Monday, 21 May 2012

Eurocultured street festival (3/4 June)

Full programme here

MMP Grad Prog this Weds: TALK RADIO //// PUSSY RIOT

Two talks this Weds (23 May) ---- the first dealing with ideas and concepts of audience in popular media, the second with popular music and dissent. Full info below.

Internal speaker: 3.10 - 4. External speaker 4.10 - 5pm.
Second floor lecture theatre, Adelphi House.
Everyone welcome! King's Arms after too for refreshments!

Internal Speaker:

“I know exactly who they are”: Radio Presenters’ Conceptions of Audience
Helen Wolfenden
University of Salford/University of South Australia

Since Horton and Wohl’s recognition of the para-social relationship, there has been an interest in understanding audiences beyond commodification models. But while the relationship has long been named, little is understood about the process from ‘inside’ the presenter experience: what audiences mean to presenters, how the relationship is constructed and becomes real in the absence of face-to-face contact and when, for the most part, the presenter can only know the audience as an abstraction or a projection.

This paper will explore the way Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) talk radio presenters construct their audience as a dialogue partner, and the way that the on-air self is managed, in line with the corporate expectations of their employer, to achieve the appropriate symbolic indicators of friendship, sympathy, companionship, disclosure and intimacy. The findings are based on interviews with 14 leading ABC radio presenters, their producers, and trainers and associates.

External Speaker:

Yngvar B. Steinholt
Tromso University, Norway
Rock, Church and State in Putin’s Russia

Following the Ukrainian Orange Revolution in the mid-2000s, Russian authorities radically changed their attitudes towards rock music. Both the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church met with Russia’s major rock bands, offering cooperation and support. The Russian Orthodox Church strove to renew itself and maintain its appeal to younger generations, while seeking new allies in their fight for morality and cultural hegemony. The Kremlin understood the importance of ensuring the loyalty of rock stars and launched its answer to Blair’s “Cool Britannia”. Today, one presidental election on, it appears that the effect of these initiatives is rapidly fading. Actions such as those of the art collective Voina or the feminist punk collective Pussy Riot have exposed the true colours of “cool” church and government officials. The increasing pressure on artists to praise the authorities has provoked some daring reactions, to which authorities have answered hard-handedly. Is artistic freedom in Russia being replaced with a choice of praise or prison?

Yngvar B. Steinholt is Associate Professor in Russian Literature and Culture Studies, Tromso University, Norway. He has published a book and several articles on popular music in the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia. Currently he is contributing to the research project Post-Socialist Punk at Dept. of Sociology, Warwick University. This semester he is also a visiting fellow at Salford University’s School of Media, Music and Performance.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

HEA Workship: session report

Salford's Deborah Gabriel attended --- our thanks to her for the below report. More such sessions are in the pipeline and we're happy to fund Salford PGR attendance.

HEA New to Teaching Workshop – Media and Communications 14/15 May 2012


The course offered an excellent opportunity amongst peers to learn and discuss current issues in higher education, such as the challenges facing the sector relating to funding cuts, the marketization of higher education and the new REF, which directly impact our roles in the sector.

Sessions on the student experience raised some important points, such as the role of student wisdom and how to incorporate this into teaching through approaches like peer-led learning and the growing trend towards collaborative learning. We also examined the purpose of assessment, the wide variety of assessment methods and our tendency to stick to traditional forms of assessment such as essays and exams. Other more creative forms of assessment such as the use of reflective journals, blogs and wikis were discussed.

Of particular relevance was the session on media pedagogies and the often rigid divisions between teaching theory and practice, how this fragments the teaching process and ways of making the student experience more holistic. For example, different lecturers are usually responsible for teaching theory and practice, but if each were able to examine the module outline for their respective courses then this would help to ensure that specific references and examples can be used to link theory and practice.

We also looked at the role of lectures in teaching, how they could be made less didactic and alternative methods of teaching theory such as group work, which could increase student engagement.

This tied-in with the session on the role of technology in the curriculum and how we can embed technologies into teaching, learning and assessment. We saw examples of videos created by students where they presented answers to research questions through interviews, and the use of Twitter as a learning tool.

Overall the course was of immense value both in prompting self-reflection on our own teaching styles and approaches and in generating new levels of enthusiasm and new ideas for integrating more creative forms of teaching and assessment into the modules that we teach.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Salford symposium: The Human/Body as a "Cultural Actor"

STUDIO MATEJKA: The Human/Body as a ‘Cultural Actor’
A one-day research symposium
1 June 2012; University of Salford, MediaCityUK Campus, Greater Manchester
Humans and their bodies are central to the cognitive and experiential understanding of culture. Identities are enacted and embodied by humans, making cultures and cultural experiences knowable in concrete and ephemeral ways. Creative products are generated as a result of human action and experienced through sensory and cerebral engagement. In creative practice and societal life, humans and their bodies are the sites and instigators of cultural representation, expression and demarcate individuality, unity or distinction within wider society.
These themes are central to the work of Studio Matejka, a performance laboratory ensemble working at the Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, Poland. Over a two-year period, this ensemble of actors, dancers, martial artists, film makers and academics has investigated the expression of the human/body as the central focus in performance practice. Studio Matejka has focused on investigation within its twenty-first century context. However, it also works the lineage of Grotowski: employing the performance laboratory framework, sharing aims to demystify the creative process, and the investigation of performance practice as a mode to connect across social and cultural boundaries.
(See for a video trailer of Studio Matekja’s work.)
This symposium will explore ways in which humans act, enact, react and interact to evoke, challenge, embrace and facilitate cultural knowing and understanding. This symposium is aimed at practice-led and action researchers across the arts and humanities, using performance research as an initial frame. We especially welcome submissions and attendance from practitioners and early career researchers focused on action research and creative practice.
The symposium will be followed by a work presentation by Studio Matejka and a screening of related short films.

This symposium is part of a week-long UK residency and is supported by the Grotowski Institute, the University of Salford and Arts Council England. It is also a satellite event of the University of Salford’s 2012 SPARC conference (

Submitting a Proposal

Please send 250 word (max) proposals/abstracts with brief biography and resource needs to Sarie Mairs Slee( and Mary Oliver ( by Monday 21 May at the latest. You will hear back from us within three working days.

There is no delegate fee for this symposium; we invite academics and practitioners from across the arts and humanities to this symposium.

If you are interested in attending the symposium and/or work presentation, please email Sarie Mairs Slee at for catering and technical purposes by Wednesday 23 May.

Monday, 14 May 2012

New book from Salford's Dr Nicola Spelman

Just published: Nicola's book on madness and music ---- the first study of its kind!

You can download the Introduction for free via Ashgate's website, here

Studies of opera, film, television, and literature have demonstrated how constructions of madness may be referenced in order to stigmatise but also liberate protagonists in ways that reinforce or challenge contemporaneous notions of normality. But to date very little research has been conducted on how madness is represented in popular music. In an effort to redress this imbalance, Nicola Spelman identifies links between the anti-psychiatry movement and representations of madness in popular music of the 1960s and 1970s, analysing the various ways in which ideas critical of institutional psychiatry are embodied both verbally and musically in specific songs by David Bowie, Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, the Beatles, and Elton John. She concentrates on meanings that may be made at the point of reception as a consequence of ideas about madness that were circulating at the time. These ideas are then linked to contemporary conventions of musical expression in order to illustrate certain interpretative possibilities. Supporting evidence comes from popular musicological analysis - incorporating discourse analysis and social semiotics – and investigation of socio-historical context. The uniqueness of the period in question is demonstrated by means of a more generalised overview of songs drawn from a variety of styles and eras that engage with the topic of madness in diverse and often conflicting ways. The conclusions drawn reveal the extent to which anti-psychiatric ideas filtered through into popular culture, offering insights into popular music's ability to question general suppositions about madness alongside its potential to bring issues of men's madness into the public arena as an often neglected topic for discussion.

Twitter PGR Q&A 24/7!

Dr Nadine Muller (@Nadine_Muller)
Honorary Research Associate
Department of English

Dear Students,

Are you thinking about doing postgraduate study or are you currently a postgraduate? Are you looking to share your experiences and advice about postgraduate and postdoctoral life or do you have questions about postgraduate study to which you would like honest and supportive answers?

Then login to your Twitter account and get involved with #phdadvice.

Created less than 24hrs ago, this hashtag already hosts a wealth of advice and questions from established academics, current postgraduates and aspiring researchers, from giving conference papers to getting published, starting teaching, interview advice, research issues, and how to maintain one's sanity whilst being a postgraduate student. Follow me at @Nadine_Muller or search for/ direct your questions and advice at #phdadvice. Whatever your field, you are sure to find something useful here!

Lucy Suchman talk (15/May)

‘Reconfiguring Agencies at the Interface: New Entanglements of Bodies and Machines’
5pm, Tuesday 15 May

 John Casken Lecture Theatre, Martin Harris Centre

Lucy Suchman imageTaking its inspiration from critical studies in the history, culture and politics of technology, this paper will examine configurations of persons and machines within what James Der Derian has named ‘MIME-net’, the military-industrial-media-entertainment network. As science fiction and popular culture anxiously anticipate a future of autonomous weapons and robot soldiers, more intimate configurations of human and machine are presently in play in the form of new devices (drone aircraft, battlefield robots) for the projection of action at a distance. I offer the beginnings of an argument regarding the essential and inescapable tension between a commitment to distance, and to the requirements of ‘positive identification’ that underwrite the canons of legal killing. This tension holds not only for those involved in command and control of the front lines, but also for those of us responsible as citizens for grasping events in which we are, however indirectly, morally, politically and economically implicated.
Lucy Suchman is Professor of Anthropology of Science and Technology in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University, and Co-Director of Lancaster’s Centre for Science Studies. Before taking up her present post she spent twenty years as a researcher at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center. Her research includes ethnographic studies of everyday practices of technology design and use, critical engagement with projects in the design of humanlike machines, and interdisciplinary and participatory interventions in new technology design. Her book Human-Machine Reconfigurations (Cambridge University Press 2007) includes an annotated version her earlier Plans and Situated Actions: the problem of human-machine communication (CUP 1984). The sequel adds five new chapters looking at relevant developments since the mid 1980s in computing and in social studies of technology.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Salford annual PG Conference --- Call for Papers! --- "Oppositions"

Oppositions: An Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference

th and 29th September 2012
University of Salford

(image from Bill Viola: The Nantes Triptych, 1992)

This postgraduate conference seeks to explore ideas of opposition through the full range of disciplines in the arts, media, and social sciences.

In the context of the current crisis of capitalism, there are many examples of the forms ‘opposition’ can take: the Tea Party in the United States, the rise of fascist groups, campaigns run via new technologies and social media, religious fundamentalisms, and general strikes in Greece. Though it carries radical overtones, ‘opposition’ in itself is not tied to any particular dogma, left or right. We invite papers that explore the value and values of opposition as a position to be adopted by individuals or groups.

We welcome proposals for papers from postgraduate students that engage with any aspect of opposition. These could include, but are by no means limited to: the ‘culture industry’ and alternative youth cultures; opposition parties within parliamentary politics; grass-roots activism;
the history and future of the labour movement; hegemony; Foucauldian ‘resistance’ and its limits; radical pedagogies and the role of the University; community and class; the aesthetic value of non-mainstream or outsider art; aesthetic oppositions such as contrapuntal music or bricolage; and the formation of creole or pidgin languages.

Papers are welcome from fields such as politics, literature, philosophy, anthropology, religions and theology, geography, sociology, history, classics, translation studies, linguistics and social linguistics, visual and screen studies, new media and communication studies, and the performing arts. Interdisciplinary papers are very welcome.

Keynote speakers TBC.

Abstracts of 250 words are invited for presentations of 20 minutes. Proposals for performances, screenings etc. are also accepted. The conference intends to publish an edited volume of the best papers presented.
Send abstracts to
by 6 July 2012.
For a report on / photos of last year's conference, please see :

Salford GTA interviewed on BBC Breakfast

Salford's Deborah Gabriel on the problematic "empire" element of the Queen's honours list.

Watch the clip

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Conference: Convergence, Engagement and Power (24/5)

University of Leeds 1 day Postgraduate Conference - Convergence, Engagement and Power: Digital Convergence and the Challenge to Global Hegemony

We warmly invite you to attend the Institute of Communications Studies 6th Annual PhD Conference, taking place in the ICS Building, Clothworker's North, University of Leeds on May 24th 2012, at 9am until 6pm

Full details, including registration information and abstracts, can be found on our website;

All enquiries can be directed to

Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Natalie Fenton (Goldsmiths College) and Prof. Stephen Coleman (Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds)


From Iran to China, Cairo to Oakland, Chechnya to Tunisia, bold claims are being made about the role that new technologies are playing in the emergence, sustenance, and viability of populist political movements. Empowered by the prosthesis of technical devices, the ’99%’ appear to have bypassed the monopoly of the mass media through the creation and sustenance of alternative media channels, disseminating information, ideas and political expression unhindered. As such, a question must be asked; how is the authority, legitimacy, and hegemony of the ruling elite being threatened by convergent media?

Focusing deeper on the role of technology, these events are often mediated by popular social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook. These interactive platforms have permeated every aspect of day-to-day life, but questions remain as to the role they play in building and sustaining a true democratic discourse. The innovation of these technologies originates in a global hegemonic system which retains their ultimate ownership through existing corporate and financial systems. On the world stage, Western governments pour praise on so-called technologically mediated movements like the ‘Arab Spring’, yet domestically the same leaders oppress similar political collectives such as the Occupy movement.

In addition to the political and technological dimensions, there is a multifaceted and multi-layered convergence at play which is influencing the ways existing media forms are produced. Consumers simultaneously become producers, and traditional cultural industries now share space with user-created digital domains of production. Has the notion of convergence reinvigorated the cultural industries by making the production process more democratic, or is it undermining their hegemony over the media we consume?

Optimistic expectations and pessimistic disdain are polarizing the debate within academia, hence these issues beg for critical questioning; to what extent are publics, through their engagement with new technology and convergent media, influencing or challenging political, corporate, and social power structures within society? Once the issues are laid bare to analysis, is the global hegemonic landscape really changing in the digital age?

In light [sic] of these technological, cultural, social and political events, we cordially invite you to the 6th annual Institute of Communications Studies PhD Conference, University of Leeds.

This student-led initiative aims at fostering debate among future academics by bringing together those researching areas related to media convergence in a formal conference environment, to critically engage with this exciting topic while also gaining the chance to hear from leading keynote speakers in the field of political communication.

Best wishes,

ICS PhD Conference Organising Committee

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

"Impact" symposium, Manchester University


A postgraduate arts research symposium hosted by the Manchester Cultivating Research Group

26th May, 9.30am – 4.30pm, Martin Harris Centre, University of Manchester
The Manchester Cultivating Research Group is a postgraduate-led initiative based in Drama at the University of Manchester.

IMPACT (according to Research Councils UK):

1. Academic Impact
- The demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to academic advances, across and within disciplines, including significant advances in understanding, methods, theory and application.

2. Economic and Societal Impact
- The demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy […] Impact embraces all the extremely diverse ways in which research-related knowledge and skills benefit individuals, organisations and nations by:
  • fostering global economic performance, and specifically the economic competitiveness of the United Kingdom;
  • increasing the effectiveness of public services and policy, and
  • enhancing quality of life, health and creative output.

Impact has become of increasing concern in academic life. Research funding councils and Universities now routinely ask researchers to articulate the academic, social and economic impact of their research as part of quality monitoring processes and funding applications. What does this mean for postgraduate researchers in performance and screen?

This symposium will examine challenges associated with thinking about and demonstrating the impact of performance and screen research. It will bring a range of performance and screen researchers together to consider creative and critical responses to the impact agenda. What opportunities does the impact agenda present? What challenges are involved in demonstrating impact? What broad and diverse ideas and practices of impact are there in emerging research in performance and screen? How is impact being framed and understood? How does the impact agenda challenge what we look at and how we look at it? Should we even be concerned with impact?

Registration (free) via

Art and Design PGR presentations

Presentations by Salford Art & Design PhD Students on will take place at 2.00 – 6.00 on Wednesday 16 May in the Lecture Theatre, Centenary Building (Room 109).

The programme will be:

2.00 Jo Clements 'Secret gardens, orphan films'

3.00 Umran Ali ‘Virtual natural environment design in video games’

4.00 Laura Seppala ‘Public involvement in co-designing technical outdoor clothing for older walkers’

5.00 Sarah Lawton 'Tapestries of identity: Salford in the digital age’

Blast Theory at FutureEverything

Trailer for Blast Theory’s I’d Hide You -
This new project will be part of Future Everything and goes live on 17th – 19th May (8pm-11pm) and we have some current and graduated Salford students from the BA (Hons) Contemporary Theatre Practice taking part.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

ARENA project --- Euro jazz happening

5 Salford-based students/researchers are currently engaged in an ERASMUS IP project in Stavanger Norway. The project – entitled ARENA – involves undergraduate and postgraduate students from the University of Stavanger, Conservatorium van Amsterdam and Salford as well as Salford-based PhD student Nick Katuszonek and Rhythm Changes post-doc Dr Christophe de Bezenac. The Arena project brings together musicians over a 10 day period to work on an intensive programme of improvised performance, culminating in a performance at the Maijazz Festival in Stavanger. Check out the following blog post if you want to see more:

Monday, 7 May 2012

MMP Grad Prog talks: Musical Quotation / Sci-fi Reception (9/May)

PGR Presentation: 3.10 - 4
External speaker: 4.10 - 5.00

Both in Second Floor Lecture Theatre, Adelphi House.

PGR presentation: Andra Ivanescu
Flirting with the audience (and other functions of musical quotation)
Musicians, specifically composers, have always borrowed material from other musicians. From orally transmitted song traditions that involved the same songs being retold in almost infinite varieties over decades and maybe even hundreds of years to 20th century jazz standards that have similarly endless variations and modern-day sampling, appropriation and borrowing have always been a part of musical composition. Quotation, however, is a special type of musical appropriation.
My research focuses on musical quotation and its functions within a large variety of musical genres, from classical music of the Renaissance to cartoon music and sample-based electronica. My thesis is meant to create a broad taxonomy of musical quotation and its functions that applies to virtually every musical quote in practically every musical genre.

External speaker: Dr Matthew Jones (Manchester)
The British Reception of 1950s Science Fiction Cinema

Scholarship on 1950s American science fiction cinema has tended to explore the relationship between these films and their domestic contexts of production and reception. They are often characterised as reflections of US anxieties about communism and nuclear technology. However, many such films were exported to Britain where these concerns were articulated and understood differently. The ways in which this different national context of reception shaped British interpretations of American science fiction cinema of this era has not yet been accounted for. Similarly, scholarship on 1950s British science fiction has been comparatively concise and has left gaps in our knowledge about the domestic reception of these films. Unable to draw on a British reception history of domestic and US 1950s science fiction cinema, debates about the genre have sometimes been underpinned by the presumption that western audiences responded to these films in a uniform manner.

This presentation complicates our understanding of the genre by suggesting the specificity of the British reception history of science fiction cinema during the 1950s. Drawing on archival sources, newsreels, newspapers, magazines and other such documentary evidence, it explores some of the different contexts in which 1950s science fiction cinema was received in Britain and suggests how these factors might have shaped the interpretation of the genre.

Matthew Jones recently completed his PhD in Drama at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Screen Studies and is currently an independent scholar. His doctoral research produced a British reception history of 1950s science fiction cinema. His published work has focused on issues of national and personal identity in British and American genre television.

“Multiple Generosities; Examining the Declining Community Thesis: Considerations from Michel Maffesoli’s Neo-Tribalism” (11/May)

Friday 11th May 2012. 4.30pm – 7.30pm
Room 210 (Lecture Room 3 on the second floor of the building.)
Sandra Burslem Building
All Saints Campus
Manchester Metropolitan University

Attendance is FREE. If you need further details contact
Mike Tyldesley; 0161 247 3460.

“For a century we have imagined that participation in community and social relations was in decline” ( Daniel Miler, Tales from Facebook, Polity Press, 2011, p.x.)

Miller’s comment expresses a view (not necessarily shared by him) that ‘community’ is in decline, a view that is widely shared. It often goes with arguments that ‘we’ are becoming more ‘individualised’, and that there is a problem of ‘social atomisation’. The purpose of the Salon is to consider this argument in the light of the work of Professor Michel Maffesoli, with reference (though not exclusively) to his key idea of ‘neo-tribalism’, most famously expressed in the book The Time of the Tribes. The salon will feature two panels, after which the audience and the speakers will be able to discuss the issues raised.

Panel 1 (16.30 – 17.30)
James Horrox (Manchester Metropolitan University)
Hallowed be thy name? Metal Culture and Religion – a study in Dionysian (Anti-) Politics

Beate Peter (Manchester Metropolitan University)
Maffesoli and Techno: What the Criminal Justice and Public order Act did to affectual tribes of Electronic Dance Music in the UK

Sebastien Tutenges (Aarhus University)
Commercialised Communitas


Panel 2 (18.00-18.45)
Rupa Huq (Kingston University)
Filling in the Gaps: the applicability and popularity of Maffesoli in the British context.

Vincenzo Susca (Univ 3 Paul Valery Montpellier/CEAQ Sorbonne Paris)
Transpolitics and Communicracy; the world’s recreations.

Discussion (18.45-19.30)

Curator; Mike Tyldesley (Manchester Metropolitan University).

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Stella Bruzzi talk: Men's Cinema (8/May)

The Centre for Screen Studies in Drama is pleased to host the following event - ALL WELCOME

'Men's Cinema: The Mise-en-Scene of Masculinity'
Prof. Stella Bruzzi, Tuesday 8 May, 5pm, John Casken Lecture Theatre, 2nd floor Martin Harris Centre
In this paper I want to propose that there is a different, alternative way of looking at and discussing men and masculinity in Hollywood cinema in particular than the one that we largely - in film studies - have been used to. Rather than focusing on representation, I will examine the use of film style and mise-en-scene as means of conveying and defining masculinity. With reference to several postwar films up to the present day (There's Always Tomorrow, The Deer Hunter, Once Upon a Time in the West, Reservoir Dogs, Goodfellas, Top Gun, Memento) I will look at some of the key strategies and tropes of 'men's cinema', such as: men walking in a group or alone, the use of slow motion, the use of slow motion in juxtaposition to action, the use of steadicam.

Stella Bruzzi is Professor of Film and TV Studies and Chair of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Warwick, UK
Her main areas of research interest are gender and identity in film, particularly masculinity; documentary film and television; fashion and costume; film television and the law. Her most recent publication is 'Men's Cinema', a 35,000-word study of masculinity and mise-en-scene in Hollywood cinema for Wallflower Press's Close-Up series and she is currently working on articles on Pier Paolo Pasolini's Teorema, Hollywood and the New Look, the representation of the legal system in Fritz Lang's Fury and British documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield