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Wilson and Gross: Live at the Barbican

Posted by lostincci on November 6, 2017

Caring for Cultural Freedom

CMCI’s Dr Nick Wilson and Dr Jonathan Gross continue to spread the word about their Towards Cultural Democracy project and report –this time with a presentation on a newly commissioned piece of research to some 150 people at London’s Barbican Centre.

Commissioned by A New Direction (AND), the London creative and cultural education agency, the new report explores how cultural learning happens and how it can best be supported. The research focuses on young people within the London Borough of Harrow, and shows how issues related to space, place and mobility, relationships and institutions, knowledge production and cultural agency impact on their learning.

Noting young people’s particular interest in spaces that support ‘creativity’ and ‘freedom’, Nick and Jonathan highlight the need for ‘supported autonomy’, and suggest that people’s cultural learning is characterised by the principles of care (including attentiveness, responsibility, competence and responsiveness).

A New Direction will be hosting a further event on Cultural Democracy & Cultural Freedom as part of its ‘Big Change’ series, on November 23rd.

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Hollywood Made in China

Posted by lostincci on October 26, 2017


CMCI’s Research Seminar series got off to a strong start with an extremely well-attended presentation on Hollywood and China.

Our guest speaker, Professor Aynne Kokas (University of Virginia, USA) argued that the growth of China’s media market is transforming Hollywood “from the inside out” as the two “behemoths” veer unsteadily between collaboration and competition.

Even as the Chinese market is increasingly relying on Hollywood studio films to garner large box office takings in Chinese cinemas, said Professor Kokas (pictured), the Chinese government is simultaneously cracking down on other foreign media content. Lively discussion followed.

Professor Kokas’ talk was based on her recent book: Hollywood Made in China (University of California Press, 2017). Our next CMCI research seminar is on November 22nd, when we welcome Professor David Gauntlett (University of Westminster). For details of all our forthcoming research seminars, go to:


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Amsterdam Book Launch for Wendy Burke

Posted by lostincci on October 23, 2017

Burke Launch 2

People seemed to be lining up in Amsterdam to laud CMCI Research Associate Dr Wendy Burke on the launch of her book: Images of Occupation in Dutch Film.

This took place at the city’s EYE Film Museum and featured a Q&A session with Wendy and historian David Barnouw (pictured), together with a screening of one of the films she analyses in the book: “Het Meisje met het Rode Haar” (The Girl with the Red Hair), which Wendy also introduced.

Just before the launch, she was interviewed by the head film writer of the prestigious Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. A terrific surprise followed: the sister and niece of Ben Verbong, director of “Het Meisje met het Rode Haar”, attended the screening. Our second picture shows them chatting (in Dutch, we promise) with Wendy (left) after the event.

Wendy Burke took her PhD in CMCI under the supervision of Professor Richard Howells before becoming a Research Associate in the department. Images of Occupation in Dutch Film: Memory, Myth, and the Cultural Legacy of War, is published (in English) by the Amsterdam University Press (2017).

Burke Launch 1

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Jessica Rapson in Paperback

Posted by lostincci on October 5, 2017


Another CMCI monograph has made it into paperback: Dr Jessica Rapson’s Topographies of Suffering: Buchenwald, Babi Yar, Lidice.

This book examines the Holocaust via three sites: the former concentration camp at Buchenwald, Germany; the mass grave at Babi Yar, Ukraine; and the razed village of Lidice, Czech Republic. Bringing together recent scholarship from cultural memory and cultural geography, Dr Rapson focuses on the way these violent histories are remembered via the physical sites in which difficult pasts can be represented and understood in the present.

Originally published in hardback in 2015, the 2017 paperback will make Dr Rapson’s work even more widely available. There is a discount available, too: Go the publisher’s website and use the code RAP112 to get 25% off until the end of the year.

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A Touch of Frost

Posted by lostincci on September 26, 2017

exon front cover 2017 A4

CMCI’s Professor Richard Howells has an article in the latest Exeter College, Oxford University, magazine about their 20th century art collection.

Professor Howells was a Visiting Fellow at Exeter earlier this year, and was impressed by a newly-arrived collection of paintings and prints donated by philanthropist Sir Ronald Cohen.

In his article, Howells focuses on work by both Sir Terry Frost, RA and Maurice Cockrill, RA, but also writes about the benefits of living and studying with fine art, including the modern within an ancient university.

Our picture shows the cover of the current EXON magazine (2017), with art by Corrie Chiswell. Howells’ article is tag-lined here, along with others by film director Susannah White and journalist Reeta Chakrabarti.

You can read the article online at:

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City of Light

Posted by lostincci on September 22, 2017

Configuring Light Image

Here’s more recent recognition for CMCI research: Dr Jo Entwistle’s “Configuring Light” project has been shortlisted for the Professional Lighting Design Recognition Award 2017 in the category, ‘Award for Research’.

The final award will be presented during the biennial Professional Lighting Design Convention (PLDC) in Paris, in November 2017. Dr Entwistle admits that her fingers are tightly crossed, but she and her team already feel honoured as social researchers and academics to be recognised by lighting professionals as contributing to the development of their practice.
The Paris convention takes place immediately after “Configuring Light” hosts its final iGuzzini sponsored Social Lightscapes Workshop on social research in design, focused on the Places des Fêtes in the 19th arrondissement in Paris. They will be presenting workshop results to the PLDC City Forum on the 1st of November at the start of the convention.

For more on “Configuring Light”, including details of Dr Entwistle’s collaborators, go to:

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Anna on the Air

Posted by lostincci on September 19, 2017


Anna Reading, Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, has been interviewed on BBC Radio 4

She was part of a series called “The Choral History of Britain” which in its first episode  examined “singing for solidarity”. Anna was invited to appear on the programme to talk about her published research on singing as part of political protest.

The programme, introduced by Roderick Williams, was broadcast from 9am to 9:30 on September 20th, 2018. More details at:

Professor Reading, a former head of CMCI, is now back with us following research leave.

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Ricarda’s Ludic Session

Posted by lostincci on September 13, 2017


CMCI’s Dr Ricarda Vidal will be leading a “ludic session” on language games with her collaborator Maria-José Blanco as part of “Anna Freud and Play”, a one day conference on play in the theories and practice of Anna Freud.

Dr Vidal will explore how playing with words can help understand our relationship to different languages by inviting delegates to play a game of “expanded” Boggle, which involves multilingual story-telling and translation.

The event will take place in the Council Room on our Strand Campus on Friday 15th September. For more information about the conference, go to:

The conference is organised by Alicia Kent from King’s Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies department.

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On The Double!

Posted by lostincci on September 12, 2017



We are delighted to announce two recent CMCI academic research funding successes:

Professor Jeanette Steemers has been awarded Arts and Humanities Research Council follow-on funding for the project ‘Collaborative Development of Children’s Screen Content in an Era of Forced Migration Flows: Facilitating Arab-European Dialogue’. The award is worth over £100,000. The project involves international workshops and the creation of impact reports, policy briefings, a Stakeholder Resource Book and a project website that help European broadcasters, policy-makers, producers and children’s advocacy groups to better understand the information and entertainment needs of Arabic-speaking children.

Meanwhile, Dr Jo Entwistle has been successful with her British Academy ‘Cities and Infrastructures’ bid. The project is entitled ‘Disconnected infrastructures and Violence Against Women (VAW): Innovating digital technologies in low-income neighbourhoods to produce safer Indian cities’. There were 160 applications and only 9 were awarded so it was a very competitive bid, and makes this success all the more impressive.

Jeanette Steemers will be working with Naomi Sakr (University of Westminster); Jo Entwistle with Ayona Datta at KCL and Don Slater at the London School of Economics.

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Welcome Back Harvey Cohen

Posted by lostincci on September 6, 2017

Cohen in the Money Cover

Welcome back: CMCI Senior Lecturer and cultural historian Dr Harvey G. Cohen is back at the department this autumn after two years away on a Leverhulme Trust research grant and sick leave. In the meantime, several of his previous research projects have been published:

“Hollywood’s New Deal in Song and Dance: Footlight Parade and the Great Depression,” a chapter in Hollywood and the Great Depression: American Film, Politics and Society in the 1930s (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). “Chaplin’s America, the Essanay and Mutual Years: The Making of an Artist in the Progressive Era, 1915-1917,” in Quarterly Review of Film and Video (July 2016). “The Struggle to Fashion the NRA Code: The Triumph of Studio Power in 1933 Hollywood,” in Journal of American Studies (December 2015). “Recent Music History Scholarship: Pleasures and Drawbacks” in Journal of American Studies (May 2015).

Also, coming out in December 2017, is Cohen’s new book Who’s In The Money? The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood’s New Deal (see our photo for the cover) which outlines the history of the Warner Brothers musicals during 1933 and their political, historical and cultural connections -on and offscreen- with the newly-elected U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal. For more information, go to:

Harvey Cohen is currently working on his working on his third book, which examines American music, business, gender and Christianity in the mid-20th century.

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