Salford Media Festival 19/20 November 2013


We are very proud to announce the following participants at the two main days of the Salford Media festival (19th-20th November). More speakers are being confirmed on a regular basis so watch this space…

Festival Chair: Steve Hewlett (Writer and Broadcaster)
Confirmed speakers:

  • Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture & External Affairs in the Scottish Government
  • Josh Weinstein, American Writer and Producer, Writer for ‘The Simpsons’
  • Stuart Cosgrove, Director of Creative Diversity, Channel 4
  • Dan McGolpin, Head of Scheduling and Planning, BBC One
  • Andy Culpin, Managing Director, 12 Yard productions
  • Victoria Jaye, Head of BBC Television Content Online and IPTV
  • Simon Egan, Managing Director, Bedlam Productions
  • Crispin Simon, Managing Director, Trade Development, UK Trade and Investment
  • Simon Hirst, Capital FM, Yorkshire
  • Mike Beale, Director of International Formats, ITV Studios
  • Timo Vuorensola, Film Director of, among others, Star Wreck and Iron Sky
  • David Liddlement, BBC Trustee
  • John Wiston, Creative Director, Serial Dramas, ITV Studios
  • Lucy West, Head of News, Granada Reports
  • Alex Gardiner, Director of Factual, ITV Studios
  • Nick Curwin, Chief Executive, The Garden
  • Simon Pitts, Director of Technology and Transformations, ITV plc
  • Hasraf Dulull, Visual Effects Supervisor and Director  known for The Dark Knight, Prince of Persia, Hellboy II, The Chronicles of Narnia: PrinceCaspian
  • Justin Weyers, Animation Producer, A Liar’s Autobiogrpahy: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman
  • Scott Martin, Development Producer, CBBC
  • Leslie Woodhead, Award winning Documentary Filmmaker, How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin, The Hunt for Bin Laden, 9/11: The Day That Changed The World
  • Cat Lewis, CEO and Executive Producer, Nine Lives Media
  • Katy Jones, Executive Producer, BBC Learning

Full info here:

CFP: ‘Sex and the City Ten Years On: Landmark Television and Its Legacy


Conference at the University of Roehampton, London, Friday April 4 2014

Abstract deadline – November 17 2013

 2014 will mark ten years since the final episode of Sex and the City (HBO 1998-2004) was broadcast. During the programme’s six seasons, and throughout the decade following its finale, Sex and the Cityhas continued to be recognised as one of the most contentious and cherished series in recent television history, having tapped into a zeitgeist consumed by postfeminism to become a cultural touchstone. In a July 2013 New Yorker article, Emily Nussbaum lamented the manner in which the show has been ‘downgraded to a ‘guilty pleasure’’ by some, while male-centred series are readily revered, reminding readers that this was ‘sharp, iconoclastic television. High-feminine instead of fetishistically masculine, glittery rather than gritty and daring in its conception of character’. Embraced and vilified with unforgettable vehemence by audiences, critics and the media, this conference will explore the ways in which the impact of SATC continues to be felt across popular culture. The SATC brand or franchise lives on, in an ‘afterlife’ that has included the TV series’ international syndication; the release of two Sex and the City movies; Candace Bushnell’s literary prequels to her original Sex and the City newspaper column and novel; TV prequel The Carrie Diaries; and broadly, a television marketplace that is hugely indebted to the ways in which the series rewrote the boundaries of the medium.

Sex and the City Ten Years On: Landmark Television and its Legacy’ will mark this anniversary by revisiting the lasting influence of the series, its cultural circulation today and its impact on the medium of television. Topics for papers may include, but are not limited to:

–       SATC in translation and transnational contexts

–       SATC in syndication and the contexts of HBO/cable v network television

–       SATC and adaptation (newspaper column to ‘novel’ to TV series to film)

–       The transition of the series from small to big screen

–       The reception of, and controversies surrounding, the SATC movies

–       Television and postfeminism

–       Fashion television

–       Television and authorship

–       The relationship between SATC and subsequent women-centred series (eg The L Word;Desperate Housewives; Mistresses; Girls)

–       Television and stardom

–       Queer television

–       TV and genre/generic hybridity

–       Magazine and newspaper journalism and popular television

–       The role of key players in SATC (cf Darren Star, Michael Patrick King, Patricia Field)

–       Reception, fandom and anti-fandom

–       Recontextualising SATC in the recession

–       Television and consumerism

–       Women, language and female talk

–       Television and taboo

–       Women and comedy

–       Television, NYC and representations of urban space

Any enquiries, and abstracts of approx. 300 words with a brief biog, should be sent to Deborah Jermyn at  by November 17th.

Twitter  @SATC10th /  Facebook group at ‘SATC 10 Years On Conf’.

This is one not to miss..

New chapter/New book: Female Celebrity and Ageing: Back in The Spotlight

My chapter on female celebrity and social media Helen-Mirren-helen-mirren-32853620-495-500appears in Female Celebrity and Ageing: Back in the Spotlight edited by Deborah Jermyn.

The book interrogates the myriad ways in which celebrity culture constructs highly visible ideologies of femininity and ageing, and how ageing female celebrities have negotiated the media in a variety of industrial, historical and national contexts. In the era when the ‘baby boomers’ have started drawing their pensions, the boundaries of what constitutes ‘old age’ have never seemed more fluid, and ageing has never been presented by advertisers and marketers in a more dynamic fashion.

However, the fact remains that ageing is still widely feared, and growing old is an inherently gendered process, in which ageing women are paradoxically both rendered invisible and subjected to damning scrutiny. Nowhere is this conflicting state of affairs more evident than in celebrity culture, where ageing female stars are praised for ‘growing old gracefully’ one moment, and condemned for ‘letting themselves go’ the next, when they fail to age ‘appropriately’. Examining a variety of themes and ageing women in the spotlight, from Barbara Stanwyck to Madonna to Charlotte Rampling, the essays collected here forge new critical and conceptual insights into how women grow older in the media, and the implications of this for what Susan Sontag memorably called “the double standard of ageing”.

Check it out here…


Call for proposals: The Arena Concert: Music, Mediation and Mass Entertainment


Call for chapter proposals: The Arena Concert: Music, Mediation and Mass Entertainment

The idea of live popular music as mass entertainment is one that presents an arresting series of challenges and remains mostly unexplored in contemporary academic writing. And yet, it would seem, arena concerts are coming to constitute the commercial future of popular music, and popular music is being shaped by this phenomena. We ask: what, then, is this phenomena? And what then are the challenges that have blocked a critical engagement with this phenomena?
Challenges to critical engagement would seem to arise, firstly, along class lines: the event is truly proletarian (at a time when the “alternative” of music festivals are increasingly, at times preposterously, bourgeois). Secondly, along technological lines: musicologists often seem ill at ease when dealing with new paradigms of mediation, although performance, liveness, authenticity and intimacy are all now reinvented through these vectors. Thirdly, along experiential lines: the event can be wearying as much as entertaining. At its miserable worst, and replicating the existence of battery hens for the fleeced gig-goers, the arena concert is the eminently avoidable for denizens of well-PA’d concert halls. Fourthly, in terms of traditional concepts of pop: the event has little or no “present”, so that nostalgia tours and reunions jostle with karaoke X-Factor contestants, stars negotiate between “keeping it real” and hard selling their celebrity, and the “live album” of that night is somehow also available to buy on that night. And, fifthly, in terms of celebrity: hysterical mass gatherings around sole focal points are always a matter for suspicion, and the traditionally oppositional nature of pop music is one that auto-engenders a distaste for such totalitarian-style mass entertainments, and its concomitant total consumer environment, on the part of its interpreters.
The post-digital landscape of popular music consumption is one in which, paradoxically, “liveness”, the experience, and authenticity have been returned to their prime positions – perhaps for the first time since their folk (Newport) and rock (Woodstock) heydays. The failures to secure “the product” across the 2000s (via anti-piracy software and corporate malware, judicial attacks on Napster and Pirate Bay, the locking of hardware, and reimagining questions of ownership) have rapidly led to albums being reduced to little more than giveaway promotional fodder. And popular music, post-MTV, is no longer an audio form: a nexus of image and news, celebrity and fandom, seeking to saturate all digital platforms, comes to constitute what is both popular and what is considered to be music. For bands and artists, managers (and even medics) are replaced by tour organisers. For young fans, the gig becomes the only complete way of buying into the music, and the experience of attending the gig is authenticated (and propagated) via social media, with the night itself commemorated via DVDs of the event (of a new subgenre of the arena concert film). For not so young fans, a plethora of artists of yesteryear are suddenly available, and live, and live, once again: a post-MP3 reformation.
The arena concert becomes the “real time” centre of a global digital network, and the gig-goer pays not only for an immersion in (and, indeed, role in) its spectacular nature, but also for a close encounter with the performers, in the contained space. This spectacular nature raises challenges that have yet to be fully technologically overcome, and has given rise to the reinvention of what the live concert actually means. One thinks of the autobiographical narratives that come into play, so that the gig is not just album-centred but life-centred (Alicia Keys revisiting the music of her childhood, Kylie Minogue reminiscing about illness and past gigs in the same cities), and not just a performance to attend, but a self-affirming event (Lady Gaga’s talk of her global constituency). The enormous canvas requires more – a “total” art. Hence the integration of the tropes and designs of the fashion show, the circus, theatre and dance, ritual and religion, the political rally and immersive video-gaming, which are offset by the ways in which (via giant video screens) intimate and often acoustic moments are achieved and shared (as with Keane and Coldplay). In this respect the arena concert has come to compete with outdoor gigs in stadia and at festivals in terms of remaking the live popular music experience for contemporary times, raising the stakes for festival headline acts to be ever bigger and starrier (as with U2, Radiohead and Beyonce).
This proposed volume will be the first such exploration of the stadium concert. It will test and define, intervene and assess, offer pre-histories, present histories and consider future directions, and will concern itself with designers, choreographers, mixers, musicians and bands, promoters, security, broadcasters, caterers, social media use and audiences. We invite proposals for academic chapters, interventions, interviews and more, and have secured informal interest from a major academic publisher. Proposals should be 400-500 words and emailed as a Word file (not a PDF) with minimal formatting, and with a biographical note and contact details included, to Benjamin Halligan ( by 23 July 2013. Informal inquiries prior very welcome.

The editorial team is:
Dr Robert Edgar, York St John University (The Music Documentary: Acid Rock to Electropop, Basics Film-Making volumes)
Dr Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs, University of Salford (The Music Documentary)
Dr Benjamin Halligan, University of Salford (Michael Reeves, Mark E. Smith and The Fall, Reverberations, Resonances, The Music Documentary)
Dr Sunil Manghani, Winchester School of Art (Image Studies: Theory and Practice, Images: A Reader, Image Critique and the Fall of the Berlin Wall).

CFP: The 2nd Celebrity Studies Journal conference

95637957-celebrity-studiesThe 2nd Celebrity Studies Journal conference will be  held at Royal Holloway University of London on June 19-21st June 2014  and will be themed around questions of methodology: ‘Approaching celebrity’.

The organisers invite abstracts for individual 20minute papers or pre-constituted panels of 3 x 20minute papers that speak to this theme or on any topic in celebrity studies.

They also invite submissions for Pecha Kucha style presentations, either individually or as part of a pre-constituted panel of 3-4 speakers. See the click here for more info.

Deadline for abstracts: November 4th, 2013 (250 words, +50 word bio)

A special issue of the best papers from the conference will be published in Celebrity Studies Journal in 2015. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Method: how to do celebrity studies
  • The celebrity studies canon
  • The value of fame
  • Celebrity and power
  • Star and celebrity images
  • Pop stardom
  • National cinema, international stars
  • The TV Personality
  • Celebrity and performance
  • Digital platforms
  • DIY celeb
  • Ordinary celebrity
  • Austerity and celebrity
  • American Quality TV
  • Entrepreneurial celebrity
  • Celebrity fandom
  • Literary celebrity
  • Queer celebrity
  • The celebrity ambassador
  • Fame damage
  • Celebrity affect, emotion
  • Celebrity and gender
  • Anti-celebrity
  • The phenomenology of celebrity
  • Cult stardom and celebrity
  • Charisma and celebrity
  • Pathology and celebrity
  • Toxic celebrity
  • Celebrity and news
  • The sexualisation of celebrity
  • Celebrity art/artists
  • Race, ethnicity and celebrity
  • Celebrity and persona
  • Porn stars
  • Sport and celebrity
  • Gaming and celebrity culture
  • Political fame
  • Celebrity’s right to privacy
  • Leveson inquiry and celebrity
  • Reality TV
  • Neoliberalism and celebrity

More information can be found here..

Create at Salford Festival


Thursday 13 June – Sunday 16 June

Create at Salford Festival brings together over 800 creative students in a number of exclusive events taking place over a five day period at MediaCityUK and Salford Quays.

This festival will mark the launch of the new School of Arts & Media, celebrating individual and School successes, as well as showcasing why we are one of the UK’s most successful higher education providers in arts and media.

The festival promises to deliver an exciting range of exhibitions and performances from final year students, reflecting the School’s wide ranging and innovative portfolio, including:

  • Visual art and design exhibitions
  • Fashion runway shows
  • Journalism broadcasts
  • Live music performances
  • Stand-up comedy
  • Contemporary theatre

Find out more here..

and at our tumblr

Revisiting Star Studies Conference – Newcastle University June 12th-14th 2013

Revisiting Star Studies Conference – Newcastle University June 12th-14th 2013

I’m speaking on ageing female stardom at this exciting conference.

The conference aims to reassess some of the dominant models in star studies, to identify under-researched areas in film stardom, and to generate new critical paradigms. In particular we will explore critical models that are more appropriate to address non-Hollywood stardom, including that of Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Keynote speakers:

Yingjin Zhang (University of California at San Diego)
Neepa Majumdar (University of Pittsburgh)
Stephanie Dennison (University of Leeds)

Keynote panel led by Martin Shingler and Susan Smith (University of Sunderland)
Ginette Vincendeau (Kings College, London)
Pam Cook (University of Southampton)

Female Celebrity and Ageing: Back in the Spotlight



The 2012 special issue of the Celebrity Studies journal on female celebrity and ageing gets a new life as a book published by Routledge and edited by Deborah Jermyn in July 2013. My chapter is on female celebrity and ageing in the gossip industry.

More details can be found here….

The Music Documentary Book published by Routledge


The University of Salford’s Drs. Ben Halligan and Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs (along with York St John University’s Dr Rob Edgar) co-edit this collection of essays on the music documentary — the first of its kind — which has been published today.

The collection arises in part on the Summer 2010 conference “Sights and Sounds: Investigating the Music Documentary” which was co-convened at Salford by Dr Halligan and the late Prof David Sanjek.

David’s paper for that conference, on documentaries at the end of the countercultural period, is included here, along with considerations of everything from Woodstock to White DiamondPink Floyd – Live at Pompeii to The Song Remains the Same, via extended sections on punk and post-punk, the conceptualisation of music videos then and now, the British concert film, considerations of teaching in the area of music documentary making, satire and the “rockumentary”, and the ways in which the music documentary form has been co-opted for promotion. The volume ends with a consideration of future directions for the genre.

For Table of Contents, see Routledge’s page for the book, here:

UK orders via here:

US orders via here:

University of Salford Research, Innovation & Enterprise Exchange, Powered by PechaKucha

Join us at the University of Salford to hear about our latest research and its impact on the world around us.

On the last Thursday of every month, staff, students and the public are invited to hear from three members of the University community, speaking on a common theme related to their area of expertise.

They will each give six minute PechaKucha-style presentations (20 slides of 20 seconds each) aimed at stimulating discussion and prompting collaboration and new ideas. Networking and informal discussions will follow for the last half an hour.

The theme for March is Gaming.


Dr Gordon Fletcher – Salford Business School

Dr Adam Galpin – School of Health Sciences

Umran Ali – School of Arts & Media

More information can be found here:,-innovation-and-enterprise-exchange,-powered-by-pechakucha

Admission is free – register online here.