It’s very pleasing (and more than slightly daunting) that The Jazz Mann blog has called this new role of Professor in Residence at a jazz festival ‘a unique and brilliant appointment’, but what does it actually involve?
There is a wider set of questions around the contemporary position of the public academic or intellectual—in its most high profile manifestation, on our TV screens, of course—how academic research is articulated and presented to non-academic audiences, why universities and funding bodies should think public engagement a good thing, the politics of ‘impact’, for example.
I’ve been talking with a few people about how we might address some of those questions, perhaps some kind of event bringing together academics, media, RCUK representatives to speak about their experiences and agendas here.
But for now, with the festival starting this weekend, I’m just putting down the events I’ve helped shape the contents of with the Serious jazz and education teams. A series of talks, featuring artists, producers, academics (some names may change).
The role is part of my AHRC Connected Communities work, focusing on the idea of the festival as temporary cultural community.
Saturday 15 November
(before and after the Dedication Orchestra concert)
12.45 pm, Southbank Centre / Front Room: South African jazz. Panel chair, with Louis Moholo Moholo, Hazel Miller, Dr Jonathan Eato
3.30 pm, Southbank Centre / Front Room: The legacy of the Blue Notes. Panel chair, with Shabaka Hutchings, Bokani Dyer (tbc), Dr Jonathan Eato
Sunday 16 November
11 am, Royal Festival Hall, JP Morgan Pavilion (blue side): Roundtable discussion with 20 artists / promoters / teachers as part of the Europe Jazz Network (EJN)-project EJN roundtable Jazz For Kids
Tuesday 18 November
6 pm, Southbank Centre / Queen Elizabeth Hall: The Art and the Value of Commissioning New Music. Introducing panel, with Guy Barker, Prof Tony Whyton, John Cumming
Wednesday 19 November
7 pm, Club Inégales: Jazz Rants—The Jazz Industry and The Creative Economy. Prof Peter Wiegold, Dr Nick Gebhardt, Debbie Dickinson, Steve Beresford, Soweto Kinch, Prof Tony Whyton ++
Saturday 22 November
2 pm, Southbank Centre / Front Room: Improvisation and action – the legacy of John Stevens. Introducing the panel. Alyn Shipton and others discuss the musical and educational legacy of the English free drummer
5.30 pm, Barbican: ‘The space is the place’ —the art of programming. Panel chair, with Huub van Riel (Bimhuis, Amsterdam), John Cumming/Amy Pearce (Serious) …
Sunday 23 November
12.45, Southbank Centre / Front Room: Jazz and Gender. Introducing the panel, chaired by Jumoke Fashola
All talks are free. For full details visit efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk/talks
Today is my first day in my new job, as Professor of Media Studies, UEA, Norwich. UEA has a strong track record of research in film / screen studies, and we want to develop similar strengths in media / cultural studies. There are great academics there, and I’m hugely looking forward to it.
After my Glasgow childhood, we moved to Norfolk in the 1960s, and eventually to Norwich in the 1970s. UEA has a strong place in my heart: I used to go there for all the gigs I could, from Gentle Giant to Graham Parker, the Ramones to Burning Spear, BB King to Television, Wilko, the Feelgoods, the Pirates, ATV/Here & Now, Crass and Poison Girls, Blondie, the Attractions, the Blockheads, and some of those extraordinary package tours you sometimes got then: the Stiffs Greatest Stiffs tour feat. Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric, Nick Lowe, the Two Tone tour feat. the Specials, Selector and Madness. My mother was the first in our family to go to university, in the late 1970s–to the UEA, doing Sociology and then an MA in Social Work. I would come home sometimes from sixth form, full of punk attitudinality, and there’d be a UEA women’s group consciousness-raising group going on of powerful feminists round our kitchen table. Mum, what’s for tea?
Music, education, politics: the UEA played a formative role in all of these for me and my family, more than any other university, even though I never studied there. It’s kind of amazing for me to be going there now, to carry those practices and interests on.