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).

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