Thursday, 18 December 2014

School of Arts and Media Graduate Week: Full programme


School of Arts and Media

Graduate Week Programme (2014/2015)


Monday 12 - Friday 16 January 2015

MediaCity Campus, 2nd Floor, Room 2.36



Dear Postgraduates,
Please find below the jam-packed programme for our Graduate Week, 2014/2015. Sessions cover all kinds of aspects of your PGR study, and after, as well as presentations from current PGRs. Please pick and choose as you like --- and please feel free to drop in and out of sessions; we like to keep the week informal!
Look forward to seeing you there ---
Dr Benjamin Halligan
Director of Postgraduate Research, College of Arts and Social Sciences




Monday 12th January


11.00-11.20 Introduction

Prof Karl Dayson, Associate Dean Research & Innovation


11.20 - 12.00: Prof Karl Dayson

Research Excellence Framework 2014, and the role of the Early Career Researcher


12.00-1.00 Library Workshop: Helen McEvoy

Introduction to your online and physical library services and resources


1.00-2.00 Lunch break


2.00-3.00: You’re Hired! Applying for Academic Jobs: Prof Seamus Simpson

and Dr Caroline Magennis

This session will discuss one element of the what next question - applying for academic jobs: When and where to look; how to construct an academic CV and online profile; how to make the most your academic experience and your PhD studies; what to look (out) for in job applications; how to survive job presentations and interviews and what academic departments and colleagues are really looking for.


3.00-3.45 Documentary Screening 1: "The Good Doctorate"

Planning to a distant deadline
How "life" can get in the way
Being realistic about time and cost
Working with your supervisor


3.45-4.30: PowerPoint and Presentations: Dr Benjamin Halligan

This session will consider the “do’s” and “don’t” of using PowerPoints, for PGR progression points as well as conference papers


4.30-5.30: Welcome for new postgraduate researchers

With Drs Michael Goddard and Benjamin Halligan, and PGR rep Will Carruthers

Informal welcome to new PGRs - getting to know the research environment, and each other.



Tuesday 13th January


11-12.00: Journal Rankings and Publications: Prof Karl Dayson


12.00-1.00 PhD Survival Guide: Dr Deborah Woodman

Deborah Woodman is a research administrator in the College of Arts & Social Sciences and has lectured in British history for the Universities of Huddersfield and Salford. Her PhD is on the public house in nineteenth century Manchester and Salford, graduating in 2011. Prior to her work at Salford she spent ten years at the University of Manchester, where she undertook a number of roles in research support.

This presentation will consider some of the issues that you may encounter when undertaking a PhD and how to deal with them. Whether full or part-time the PhD is different to anything else you will do, and you will face issues combining your research with employment, family, and life in general. You may have concerns with, for instance, finances, keeping your research on track and the pressure of meeting deadlines, presenting your first conference paper, and coping with a viva. The presentation will offer some practical advice that will help you cope with a whole range of issues that may arise during your studies.


1.00 - 2.00: Lunch


2.00-245: Documentary Screening 2: Good Supervision

How supervision is organised

What support to expect

How to get the feedback you need

How disciplines differ


2.45-4.00 Viva Survival Guide: Dr Benjamin Halligan

This session will deal in detail with the Viva: what to expect, how to prepare, how to defend your work, and the possible outcomes from the Viva.


4.00-5.00 Your Online Profile: Dr Cristina Archetti

This session will consider the importance of an online presence in terms of profile-raising, especially at the point of application for academic positions.


5.00-5.45: Making Use of Freedom of Information Requests (FOIs) for your research:

Dr Christopher J. Murphy

This session will offer a general introduction to FOIs, including key “do’s” and “don’ts”



Wednesday 14 January 2014


11.00-12.30: Guide to Progression Points: Dr Benjamin Halligan

This session will outline the nature of all progression points during the lifecycle of the PhD – from Learning Agreement to IE. We will look at the forms that are required for each, talk about the expectations of the panels that look at them, and offers tips for smooth and timely progress. (NB: This session relates specifically to Salford University progression points, and so is not relevant for guest from other universities).


12.30-1.30: Lunch break


2.30 - 5.00: Training in MCUK camera equipment

Session for those intending to use camera equipment as part of their research



Thursday 15th January


11.00-1.00 Practice-based Research: Dr Richard Talbot, Dr Scott Thurston,.

This session will consider methodologies for PGRs who are incorporating practice into their work. (NB: This session is specifically for those PGRs working in humanities subjects.)


1.00-2.00 Lunch break


2.00-2.45 Documentary Screening 3: "The Good Viva"

How to prepare
What to expect on the day
How to understand the outcome


2.45-4.00: Field Research and Discussion: Sharon Coen

Conducting and publishing content analytical work

Sharon Coen has research and teaching experience in the areas of social and media psychology. Her main interests concern the way media portray and respond to social and political issues, and how these in turn inform public perceptions of the same issues.

This session will take you through the key steps involved in successfully conducting and publishing content analytical work. Starting from the development of a testable research question to the selection and implementation of appropriate methodologies, the assessment of validity and reliability, data analysis and interpretation, we will discuss how to run and report content analytical work in an effective and meaningful way.


4.00-5.00 Impact Discussion: Dr Jo Creswell

Impact: Creating a new space in research.

• What is meant by ‘Impact’?

• What is the potential for impact in your research?

• How might the focus on impact help you to build networks, and reach more people through your research and support you in your career.


5.00-6.00: PGR presentations: 1) Alex McDonagh

Building a Digital Park: the digital recontextualisation of Towneley Park's heritage meanings.
Through interviews and personal visits to Towneley with park users this project has aimed to use a grounded theory approach to explore the meanings associated with a public park space. The collected data has been translated into a digital format in an attempt to create a digital retelling of the participants' park experiences. Through the analysis of this digital development process, I aim to explore the ways in which digital heritage may overcome, perpetuate or provide new social barriers to the expression of cultural heritage.

Alex McDonagh is a PhD researcher in the subject of Heritage Studies at the University of Salford. He is

currently exploring the effect of digital heritage interpretation in the context of natural or outdoor heritage at Towneley Park, Burnley. His research interests include heritage, digital heritage, simulations, phenomenology and archaeology.


2) Adam Hart and Lee Jones

Lee Jones & Laptop Ensemble: Collaborative Composition

My research examines the benefits of using alternative approaches to jazz composition through five musical elements: harmony, form, orchestration, improvisation and the role of the score. This presentation will focus on the boundaries that exist between live/recorded media and composition/improvisation through a practical demonstration and overview of the process.



Friday 16th January


11.00-12.00 Post Doc Funding Opportunities for New Researchers: Rob Morris

The session will look at the main opportunities for funding and how and when to apply for them and talk about career development for those wanting to develop a career in research in academia.

Robert Morris from the Research and Enterprise Division has worked in Research Management and Support for over 14 years at the University of Salford and has supported many bids into the UK research Councils, European Union and various trusts and charities.


12.00-1.00 From Conference Participation to Publication: Dr Michael Goddard

This session will examine one of the most productive and straightforward ways of publishing your research--via conference participation. Many academic conferences have specific publication outcomes (sometimes already mentioned in the call for papers), and even when they don't there are frequently opportunities for disseminating and publishing your work that emerge from conference participation. This session will cover such issues as selecting the best conference to present your work (subject specific, postgraduate or not, connected to an association), preparing conference abstracts, conference networking, conference organisation, revising your abstract for publication, and the publication process. As it is impossible to generalise, a range of examples will be presented but there will also be the opportunity to present your own experiences and issues regarding both conference participation and the publication process.


1.00- 1.30: Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP): Janet Morana (Partnerships


KTP is one of the UK's leading recruiters - If you want to apply your qualification, start a ‘real’ job straight away and gain a professional qualification, then a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is what you’re looking for. You should be inquisitive, bright and serious about getting ahead.


1.30-2.30 Lunch Break


2.30-3.30 Screening 4: “The UK Doctorate”

Critical thinking
Independent working
The upgrade process
Culture clashes


3.30-4.30: Research Excellence Framework 2020: Prof Karl Dayson

This session considers the results of the 2014 UK-wide assessment of research, and looks forward to the next assessment period (2014-2019). What are the emergent trends for the coming 5 years? How can a PGR begin to plan for entry into the 2020 assessment, and so enhance employment prospects, in terms of publications, profile and impact?


4.30-5.00: PGR Presentation: Juan Hiriart

Zooming In and Out of History: Using Games as Facilitators for Micro-macro Historical Thinking and Understanding

Micro-history and Macro-history have both evolved as separate traditions, each of them leading to different means to deal with size, closeness and distance in historical understanding. In spite of the differences, several authors have stressed the importance of making connections between these two separate epistemologies, and to generate meaningful links between the narratives of ordinary people and the general structures and patterns of history. In this presentation, I would like to show an exploration of how digital game technologies and procedural simulations can be implemented and used as a mean to facilitate this type of encounters. In order to get a better understanding of this design problem, a game prototype is being developed. One of the main goals of this prototype is to allow players to navigate between different points of perception and interaction, using gameplay mechanics as a way to foster historical thinking and understanding.


5.00-5.30: Open discussion: What does it mean to be a PhD student?

            Chair: TBA


5.30: Refreshments (Dock Bar)


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

GradProg talks, Weds 10/12: "Beyond the Utopia Moment" / "Post-Conflict Culture"

Arts & Media Graduate Programme: 


Transforming Us - Beyond the Utopian Moment

Wednesday 10 December 2014 3.30pm - 4.20pm
Venue: Room 2.20, MediaCityUK
Event Type: Arts; Public Lectures
After looking at the ways in which experiential participatory theatre opens up the potential for transformative moments of performance, I became interested in two things: first the language we use to talk about the transformative in performance and second, the way processes of transformation actually work and how the experiences we are able to generate in an artistic context map on to wider personal and sociopolitical change. This talk will discuss the practice based research I have been working on with choreographer Medie Megas over the past year and a half, which explores this on a formal level, through textual and movement based experiments with repetition and transformation.  In our work we refer to these contrasting experiences of transformation as closed or open systems where the closed system of transformation moves between two well defined points and the open begins from a fixed point and works outwards from it. This model acts as a frame for the practical research tasks and processes during the research phase and more recently, the creative approach to improvisation and devising we have taken in making Transforming Me: a Bilingual Solo, Medie’s solo performance at the Mir Festival in November. In terms of theoretical framing, the practice we have done brings into question the focus in performance research on the notion of the transformative as a bounded moment. I draw on Griselda Pollock and Bracha Ettinger in this presentation to explore how the sharing of intense emotional experience, an ‘encounter’ within a liminal space can open up an enduring experience of trans-subjective transformation and how stasis, duration, repetition and latency form a part of that.

Dr Kate Adams (University of Salford):

Beyond the Past: Theoretical approaches to ‘post’-conflict culture

Wednesday 10 December 2014 4.30pm - 5.30pm
Venue: Room 2.20, MediaCityUK
Event Type: Arts; Conferences; Public Lectures
Dr Magennis is a Lecturer in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature at the University of Salford. She is a specialist in modern and contemporary literature, with particular intellectual interests in contemporary fiction, Irish literature, Northern Irish cultural production and critical theory. She is the author of Sons of Ulster: Masculinities and the Contemporary Northern Irish Novel. She sits on the Executive Council for the British Association for Irish Studies and on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Irish Studies Review.
This paper seeks to complicate the ways in which trauma theory has been readily applied to post-conflict literature and culture, with a focus on Northern Ireland. It will examine the ways in which discourses of conflict resolution can be complicated by attitudes to narrative and memory in contemporary fiction and the ways in which theoretical work on grief, affect and hope can be productively used to discuss these texts. The aim is to explain the broad theoretical basis for my current work on the Northern Irish novel, so as to start conversations with colleagues and post-graduate students engaged in work around memory, history and culture.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Our thanks to Dr.K. M. Sumathi

Marriage subverting ideals, television as window into or in the prison cell, and the psychosis and murder.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Francesco Giomi: masterclass and concert at University of Salford (28/11)

Tempo Reale - Electroacoustic Masterclass and Concert this Friday

Francesco Giomi of the Conservatorio di Musica in Bologna will be running workshops with Salford musicians this week, culminating in a masterclass and evening concert at Media City. This will be a wonderful showcase of live electronics and improvisation – Don’t miss it!

28th of November 2014

Digital Performance Lab, University of Salford Building, Media City

12.30 – 14.00 Masterclass

19.30 Concert

21.30 Reception

Tickets can be obtained from Richard Rock ( or at the event itself, but will be limited to 150 places, so get in touch to reserve a seat

NWCDTP / University of Salford PhD scholarships: Eng Lit / Creative Writing

The School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford is inviting applications to our PhD programme. The School is a member of the North West Consortium (alongside Liverpool, Manchester University, MMU, Keele, Lancaster and the Royal Northern College of Music) that was recently awarded an AHRC Block Grant Partnership, which provides a series of studentships that are supplemented by other studentships funded by the School. These awards benefit from their location in the vibrant and culturally-rich cites of the North West

Applicants applying to work in Creative Writing, English and Linguistics can apply for studentships on a competitive basis with applicants to other subjects within the school and to other institutions within the consortium. For UK students or students from EU countries who have been resident for at least three years in the UK, these awards cover both fees and maintenance and for EU residents awards are on a fees only basis.

If you are interested in applying for a PhD in Creative Writing, English and Linguistics at Salford, please contact the Director of Research for English, Scott Thurston ( who will help guide you through the process. Below is a list of our research interests and staff:


Any aspects of nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century British, Irish and Global Literature and Culture with additional foci on Gender, Sexuality and Deviance; Post-Colonial Studies; Global Modernisms; Conflict, Violence and Memory. Staff include: Caroline Magennis, Jade Munslow Ong, Janice Allan, Jane Kilby, Glyn White, Carson Bergstrom, Andrew Cooper, Francis Piper.


We have a strong record of practice-based research in Creative Writing. PhDs are composed of a substantial creative project with an accompanying contextualising document of at least 25,000 words. Areas include: Visual Text, Experimental Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Literary Biography, Young Adult Fiction, Post-Dramatic Performance, Innovative and Experimental Poetry. Staff include: Ursula Hurley, Gill James, Judy Kendall, Scott Thurston, Kate Adams, Szilvi Naray-Davey.

Prospective applicants who are interested in applying and eligible for funding will need to submit a draft PhD proposal by Wednesday the 3 December, 2014. Please send this directly to the Director of Research for English Dr Scott Thurston: and to

Following that it will be necessary to complete a formal application for PhD study at the University of Salford by the 23rd of January 2015, available here:

The deadline for the formal application to the Northwest Consortium is before 5PM on the 13th of February 2015.

For further information, please see these links:

Thursday, 20 November 2014

GradProg talk this Weds: Marriage as the Medium of Exploitation in "Wife" by Bharati Mukherjee


Wednesday 26 November 2014 4.30pm - 5.45pm
Venue: Room 2.19, MediaCityUK
Wife by Bharati Mukherjee
This talk highlights marriage as the medium of exploitation in Bharati Mukherjee’s Wife. Women are seen as indissoluble from the family and most functions assigned to family are indirectly assigned to women. The family places mammoth obligations on women’s shoulders and contours on their place and rewards in the toil market their roles in local, national and international affairs. Marriages are rooted in the Indian tradition: they are arranged by the family, and the people concerned have no choice. Social anxiety and social convention lead to the failure of marriages but since divorce is not allowed, people still have to live with each other. As a consequence, the characters experience alienation, and the terrible pressure children are subjected to, generally has its roots in failed marriages. Let us take the case of women: they cannot find fulfillment in marriage. The modern woman lives in a society dominated by men and marriage recurrently brings annihilation of the wife’s individual persona. The view embodied female cohort Amit Basu is no company for Dimple, they are mismatched. Mukherjee takes up the quandary of a wife’s adjustments in her husband’s home.
Dr.K. M. Sumathi, a specialist in Indian Writing in English, has 16 years of teaching experience and 10 years of Research experience (and has supervised 3 PhD scholars). She is the Recipient of the First Time Speaker Award instituted by the British Council, UK, and chaired at the First International Conference of the English Language Teachers Association of India (ELTAI) in association with British Council, Chennai, Tamilnadu on 3 and 4 of Feb 2005. She was also awarded a Major Research Project (2011-2013) funded by University Grants Commission of India for her project entitled Strengthening Communication and Vocational Skills of the Differently Abled for Self-Employability in Dindigul District, Tamilnadu, India. She was competitively selected as an Academic Visitor to visit University of Salford this year.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Terry Victor

Our thanks to Terry Victor for his fantastic talk: gesture at the quilting point of language, new (video) lexicons of expression, the obscene as politely unsaid but boldly enacted, cultural contexts as manifest in the trajectories of flailing.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

AHRC / NWC Scholarships in Media and Communications areas at Salford

We invite applications for PhD scholarships (full and part-time) from the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, in the Media and Communications Pathway.

The Scholarship covers all PhD fees, provides an annual stipend for the duration of your study, and funding for field research and further training.

Deadline for Expression of Interest: Wednesday 3rd December 2014

The University of Salford is a member of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWC DTP), which includes non-HE institutions such as the BBC, Home/Cornerhouse, Tate Liverpool, Opera North, FutureEverything, and FACT (Liverpool). In 2014, the Partnership was awarded £14 million of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to deliver postgraduate supervision, training and skills development.

The School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford has an international reputation for cutting edge research, both theoretical and practice-based, and is especially strong in the area of Media and Communications, as demonstrated by its performance in the 2008 RAE in the Communication, Cultural and Media studies area of assessment (ranked 13th nationally, according to the power ranking).

Our media research environment is based at the heart of MediaCityUK, allowing for a unique access and engagement with media institutions like the BBC and ITV, reinforced by a rich programme of research events with both an industry and academic focus. NWC PhD students will be invited to work with our non-HE partners, so as to engage in research, placements and internships.

Media research within the School of Arts and Media is diverse, interdisciplinary and collaborative and has seen numerous internationally recognised outputs from academics as well as successful PhD completions and publication outputs.

Areas of expertise of our academic staff include: Film practice; Film history and theory; Media Policy; Journalism studies; Celebrity studies; Media theory; Digital culture; Social media; radical and alternative media; cyber terrorism; Internet regulation and governance; Television studies; Media politics; Transnational media; Urban cultures; Creative industries; noise; Celebrity Studies; popular music and media.

Notable Salford media academics include: Prof Erik Knudsen, Prof Seamus Simpson, Professor Garry Crawford, Dr Michael Goddard, Dr Andy Willis, Dr Benjamin Halligan, Dr Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs, Dr Lloyd Peters, , Dr Sharon Coen, Dr Cristina Archetti and Dr Steve Ward.

See our CCM staff pages for further details: 

as well as our current PhD students page:

How to Apply:

Prospective applicants who are interested in applying ­and eligible for funding ­will need to submit a draft PhD proposal by Wednesday the 3 December, 2014. Please send this directly to the NWC media pathway leader Dr Michael Goddard: and to

We would expect you to have a first degree, and a completed or current MA, or equivalent professional experience.

Following that it will be necessary to complete a formal application for PhD study at the University of Salford by the 23rd of January, which is available here: and ultimately an application to the Northwest Consortium before 5PM, on the 13th of February.

For further information, please see our AHRC funding page:

and further information is available, including eligibility criteria and scholarship stipend rates, at NWC DTP site:

If you have further queries about the research specialisms in media in the School of Arts and Media, and the potentials for working with our non-HE partners, please contact the media pathway leader Dr Michael Goddard:

If you have any question regarding the formal application procedure please contact

Friday, 7 November 2014

SAM PGR Talks 12/11: Progression Points & Submissions / Awkward Turtle Flips the Bird

12th of November

Room 2.20, University of Salford campus at MediaCityUK

Internal speakers, 3.30-4.20pm; External speakers, 4.30-5.45pm.

Internal Speaker: Dr Benjamin Halligan (Director of Postgraduate Research, CASS)
Progression Points, Regulations, Submissions and Vivas
This session with review paperwork required by all PGRs across the course of the year, offer tips for successful completion and registration, and offer guidance on the “before and after” of the Viva experience.

External Speaker: Terry Victor (freelance playwright and performer)
Awkward Turtle Flips the Bird
Terry Victor’s practice-led research talk will focus on his Awkward Turtle Flips the Bird, a multi-media exploration of gestural slang as immersive theatre and gallery installation: physical-verbatim theatre, by turns playful, dark, romantic, surprising and dangerous, blending live action with documentary visuals. The Awkward Turtle Flips the Bird project is conceived and directed by Terry Victor with choreography by Rob McNeill. Hundreds of everyday gestures, familiar and fanciful, dance through their fractured narratives. This is thought to be the first time anyone has ever attempted to stage a dictionary, and doing so presents a number of interesting challenges. The notion of staging some form of dictionary has challenged our Artistic Director for a number of years. The two main threads in his professional life are creative performance and slang linguistics - the gestural vocabulary of slang is where they meet and the sparks fly.

Terry Victor is a playwright, storyteller, comedy sketch writer, short story and article writer plus dictionary compiler. He combines writing with a career as an actor and performer. He has scripted numerous "murder mystery" events. Terry’s New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English was published with Routledge in 2005. Further titles are contracted to follow. He is a regular contributor to the BBC as lexicographer, book reviewer and ranconteur.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Keele Work in Progress Seminars

Please see the CFP reminder below for the Keele Work in Progress Seminars. Please get in touch with the organisers directly.


We would like to remind you about the Humanities Work in Progress
Seminars that will be running at Keele University throughout the year.


The Research Institute for the Humanities’ Work in Progress seminar
series provides an opportunity for postgraduate students in the
Humanities to present current research and receive feedback from
fellow postgraduates and staff in a welcoming peer-led, supportive
environment. The interdisciplinary nature of Keele Postgraduate Work
in Progress seminars encourages academic exchange between disciplines
and can also benefit students who would like to receive insightful
feedback and perspectives from outside of their research field. The
seminar series welcomes work at various stages of development,
providing an engaging and creative forum to voice research ideas,
methods, and generate discussion.

We are currently looking for any PGT and PGR students who would like
to present for our Autumn/Winter seminar programme. Slots are for 20
minute papers/presentations and a 10 minute Q & A/ discussion period
so that speakers can receive constructive feedback on research in an
informal, friendly setting, and we will also be serving tea and coffee
and sandwiches.

The Work in Progress seminars will be held once a month. If you would
be interested in presenting a paper in the Autumn/Winter programme
seminars will be held on Wednesday 19th November 2014, and Wednesday
17th December 2014. We still have speaking slots available on these
dates. Or, if you are interested in presenting at a later date then
please do contact us via the following email address: You can also find us on Twitter:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Gemma Scott, Hannah Bayley, Jo Taylor and Rob Croton

The Work in Progress Team

Friday, 24 October 2014

SAM PGR graduate talks: "Making Your Way in Academia" / "Beyond Beatlemania"

29th of October, room 2.20, Media City 3.30-5.45

Internal Speakers: Professor Seamus Simpson and Dr Michael Goddard (CCM Research Centre, SAM)

Making Your Way in Academia (3.30PM to 4.20)

Academic careers have always been challenging to develop. Securing a PhD is often only the start of a long process presenting many exciting opportunities, but also challenges. Given the level of competition, many young scholars are now plotting a career strategy whilst they are in the throes of a PhD. In this session Michael Goddard and Seamus Simpson give a perspective on what to do, and what to avoid, in the development of an academic career. In this session, intended to be informal and interactive, we will focus on:
• Deciding whether or not an academic career is for you
• Development of a publication portfolio
• Participation in professional academic communities of interest
• The relationship between teaching and research

External Speaker: Dr Mark Duffett (University of Chester) (4.30PM to 5.45PM)

Beyond Beatlemania: The Shea Stadium Concert as Discursive Construct

On August 15, 1965, the Beatles played to a crowd of over 55,000 of their fans at the Shea Stadium in New York City. Five decades later, the history-making show is remembered less for the band’s thirty minute music set than for how it was drowned out by the crowd’s deafening din (Millard 2012, 25). In actuality, however, there are, however, three Shea Stadium events: one in 1965 (documented on television), another in 1966, and the third a more mythic, discursive entity. This talk examines the last of these – Shea Stadium as a discursive construct, one which came to symbolize the way that popular music fandom had entered the public sphere as a collective and emotional phenomenon. Shea has been was framed by notions of parasocial interaction to suggest that young fans did not care about music and instead ‘worshipped’ band members as hero figures. In deconstructing the discursive Shea Stadium, my aim is to rescue the event from its own history. The concert enabled the Beatles to secure their place in the emergent rock revolution and position themselves as a more serious, ‘adult’ and ‘music’ orientated band. Yet it has also become a cornerstone of stereotypical perceptions of music fandom in the public sphere.

Dr Mark Duffett is Senior Lecture in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Chester. His research interest is primarily in fandom and the dynamics of popular music audiences. Mark is the author of Understanding Fandom (Bloomsbury, 2013). In 2012 he was keynote speaker at the MARS conference in Finland. He is currently writing a book on Elvis Presley for Equinox Press and has recently edited a special edition of the journal Popular Music and Society. Duffett also contributed a chapter on the public image of Phil Spector to The Music Documentary: Acid Rock to Electropop (Edgar, Fairclough-Isaacs, Halligan, Routledge, 2013).

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

CFP: Popular Music Fandom and the Public Sphere: A One Day Symposium

CFP: Popular Music Fandom and the Public Sphere:
A One Day Symposium

University of Chester,
Friday, 10th April 2015

Keynote speaker: Dr Cornel Sandvoss, University of Surrey

In the mainstream media, postwar popular music fandom has traditionally been associated with collective displays of emotion. Yet fandom is actually about a range of things: shared tastes and personal convictions, individual subjectivity and wider community. Fandom does not exist entirely in private nor entirely in public, but is characterized a process of continual mediation between the two. J├╝rgen Habermas’s concept of the public sphere suggests that shared spaces of discussion have political consequences, making the crossing of the private/public boundary a political act. It is possible for fans to have relatively public experiences in private and private experiences in public. What new forms of public sphere does popular music fandom create? Edward Comentale suggested that Elvis Presley created a “public sphere within the public sphere.” Furthermore, both ‘the public’ and ‘the private’ are transforming in a networked society and neoliberal era. As communities of imagination, fan bases are providing new models for public activism based on shared values. Fandom can therefore help to indicate where conceptions of the private and public might require some reformulation. We invite papers associated with this subject on specific topics such as the following:

·      Closet popular music fandom
·      Fandom and intimacy
·      Music fan diaries and confessionals
·      Voyeurism and fandom
·      Fan mail and its representation
·      ‘Masses’ and ‘manias’ - collective fandom in the mass broadcast era
·      Fan communities as their own public spheres
·      Fandom, festivals and spectacles
·      Collecting, exhibiting and curating and music fandom
·      Genre fandom and the public sphere
·      Fan philanthropy and activism
·      Fan productivity as social commentary
·      ‘Drive by’ media, news and documentary portrayals
·      Interaction on social media
·      Fandom, affect and the public display of emotion
·      The public/private boundary and historical fan studies
·      Abject heroes and music fan shame

Papers will be 20 minutes in length with 10 minutes for questions. Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a bio of no more than 50 words to: before Wednesday, 19th November, 2014.

Organized by:
Dr Mark Duffett, University of Chester,
Dr Koos Zwaan, InHolland University of Applied Sciences.

This event is free to staff and students from any university - for more details go to: