Current academic activities


Professor of Media Studies, University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich, previously occasional poster boy for my last university (see right). More-or-less up-to-date CV accessible here.

I am currently a REF21 panel member for Unit of Assessment 34, Communication Cultural & Media Studies/Library & Information Management. From 2012-2019 I was an Arts & Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow for the Connected Communities Programme.  connected-communities-logo

In November 2014 I moved from the University of Salford to UEA, to a new chair in media studies, in the School of Art, Media & American Studies.

Below are key activities I have been involved in since 2010. (TBH I am not really updating this. I mean, does anyone even read it?) 

  • Jazz Utopia conference logo2016 lead organiser, Researching (Jazz) Festivals symposium, Cheltenham Jazz Festival
  • 2016 member, organising committee, 4th international Rhythm Changes conference, Birmingham City University, Jazz Utopia
  • 2016 lead organiser, Changing the Future Research Landscape? A Connected Communities Early Career Researchers conference, UEA
  • 2015-2018 co-investigator, Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music Festivals in Europe (CHIME) Heritage+ JPI project (total award €650,000)
  • 2015-2018 Connected Communities Leadership Fellowship renewal award (£480,000)
  • chime-logo jpeg2015-2018 BA International Media and Communications external examiner, Nottingham University
  • 2015 lead organiser, Soundings and Findings: A Connected Communities Research conference, UEA
  • 2015 published The Pop Festival: History, Media, Music, Culture (Bloomsbury)
  • 2015 organiser, Festival Cultures conference, UEA
  • 2014- Professor of Media Studies, UEA
  • 2014 Professor in Residence, EFG London Jazz Festival
  • 2014 co-organiser, Future Thinking: AHRC Audio-Visual Archives symposium, MediaCityUK
  • -2014 supervision: PhD students across media, music, cultural studies, practice, Salford
  • 2014 AHRC award, Carnivalising the Creative Economy film and knowledge exchange panel, Creative Economy Research Showcase, King’s Place, London (£7,274). Watch the film we made with jazz researchers and festival directors here
  • 2014 Curator of AHRC academic content for Cheltenham Jazz Festival
  • RC 2014 conference_logo2014 Member, organising committee, Rhythm Changes Jazz Beyond Borders conference, University of Amsterdam
  • Recent teaching responsibilities, University of Salford: one undergraduate module (Alternative Media, year 3/level 6)
  • 2013 Member, organising committee, Digital Economy ‘all hands’ meeting, MediaCityUK, plus workshop coordinator on AHRC Digital media communities
  • 2013 AHRC community media panel coordinator, Salford Media Festival
  • 2013 published Shakin’ All Over: Popular Music and Disability (University of Michigan Press)
  • 2013 Member, organising committee, Rethinking Jazz Cultures conference, MediaCityUK. The summative event of the three-year Rhythm Changes European research project
  • 2012-2015 AHRC Leadership Fellow, Connected Communities Programme (£359,000)
  • IASPM 20122012-2013 AHRC Connected Communities programme, co-investigator: Community Gardening, Creativity and Everyday Culture (total award £79,588)
  • 2012 Lead organiser, International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM UK & Ireland) biennial conference, Salford: Imagining Communities Musically: Putting Popular Music in its Place
  • 2011-2013 Salford, REF2014 submission leader, unit of assessment D36
  • 2011 AHRC Connected Communities programme, award holder (£26,773) to produce a scoping study: Community Music: History and Current Practice, its Constructions of ‘Community’, Digital Turns and Future Soundings
  • AHRC community music report (McKay and Higham 2011)2011 Member, organising committee, Rhythm Changes Jazz and National Identities conference, University of Amsterdam
  • 2011 Professor in Residence, Kendal Calling pop festival
  • 2011 published Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden (Frances Lincoln)
  • 2011 Media Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) 2011 annual conference, lead organiser, Salford
  • 2010-2014 BA Media Studies external examiner, University of East London
  • 2010-2013 MA external examiner, Bradford Media School, University of Bradford
  • 2010-2013 Researcher, Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities EU HERA/FP7 award (€1m)
  • MeCCSA 2011 conference logo2010-2011 Media, Communication & Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA), elected executive committee member
  • 2010 one-year sabbatical, Spasticus: Popular Music and Disability, including AHRC Research Leave Award (£37,594) to write a monograph
  • 2007-2013 AHRC Peer Review College, and Knowledge Exchange College member, media, music
  • 2005-2013 Director, CCM Research Centre, MediaCityUK
  • 2002-2010 founding co-editor, Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest (Routledge)
Alternative Media class, discussing subvertising, March 2011
Alternative Media class, University of Salford, discussing subvertising, March 2011

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