, of course, to meet the public. The event is free, but you do need to book:

Then on 27 July 2018, “Home, Belonging & Language: a day of exploring” takes place here at King’s College London from 9:00 – 18:00. This event combines group analytical methods with talks and presentations by their invited speakers as well as a practical workshop and an open forum Again, it’s free, but please book your ticket here:

“Talking Transformations: Home on the Move” then continues until 23 September at the Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, London. Picture credit: Briony Campbell.

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Utopia Unlimited

Posted by lostincci on June 29, 2018

The World

Utopia is always worth thinking about, and CMCI’s Professor Richard Howells has been talking and writing about it, too.

He began with an invited presentation to the “Is Utopia Possible?” event, which was part of the Bonas MacFarlane extension lecture series for non-traditional university applicants, held at the London School of Economics. This is part of a pro bono initiative by the firm for supporting academically ambitious students from widening participation backgrounds across the UK.

Two days later, his review of Michael Robertson’s The Last Utopians: Four Late 19th Century Visionaries and Their Legacy (Princeton University Press, 2018) was published in The Times Higher Education, June 28 to July 04, 2018 p. 50. The online version is available here:

Our image shows a detail from “La Mode”, an illustration from J. J. Grandville’s Un Autre Monde (Another World) from 1844.

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Besides the Screen

Posted by lostincci on June 25, 2018

Besides the screen banner_2018

CMCI is collaborating with colleagues in Portugal with a series of events about the archiving and preserving of audio-visual materials in the 21st century.

Under the title: “Besides the Screen: Vaults, Archives, Clouds and Platforms” we are joining with the Centro de Investigação em Artes e Comunicação and the Instituto Universitário da Maia in Porto to stage a conference, an exhibition/screening programme, and a book launch here at King’s.

The topic of archiving and preservation has gained even more significance as forms and formats of audio visual media continue exponentially to expand. As a result, people working in archives, museums, libraries and cultural organisations must shoulder the seemingly impossible tasks of sourcing, storing, maintaining and making accessible an ever-growing catalogue of media history.

The London organising committee comprises CMCI’s Dr Virginia Crisp, Dr Sarah Atkinson, Dr Jessica Rapson, and Dr Anna Woodham, along with independent curator Gabriel Menotti Gonring.

The London events take place between 2-3 July 2018 on KCL’s Strand campus, while the Porto events are from July 5-6.  For full details, including how to book, go to:

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Arthur’s Room

Posted by lostincci on June 20, 2018

Arthurs Room -- painting

The name of artist Alfred Cohen may not be on everyone’s lips at the moment, but when he died in 2001, his Guardian obituary described him as a “brilliant colourist and deft draughtsman” while the Daily Telegraph reported his friendships with Anthony Quinn, Ingrid Bergman, Kirk Douglas, Sophia Loren, and David Niven.

In anticipation of the centenary of his birth in 1920, CMCI’s Professor Richard Howells was an invited speaker at a study day held at the Courtauld Institute of Art in conjunction with the Centre for American Art.

Howells spoke about Cohen’s 1986 painting “Arthur’s Room” (pictured here), which he argued was an exercise in memory and imagination in addition to being a formally impressive work in its own right.

Other speakers came from Australia and Italy, in addition to the United Kingdom. The event was organised by Professor Max Saunders, current director of KCL’s Arts & Humanities Research Institute. Further research and events are planned.  Picture credit: ©Estate of Alfred Cohen, 2001.

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The Page 99 Test

Posted by lostincci on June 19, 2018

Cohen Elligton Keynote

What is the “Page 99 Test”? CMCI Senior Lecturer Dr Harvey G Cohen knows, having twice been invited to subject his work for scrutiny.

The “Page 99 Test” follows the maxim of American early 20th-century novelist Ford Madox Ford that one should: “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” The test’s website has spotlighted dozens of new books over the last 11 years using that method.

It is accordingly revealed that page 99 of Cohen’s new book Who’s in the Money (2018) includes master choreographer Busby Berkeley and dozens of struggling Warner Bothers chorus girls. You can see Marshal Zeringue’s evaluation at:

Cohen also participated in the “Page 99 Test” for his first book Duke Ellington’s America in 2010: Our picture shows Cohen in action during a recent keynote address on Ellington at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

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