arch New publication: Craft Entrepreneurship

This book edited by Karen Patel and Annette Naudin, brings together a range of perspectives on craft entrepreneurship across different contexts, partly to celebrate craft makers but also to highlight the unique challenges they face (Luckman, 2018). Craft entrepreneurs work at the intersection between highly professional practices on the one hand, and amateur work that shifts between hobbyists and the possibility of selling work. Hierarchical divisions between amateur and professional are blurred, creating a complex marketplace for those seeking to earn a living from their craft practice. Adopting entrepreneurial approaches tends to come secondary to the love of making and a passion for the craft artefact, causing an uneasiness with notions of entrepreneurship and business acumen.

Although the craft sector is not usually associated with entrepreneurship because of the relatively low income it generates, it seems reasonable to explore the entrepreneurial practices of craft makers, given that compared to other cultural industries a high proportion of makers are sole traders. Craft workers have become the subject of interest for scholars exploring the relationship between creative economy and cultural work (Luckman 2015; Luckman and Thomas, 2018). Previous work on the craft economy indicates that contemporary craft entrepreneurs are highly resourceful, making the most of digital technologies by embracing platforms such as Etsy and social media sites such as Instagram to build brand awareness and reputation. However, as Susan Luckman and Nicola Thomas argue, “the ease of establishing online shopfronts hides the complex work required to start and run a small business, especially one in an increasingly globally competitive space with isolated producers and narrow profit margins” (2018, p.119). Indeed as Luckman and others have shown, sustaining a craft enterprise is not easy. While some policy interventions encourage craft businesses, there are complex issues at stake in balancing aesthetic considerations with economic needs.

It is interesting that craft entrepreneurship is an area that is  under-researched, given the range and longevity of craft practice all around the world and the increasing centrality of craft in creative industries policy and discourse. This may be because craft is an area which is now dominated by women, and is a skilled form of cultural production which has been carried out by women in a variety of settings for centuries. Women’s work has always been devalued and craft is a prime example of this. It remains that the type of craft produced by women craft entrepreneurs, particularly in textiles, is commonly perceived as ‘amateur’, even in the ‘post-Etsy’ age which demands a level of professionalism and expertise.  It is perhaps not surprising, then, that this is the first collection to address an area of cultural entrepreneurship that happens to be dominated by women. As we have discussed, there is much more to be done to explore craft entrepreneurship in a variety of contexts, so we hope the chapters in this book inspire further work.

The book is available from Rowan & Littlefield

A book launch and discussion will take place on 9th June 2021 at 4pm as part of the BCMCR Creative Industries Cluster research seminars


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!