arch New Publication! The Canterbury Sound in Popular Music: Scene, Identity and Myth

The collection The Canterbury Sound in Popular Music: Scene Identity and Myth (Emerald), which I edited with Shane Blackman (Canterbury Christ Church University) and Andy Bennett (Griffith University) has been published today, 19 February 2021. For me, this publication is of both personal and professional significance because Canterbury remains one of my symbolic homes, and I find myself continually (re)imagining it through music.

This collection presents a unique exploration of the heritage and legacy of the Canterbury Sound: a signature style emerging in the 1960s that draws upon psychedelic music, progressive rock, jazz and pop to capture the real and imagined interactions between people, place and music.

The volume recounts the stories, and explores the significance, of the Canterbury Sound as heritage, ongoing legacy and scene. Originating from the experiences and ethnographic research of the three editors, all of whom have lived and worked in Canterbury, the book brings together reflections, stories, interviews, and critical insights from well-known musicians, researchers, DIY archivists and fans to explore the Canterbury Sound as an inter-generational phenomenon and a source of cultural identity. Associated with acts like Caravan, Soft Machine, Gong, Robert Wyatt, and Kevin Ayers, this romanticised scene has a special place in popular music culture.

Chapters examine the emergence of the Canterbury Sound and the related scene, including the legacies of key figures in forming the Canterbury Sound aesthetic, the documentation of the scene (online and off) and contemporary scenes within the city, which continues to attract and inspire young people.

Throughout the book, the Canterbury Sound is described as a site of the cultural imagination that carries allusions of authenticity and alternative artistic sensibilities: while acquiring a significant following around the world, particularly in France, Italy, Japan, and the USA, the Canterbury Sound never entered the musical spaces perceived as ‘mainstream’. In this context, the book is connects well to our BCMCR theme “Alternativity” 2020/21 which I have been co-ordinating with Charlotte Stevens.

The edited collection emerged from personal research experiences, through which Shane, Andy and I accessed networks of people linked to the cultural construction of the Canterbury Sound. In 2017, we organised a day-event that brought together diverse Canterbury Sound perspectives and musical takes presented through discussions, live music performances and exhibits of archival artefacts, literature and art. This book emerges from the networked insights into the genealogy of the Canterbury Sound, communicated and consolidated through that event. It includes contributions from members of bands including Soft Machine, Caravan, Hatfield and the North, Lapis Lazuli and solo musicians such as Billie Bottle, Maria Sullivan (Koloto), and Jack Hues. The collection also presents work from people who have been central to documenting the scene like Phil Howitt (Facelift Magazine), music writer Aymeric Leroy, and Marcus O’Dair (author of Robert Wyatt’s biography “Different Every Time”) and many more. There are many more authors I’d like to mention here but I am afraid of writing an overly-long blog post…

For more information about the volume and full contents, please visit the Emerald site. If you are interested in the book, or would like to order it for a library/institution, it might be useful to know that there is 30% discount available when using the publisher’s site; please feel free to use the code EMERALD30.

I will be posting again soon, to invite you to a book launch as part of the BCMCR seminar series on 24 March online. The discussion at the event will be led by Dr Sarah Hill (Cardiff University) and will feature the editors and many of the contributors to the edited collection. I hope to see many of you there.


arch Recording of ‘The politics of care in Covid-19 and beyond’ now available

To watch this video, please enter the password: bcmcr




The Punk Scholars Network can now reveal the full programme details for the 2020 conference. This year’s conference is entirely virtual and truly global; spanning seven days and representing a variety of regions around the world. We would like to thank our PSN affiliates for their hard work in putting these schedules together as well as recognising the continued global support for punk scholarship.

Click on the link for full details of day:

Sunday 13th Dec. – PSN UK/Europe
Monday 14th Dec. – PSN Australia/Aotearoa (NZ)
Tuesday 15th Dec. – PSN Indonesia
Wednesday 16th Dec. – PSN USA
Thursday 17th Dec.- PSN Iberia
Friday 18th Dec. – PSN Europe/UK
Saturday 19th Dec. – PSN Colombia

We are also pleased to announce some pre-conference events:

  • Saturday 5th Dec. – Punk is Not Dead (PSN France)

  • Between Sunday 6th Dec and Sunday 13th Dec the PSN will be running a virtual interview series. Details to follow.

*Please be aware of what time zone different days will be using*


arch Recording of ‘Challenging Euro-Centric Conceptions of Feminism in the Asia-Pacific Region’ now available

To watch the video, please enter the password “bcmcr”


arch Animating the Humanities

This week, the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) celebrated the launch of a new animation by the award-winning artist Annlin Chao that engages with the question of why the humanities matter. The film was launched as part of a panel at the UK’s Being Human Festival, chaired by HERA KE & Impact Fellow, Tony Whyton (BCU).

During the festival event, panellists discussed the development of the film, its relationship to HERA projects, and the core themes emerging from the animation.  Describing his involvement in the development of film, Tony says:

“In commissioning this film, we started with the simple idea of exploring a world without the humanities, and this is where the animation begins. But, through her own sense of discovery, Annlin has created a thought-provoking film that directly captures what it feels like to be engaged in humanities research.”

HERA is currently celebrating 10 years of its Joint Research Programme, and the themes of these programmes – and associated projects – are referenced throughout the film, whether through specific design elements, images of research objects, or narrative themes. Tony continues:

“The animation is joyous and optimistic but it also acknowledges pain, conflict and trauma as an integral part of human existence. The humanities are essential to finding new ways of understanding cultural differences, learning from the past, exploring concepts of memory and identity, dealing with conflict, and accounting for social change.”

During the panel, Professor Daniel Carey (Director of the Moore Institute, NUI Galway) builds on the reference to COVID-19 within the animation to stress the importance of humanities research during the current pandemic. Tony concludes:

“The film serves as a clarion call for participation. Having interacted with the book and progressed through different cultural encounters, the animation closes with the central character moving forward to participate more fully in the world. I think that’s a powerful message that helps to convey the value of the humanities in a dynamic way.”


arch Recording of ‘Connected to What? Jazz collectives as alternative practice’ seminar now available

To watch this video, enter the password “BCMCR”


arch Midlands4Cities 2020-2021

AHRC Midlands4Cities PhD funding for UK and International applicants

The AHRC-funded Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (M4C) brings together eight leading universities across the Midlands to support the professional and personal development of the next generation of arts and humanities doctoral researchers. M4C is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, University of Warwick, Coventry University, University of Leicester, De Montfort University, Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham.

M4C is awarding up to 89 doctoral studentships for UK and International applicants for 2021 entry through an open competition and 21 Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDA) through a linked competition with a range of partner organisations in the cultural, creative and heritage sector.

The Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research at Birmingham City University is inviting applications from students whose research interests connect with our fields of expertise in:

Creative Industries

  • Alternative and marginal economies
  • Cultural entrepreneurship
  • Cultural policy and media regulation
  • Craft making and production practices
  • Equality and diversity

Cultural Theory

  • Old and new racisms
  • Feminism and queer theory/politics in illiberal times
  • Posthumanism and digital cultures
    The politics of voice and listening
  • Rhythmanalysis

Game Cultures

  • Historical game studies
  • Video game narratives and adaptation
  • Posthumanism and video games
  • History and (video)game communities, including fan cultures
  • Video games and cultural policy
  • Games and national/transnational identity

Gender and Sexuality

  • Sexualised masculinity
  • The histories of adult film production across Europe
  • Gay men’s use of dating apps
  • Digital intimacies
  • Sex in cinema
  • Fetish communities

History, Heritage & Archives

  • Media as historical source
  • Media archives and the challenges online archives pose for media historians and archivists
  • Refugees, migrants, media history and archives
  • The historical retrieval of the UK adult entertainment business
  • Commemoration and everyday media memory
  • Curating and exhibiting popular music heritage
  • The archive, amateur film and place

Jazz Studies

  • The cultural meaning of jazz
  • Studies of jazz as a transnational practice
  • Improvisation and cultural practice
  • Jazz on television and radio
  • Archives and documentation
  • Mediation and technology
  • Jazz and philosophy
  • Festivals

Media & Place

  • Media and conflict
  • Hyperlocal media narratives
  • Media, populism and nationalism
  • Community media practices and the politics of space
  • Digital media and feminism
  • Media, migration and displacement

Popular Music Studies

  • Popular music consumption
  • Songwriting
  • Music scenes
  • Heritage and cultural memory
  • Mediation and representation
  • Media and technology
  • Music industries
  • Material cultures
  • Experimental writing

Screen Cultures

  • Marginal, subcultural and cult modes of screen production and consumer practices.
  • The gendering of media audiences and the gendered processes of fandom.
  • Film festival and distribution activities in screen research.
  • Documentary and VR filmmaking as production research perspectives.
  • The history and developments of sexual culture through screen media.
  • National and transnational traditions of cinema beyond Hollywood.

The deadline for M4C funding applications is 13 January 2021 (noon), by which time applicants must have applied for a place to study and have ensured that two academic references are submitted using the Midlands4Cities online reference form.

For full details of eligibility, funding, research supervision areas and CDA projects, and for dates of our November application writing workshops, please visit: or contact

For more information, please contact Research Degrees Coordinator Dr Oliver Carter



arch Attitudine Riottosa (Riotous Attitude) (Giulio D’Enrico, Editor and Translator)

For those among you who are fluent Italian speakers, readers and writers, you might be interested in this recent Italian publication on British anarcho-punk by Giulio D’Enrico. Giulio has spent over a year collating some of the best published academic writing on British anarcho-punk and painstakingly translated it all into Italian, and then published it through Agenzia, who publish  oral stories, memoirs, autobiographies and testimonies that  intersect with historical reflections, analysis and insights. I have a chapter in this book called “From Protest To Resistance”: British Anarcho-Punk ‘Zines (1980-1984) As Sites of Resistance and Symbols of Defiance originally published in The Aesthetic of Our Anger: Anarcho-Punk, Politics and Music (2016. Autonomedia/Minor Compositions). My chapter explores the way in which anarcho-punk ‘zines disseminated the central ideas of anarcho-punk and the way that the editors mediated a shifting notion of anarcho-punk. In doing so I seek to move beyond the simpler notion that ‘zines acted as simple channels of communication, but to the idea that discourses of resistance and  defiance are constructed and reinforced through the embodiment and undertaking ideological work of ‘zine editors as ‘organic intellectuals’ and thus represent cultural work.

Penso che sia un’ottima lettura, buon divertimento. i punk!