arch smARTplaces toolkit published

Researchers at the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research have published a cultural policy ‘toolkit’ as part of their evaluation of the four-year, European smARTplaces project. (more…)


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!


arch Launch of the New Cine-Excess Journal Issue


The latest issue of the Cine-Excess journal has just been launched, and is co-edited with Dr. Joan Hawkins (University of Indiana), Professor Janet Staiger (University of Texas) and Dr. Glenn Ward (University of Brighton).

This edition of the journal is entitled Are You Ready for the Country: Cult Cinema and Rural Excess, and is a special themed issue which deals with representations of rurality across a range of national cinema traditions. It contains seven key submissions from a range of scholars who address constructions of the countryside in American, Australian, British and German cult cinema cycles. Articles are complimented by related filmmaker interviews and a conference and book review section.

The Cine-Excess journal is an open access, online publication that combines peer-reviewed academic articles on global cult film cultures alongside interviews with the filmmakers responsible for their creation.

Read the new edition of the Cine-Excess journal here:





arch Punk Now!! Contemporary perspectives on punk.

Punk Now!! brings together papers from the second Punk Scholars Network International Conference and Post Graduate Symposium, hosted by BCMCR and Birmingham City University, with contributions from revered academics and new voices alike in the field of punk studies. The collection ruminates on contemporary and non-anglophone punk, as well as its most anti-establishment tendencies. It exposes not only modern punk, but also punk at the margins: areas that have previously been poorly served in studies on the cultural phenomenon.

By compiling these chapters, Matt Grimes and Mike Dines offer a critical contribution to a field that has been saturated with nostalgic and retrospective research. The range and depth of these chapters encapsulates the diverse nature of punk subculture -and the adjacent academic study of punk- today.…pectives-on-punk/


arch Material Reflections – BCMCR New Thinking #2

We are pleased to announce the publication of “New Thinking #2”, the second in our series of ‘zine-style publications developed by researchers within BCMCR. This edition showcases contributions to the Material Reflections project, which emerged from our ‘Materialities‘ research theme for the 2019/20 academic year.

Following the success of the first issue of BCMCR New Thinking in October 2019, this new edition brings together contributions from a range of academics, students, and cultural practitioners from across the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media and beyond. It showcases work developed as part of the Material Reflections project – a collection of images and written reflections seeking to explore the complex personal relationships that people form with material things. Contributors were asked to submit an image of a particularly meaningful artefact, along with a 500 word reflection upon the significance that it holds for them. The project seeks to highlight the breadth and plurality of ways in which these material things impact upon our ideas, identities, research, and practice.

The resulting submissions highlight the incredible breadth and depth of meanings that can be ascribed to seemingly mundane or everyday things. Contributions range from reflections upon cherished religious icons, to musical instruments, to vegetable peelers. They find hidden depth in artefacts of the everyday, and uncover the layers of personal memories, ambitions, and identities ascribed to them.

You can download a PDF version here, and read each of the contributions online, along with many more, here. In keeping with the materiality theme, there are also a limited number of physical copies – please email if you’d like one.

The call for contributions to the Material Reflections project is still open. If you’d like to contribute a piece, please read the CfP, and send contributions, along with a short bio, to

A second Material Reflections issue of BCMCR New Thinking will be published later in the year.


arch An interactive music venue map

I am currently working on research project that is looking at live music in our home city of Birmingham, UK. As part of that work I’ve been exploring the API of Songkick in an attempt to generate an initial map of the music venues in the city.

Songkick is a service that provides discovery and ticket sales for live music events worldwide. Through their website and mobile app users can track touring artists, receive alerts for concerts in their area, and purchase tickets to shows. Their API provides access to data for over 6 million concerts. My aim with exploring their API was to see what information could be gathered that might help us begin to understand the landscape of live music in Birmingham.

Over the last week – and following quite a bit of trial and error! – I have managed to create a workflow that pulls data from Songkick API and creates interactive map of music venues. Before starting that process, I had looked around online to see if anyone else had tried something similar (and – I hoped – had then been inclined to create a walkthrough tutorial). Since I was unable to find much at all around Songkick and R, I have created a walkthrough tutorial of my own.

You can read the tutorial in full over on my website.

The process of learning how to call data from the Songkick API and then prepare it for use in a map has been enjoyable and satisfying. I started with a basic question (how can I plot a map of music venues?) and ended up with something approaching a solution. I also picked up some new skills along the way, which always makes a process worthwhile.

I’ll be posting more information about the research project in due course, including details of some events we have planned.


arch Riffs – Experimental Writing on Popular Music – Volume 3, Issue 2.

We are pleased to announce the launch of Volume 3, Issue 2 of Riffs: Experimental Writing on Popular Music. This issue focusses on ideas related to the music festival…

Of liminality and repetition, the real and the unreal, Of festival and noise, time and perception. 

The Riffs team would like to pass on their thanks to their marvellous contributors, who responded in such unexpected and creative ways.

Over on the Riffs website there are download links to the full issue, plus individual posts for each of the contributions in the new issue along with PDF files of those pieces.

Riffs will return in 2020 with a double-issue special volume that will consider ideas of music and technology. As a team we have some exciting ideas for other activities linked to those two issues that we hope to be able to tell you about very soon.

In the meantime, please enjoy Volume 3, Issue 2 of Riffs.


arch The Political Economy of Screen Archives: Innovation, Sustainability and the Value of Screen Heritage

We are looking to recruit a doctoral researcher to an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) between Birmingham City University, and the Media Archive for Central England. The successful applicant will work alongside Dr Oliver Carter at BCU, Dr Daniel Mutibwa from the University of Nottingham, and Dr Clare Watson and Richard Stenton from MACE.

The Research Project

Beyond the interpretation of individual texts or concern with the hierarchies and parameters of cultural traditions manifest in accession lists, this research project is concerned with the archival institution and questions of cultural value and sustainability. It is grounded intheoretical, historical and practical interest in the film and television archive –a subject rarely touched upon in contemporary accounts of policy (e.g. Doyle,2015). The researcher will aim to identify meaningful solutions in policy and practice for preservation and sustainability in the sector. Based at MACE yet outside of the everyday determinants and demands on the space of its personnel, the doctoral student will pursue lines of enquiry and provide a model of reflexive research and development in order to produce impactful insights for policymakers, intermediaries as well as those who make use of film and television repositories.

The research will consider the role of film archives framed by the political economy of culture (e.g. Jessop, 2008). This approach attends to the interests and agendas that push and pull at the value of film heritage and its marketization as part of a wider cultural economy explored in interdisciplinary fashion across geography (Leyshon, 2001; Bassettet al., 2002; Gibson et al., 2002), sociology (Gayand Pryke, 2002; Stevenson, 2003), media and communications studies (Cunningham,2001; Hesmondhalgh, 2002),and urban planning (Landry, 2000).

As is the case across the broader publicly funded cultural sector (Gray,2002; Belfiore, 2012), archival film is under an injunction to demonstrate its value: put to work in engagement projects, leading in digital models for expanding public consciousness, improving community cohesion and individual wellbeing or playing a part in generating new business income models. While resources for support diminishor are purposefully limited, moving image production and the demand to archive such materials is increasing exponentially.

The research is critical in providing a timely intervention that has the potential to impact directly on policy making and the future provision for the preservation of the nation’s historic film collections. In addition, while the economic expectations of policy press hard, the archive is subject also to a cultural politics concerning its traditional constitution and purpose (Gracy 2017; Brown, 2018) that will have to be addressed.

The doctoral researcher will thus devise a project that addresses, extends and adapts the following indicative research questionsthat seek to direct the research

  • What is the cultural value and purpose of a publicly funded film archive?
  • What is the role of the archivist in meeting contemporary policy expectations, securing funding and managing the business of the archive?
  • How might the proposed research understand tensions and trade-offs between the ideals and ambitions of professional cultural workers and the pressures of economic expediency in order to assess and model new opportunities for institutional identities and sustainability in the screen archive?

The research will examine the nature of past and current film archive policy, of its promises, expectations and obligations for the sector, paying particular attention to the relationship between national and regional priorities. It will explore financing for the sector – of the rationale and mechanics in how funding is apportioned and income generated – and will explore specific case studies at MACE that enable an examination of business models and ideas for innovation. It will also work with concepts of cultural labour, expertise and value in assessing the role of the archivist and indeed, the constitution of user-audiences.

The doctoral researcher will engage with archivists and practices across the sector. The research project will be empirically focussed on the role of MACE as a regional screen archive, and engage with its partners as part of a wider landscape through its relationship with BFI and national policy objectives alongside the role of MACE’s Director as Chair of the national representative organisation for the sector, Film Archives UK. Research will commence in September 2020. It is envisaged that the researcher will be on site at MACE for up to 50% of the four years of study with the opportunity for activity articulated in blocks as month-long work placements and/or on a day/week basis. Research methods will include policy analysis, organisational ethnography, interviews with cultural workers and audiences. There is potential for practice-based work and innovation will take place in the approach to secondary research in scoping out and synthesising grey literature, archival theory and current work across several disciplinary fields that is concerned with in cultural organisations, policy and economics.

To find out more:

Go to the Midlands4Cities website.



arch Call for Papers – Rhythm Changes VII Jazz Now!

The seventh Rhythm Changes conference: Jazz Now! will take place at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (Amsterdam University of the Arts), the Netherlands, from 27 to 30 August 2020. This conference marks the tenth anniversary of the Rhythm Changes project.

Keynote speaker

Lucas Dols (Sounds of Change Foundation:

Closing address

Prof. Charles Hersch (Cleveland State University)

Rhythm Changes tenth anniversary panel

We invite submissions for Jazz Now! a four-day multidisciplinary conference bringing together leading researchers across the arts and humanities. The event will feature academic papers, panels, roundtables, and poster sessions.

Go for more information.