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My colleague Dr Michael Goddard, Reader in Media at the School of Arts and Media, University of Salford, UK and I have been awarded a grant from Santander Universities, for our scoping visit to Brazil in July, to develop an international research network (UK, Brazil and other countries) on the audiovisual mediation of popular music.

Building on the research networking Michael has already developed in Brazil in both media and popular music, as well as our previous joint and independent successful published research in related fields, we plan in this visit to present our research into music videos, arena performance, music documentaries and other audiovisual mediations of popular music, while at the same time networking with Brazilian academics and planning a future bid for an externally funded international research network in this area.

Here’s a selection of the work we have published so far:

 

We are both looking forward to the beginning of an exciting international research project.

If you are interested in more information, please contact me at K.Fairclough@salford.ac.uk

More updates soon!

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Given the recent spotlight on Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance, I thought why not remind folks that our recently published The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015)  presents research and findings in relation to expanded critical approaches to popular music, in the context of, and as prompted by the need to evolve new approaches to, the arena concert. Its one of the first academic texts to tackle this subject and  proposes that the arena concert represents a sizeable aspect of the near-future of popular music consumption and live music cultures, and that methodologies associated with popular musicology are effectively “stress tested” by this relatively new paradigm. Blended and recalibrated critical approaches are deemed necessary in order to assemble a critical apparatus capable of engaging with such enormous events. The question of creativity now stretches across many artistic disciplines and practices (dance, music, lighting, video design, sound mixing, social media, expectations management, merchandise, event creation), which all contribute to the arena concert experience.

As well as co-editor, I wrote a chapter  that tackles Beyoncé’s Celebrity Feminism and Performances of Female Empowerment in the Arena Concert. It is concerned with performances of female empowerment by pop and R and B stars, who use it as part of their brand including Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Pink and Nicki Minaj. I argue that Beyoncé’s engagement  was considerably more pronounced. The oscillation between spectacle and intimacy which appears to be the foundation of a successful arena concert, as combined with themes of empowerment, has become part of the expected package for many star female artists in performance. It examines Beyoncé and her 2013-2014 arena concert tour, The Mrs Carter Show, to explore the ways in which she employs the tropes of what appear to be female empowerment and celebrity feminism in order to maintain and develop her position in popular music and pop culture more widely. It considers her attempts to promote her status as celebrity feminist through her arena concerts and assesses how Beyoncé calls on her fans to use her music and imagery to engage with what can be read as a rather simplistic notion of female empowerment.

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Of course theres much more to be said given her recent performances. Thats  in my forthcoming book…Fairclough, K (2016) Beyoncé: Celebrity, Feminism and Pop Culture. London, I.B Tauris

 

RCEL

Call for Papers: Fame-inism: Feminism and Global Celebrity Culture

Special Issue of Celebrity Studies

 Guest Editors:

Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs, University of Salford, UK

Natasha Patterson, University of Northern British Columbia, Canada

Camilla A. Sears, Thompson Rivers University, Canada

For this special issue of Celebrity Studies, the editors are seeking proposals on the topic of feminism and celebrity culture. In recent years, contemporary celebrity culture has broached the topic of feminism, and increasingly, celebrities – men and women – are expected to make very public subscriptions to or rejections of a feminist identity. For instance, popular magazines like Cosmopolitan, provides “A Handy Guide to Celebrity Feminists” – and ask questions like, Where do our favourite celebrities stand on feminism? Without question, celebrity culture has become an important site for the production of meaning or understanding about feminism, especially in light of the commonly held belief that the struggles of the feminist movement – gender equality, equal pay, and so on – have been achieved, rendering it outdated or not in tune with the concerns of young women in contemporary society. In this way, the concept of “postfeminism” has been a useful tool for thinking about how feminism is framed within popular culture. Yet, these ongoing debates about what feminism is, or is not, or who can claim membership, as writ large in celebrity culture and through celebrities, clearly demonstrates that the movement still carries importance and resonates with audiences. And in such a way, it seems key for scholars to attend to the question, what does feminism look like in this culture?

While we welcome proposals that attend to these issues from a Western perspective, our goal for this special issue is to reflect a diverse array of perspectives in terms of content and location. Therefore, this special issue aims to explore discursive struggles over the meaning of feminism and celebrity culture in both Western and non-Western contexts.

Suggested paper topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Thinking beyond Western borders – what can studies of celebrities cross-culturally, tell us about the state of feminism globally?
  • How do feminist theories/frameworks help us to understand or critically interrogate celebrity culture? What inequalities or power dynamics invite feminist critiques of celebrity culture?
  • The concept of (white) celebrity feminism and how this idea has gained ground globally via social media, particularly through the politics of the feminist celebrity philanthropist (e.g. #HeforShe/Emma Watson).
  • The relationship between surveillance culture and female celebrities; the policing of public figures
  • The rise of “ordinary” celebrities through the global circulation of reality TV formats and social media such as “localebrities” or “micro-celebrities”
  • Intersectional analyses of celebrity feminists/feminism
  • The rise of the “male celebrity feminist”
  • How does celebrity and sexuality intersect globally? Explore the rising fame and star quality of female actors within the adult pornographic genre – and their connections to a feminist identity

Interested authors should send a 500 word proposal and 200-word biography to fameinism@gmail.com by January 15, 2016. Please direct general enquiries to this email address as well. Acceptance notices will be sent out by February 15 2015. For accepted proposals, completed essays of 6000-8000 words will be due no later than June 1, 2016. Final publication of the special issue is expected late 2017. Only previously unpublished essays will be considered.

References:

Cobb, Shelley. (2015). “Is this what a feminist looks like? Male celebrity feminists and the postfeminist politics of ‘equality’.” Celebrity Studies 6. 1: 136-139.

Hamad, Hannah and Taylor Anthea. (2015). “Feminism and Contemporary Celebrity Culture.” Celebrity Studies Forum Special 6. 1: 126-127.

Holmes, Su and Diane Negra, eds. (2011). In the Limelight and Under the Microscope: Forms and functions of female celebrity. NY: Continuum.

McElroy, Ruth and Rebecca Williams. (2011). “Remembering Ourselves, Viewing the Others: Historical Reality Television and Celebrity in the Small Nation.” Television & New Media, 12 (3), 187-206.

Meyers, Erin. (2014). “The ‘Ordinary’ Celebrity and Postfeminist Media Culture. Flow: A Critical Forum on Television & Media Culture. Available from: http://flowtv.org/2014/03/the-ordinary-celebrity-and-postfeminist-media-culture/

Redmond, Sean and Su Holmes, eds. (2007). Stardom and Celebrity: A Reader. London: Sage.

 

 

 

 

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I’m really pleased to announce the publication of the first comprehensive academic study of arena concerts, “The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment”. I co-edited with a great team;  Ben Halligan, Robert Edgar, Nicola Spelman. The book has chapters and contributions from: Sunil Manghani, Erich Hertz; Jon Stewart, Kimi Kärki, Kevin Holm-Hudson and many others. The book is dedicated to the late, great Sheila Whiteley.

It is the first such study of arena concerts and has a number of key features,
* interdisciplinary, taking in a number of academic fields, as befitting this contemporary subject,
* extensive interviews with key insiders who have worked with Miley Cyrus, Peter Gabriel, Spice Girls, Justin Timberlake, Keane, Pet Shop Boys, Kylie Minogue etc
* international list of notable contributors from the US, UK and Europe.
http://www.bloomsbury.com/…/the-arena-concert-9781628925555/

NWCDTP PhD scholarships in Media/Communication

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We warmly invite expressions of interest further to applications for PhD studentships (full and part-time) from the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, in the Media and Communications and Cultural Studies Pathways.

The Studentship covers all PhD fees, provides an annual stipend for the duration of your study (£14,057 for the coming academic year for full-time students), and access to addition funding for field research and further training.

Deadline for Expressions of Interest: Friday 4th December 2015

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 and 2014 REF in the Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management area of assessment (ranked 21st 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. We particularly welcome applications that seek to engage with our non-HEI partners in research / industry / showcase / training capacities (see http://www.nwcdtp.ac.uk)

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; Internet regulation and governance; Television studies; Media politics; Transnational media; Urban cultures; Creative industries; noise; Celebrity studies; Cultural studies; Popular culture; Popular music and media; media and cultural theory.

Notable Salford media academics include: Prof Seamus Simpson, Professor Garry Crawford, Dr Michael Goddard, Dr Andy Willis, Dr Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs, Dr Lloyd Peters, Dr Carole O’Reilly, Dr Sharon Coen, Dr Steve Ward, Dr Anthony Smith and Dr Richard Hewett.
How to Apply:
Prospective applicants who are interested in applying ­and eligible for funding ­will need to submit a draft PhD proposal by Friday the 4th December, 2014. Please send this directly to the Salford NWC media pathway rep Dr Michael Goddard (m.n.goddard@salford.ac.uk) and toPGR-SupportSAM@salford.ac.uk
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 22nd of January, 2016, which is available here:http://www.salford.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/applying/applying-for-research and ultimately an application to the Northwest Consortium before 5PM, on the 12th of February.

For further information, please see our AHRC funding page:http://www.salford.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees-and-funding/research-degree-fees-and-funding
and further information is available, including eligibility criteria and scholarship stipend rates, at NWC DTP site: http://www.nwcdtp.ac.uk/

If you have further queries about the research specialisms in media or cultural studies 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: m.n.goddard@salford.ac.uk

If you have any questions regarding the formal application procedure please contact PGR-SupportSAM@salford.ac.uk

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I’m very pleased to be able to announce the next project in the School of Arts and Media Television Studies Conference Series, Mad Men: The Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, USA Date: May 26-28, 2016.

Convened by the College of Media and Entertainment and the College of Liberal Arts at Middle Tennessee State University, USA, and The School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford, UK.

Keynote speakers to include Matt Zoller Seitz, author of the forthcoming Mad Men Carousel: The Complete Critical Companion (2015).

Proposals are invited for a three-day international conference on the US television drama series Mad Men. Responding to the series’ conclusion in 2015, this timely event takes the opportunity to explore Mad Men in its entirety via a range of academic approaches. It aims to assess the series’ significant storytelling achievements, including its complex characters, innovative narrative structures, intricate mise en scène and its inventive deployment of popular music. It intends to explore the production conditions that gave rise to this creativity, analyzing the series’ links to the growth of the US basic cable sector as a major site of ‘quality’ TV drama and other key recent industrial shifts. It will look to ascertain the much-discussed Mad Men’s cultural impact, exploring the critical discourses and fan practices that have developed around the series. It furthermore seeks to consider the perspectives that the 1960s-set series brings to a transformative era of US social history, as well as trace its connections to contemporary cultural debates around such topics as race and gender. Through examining this culturally significant series from a number of perspectives, the conference will not only assess Mad Men’s key creative accomplishments but also use the series as a means to consider wider aspects of contemporary television culture, as well as broader societal issues.

Proposals (for single papers and panels of three papers) are invited on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  •   Mad Men and the 1960s
  •   Mad Men and intertextuality across media (e.g. film, literature, poetry)
  •   Mad Men and the representation of race, gender and sexuality
  •   Mad Men and contemporary television industries
  •   Mad Men and television authorship
  •   Mad Men and season/series finales
  •   Narrative structure in Mad Men
  •   Set design and visual style in Mad Men
  •   Character construction in Mad Men
  •   Performance in Mad Men
  •   Music in Mad Men
  •  Symbolism in Mad Men’s mise en scène
  •   Mad Men’s fandom
  •   Mad Men and critical discourses
  •   Mad Men’s promotional surround
  •   Mad Men and media convergence (e.g. social media, digital paratexts, streamed distribution) For a more extensive list of potential paper topics, see the following link:

    http://davidlavery.net/Mad_Men/Mad_Men_Topics.pdf

    Individual proposals should be 250 word (approx.). Group panel proposals (three papers) should be 750 words (approx.). Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2015.

    Proposals and queries should be directed to: madmentheconference@gmail.com | To learn more and follow the development of the conference, visit the website: madmentheconference.com

    As the center of the country music industry, Nashville is one of America’s most culturally vibrant cities, featuring an exciting night life that draws upon the city’s musical heritage. Both out of state and international participants may want to come early and stay late.

    Conference co-conveners: David Lavery & Jane Marcellus (MTSU), Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs, Anthony Smith, & Michael Goddard (University of Salford).

http://madmentheconference.com

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This month sees the launch of the Women in Film & TV North network at The University of Salford, MediaCityUK

The event, which is run in association with The University of Salford, is free to attend and open to WFTV members and non-members alike. I’ll be chairing the panel on Skills Shortages and Opportunities in the North of England.

Women in Film & TV (UK) is the leading membership organisation for women working in creative media in the UK, and part of an international network of over 10,000 women worldwide. Members of our organisation come from a broad range of professions spanning the entire creative media industry. This is an exciting time for the network and for the University of Salford to be involved in such a vital and vibrant organisation.

Event Producer: Janet Harrison, founder and director of Cofilmic, and WFTV Events Co-ordinator North of England. Kate Kinninmont, CEO of WFTV will introduce the panel.

Chair: Dr Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs, Senior Lecturer in Media and Performance, University of Salford
Cat Lewis, CEO & Exec Producer, Nine Lives Media
Joanna Blake, Development Producer, BBC Writersroom
Bekki Wray-Rogers, Producer, Duck Soup Films
Caroline Cooper Charles, Head Of Film, Creative England

History of WIFTV

In 1989, a group of women came together for the first official WFTV (UK) meeting. They were a mix of business executives, creatives and performers, including Linda La Plante, Dawn French, and Janet Street Porter. These were successful women who were fed up with the still male-dominated industry which demanded they be engaged in a constant struggle to be heard and respected.

They resolved to take positive action and follow in the footsteps of organisations in LA and New York, which had been established in the 70s, to support women working in the film and TV industries. They did this by creating a network of members and organising workshops, events, mentoring and awards to help them progress in their careers.

In 1990 the first Women in Film and Television Awards ceremony was held to recognise the achievements of some of the most successful women the industry could boast. 24 years on, the Awards is the largest annual celebration of women working in film, TV and digital media in the UK and has become a ‘must attend’ event.

Details of the event can be found here:

http://www.wftv.org.uk/event/women-film-tv-event-mediacityuk

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Mad Men the Conference. Middle Tennessee State University, USA and the University of Salford, UK will host an international conference on the AMC series in May 2016 (dates TBA) in Murfreesboro, Tenneessee.

Prof David Lavery, Prof Jane Marcellus (MTSU), Dr Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs, Dr Michael Goddard, Dr Anthony Smith (Salford)–co-conveners.

CFP forthcoming.

E-mail david.lavery@mtsu.edu to join the mailing list.

Our conference I’ll See You Again in 25 Years: The Return of Twin Peaks and Generations of Cult TV’. School of Arts and Media at The University of Salford, 21-22 May 2015 went very well indeed. The quality of the papers was excellent and the two days saw a fascinating and diverse set of readings of the seminal series. And some damn fine cherry pie! CFi1wHhWMAAfxAl

Here are a few images of the two days

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The conference was reviewed recently by Critical Studies in Television online. http://cstonline.tv/twin-peaks Watch this space for announcements on the next US Television Drama Series conference at The University go Salford.